Notes From the Margins…
Posts Tagged Middle East

It’s Official: Stop the War is Responsible for the Syrian Civil War

  • November 08, 2015
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I am not a member of the Stop the War Coalition, but I have been part of the movement ever since the lead up to the Iraq War.  I may not agree with all of its positions, and I don’t share the politics of some of its members, but I share its central aims, and...

At War Against Evil… Again

  • September 25, 2014
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With ‘reluctant warrior’ Barack Obama’s declaration of war against Islamic State, the United States has found another in a seemingly endless series of justifications for waging war in the Middle East.

In 1990/91 it was saving Kuwait.   In 2003 it was weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.   Last year it was the chemical weapons...

Syria: The Strategy of Blood

  • June 28, 2014
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If the twists and turns of US foreign policy in the Middle East were ever presented to a Hollywood producer as a script for a movie or a tv drama, it would very likely be sent back for serious revision because of  its plot  contradictions and sheer implausibility.

Imagine your wannabe scriptwriter explaining that the US...

Egypt’s Trial of the Century

  • March 26, 2014
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How many Egyptians does it take to kill one policeman?   Exactly 529, if they are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Judge Saeed Elgazar.     That is the number of people Elgazar sentenced to death two days ago for the killing of a deputy police commander in the southern Egyptian city of...

Tangled Web: the US and Saudi Arabia fall out

  • October 23, 2013
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Watching John Kerry trying to mollify Saudi Arabia isn’t a particularly edifying spectacle, but then the relationship between these two countries has never been one to warm the heart.     On the one hand you have a superpower that claims to believe in freedom, democracy, religious tolerance, human rights and the rights of women,...

Two Cheers for the Peace Process

  • July 30, 2013
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Let the trumpets blow, and smiles all round, for the Obama administration is kickstarting the moribund Israeli-Palestinian ‘peace process’,   assisted by the Quartet’s illustrious ‘peace envoy’, the Right Reverend Tony Blair.

It would be something of an understatement to observe that these developments are not taking place at a particularly propitious or auspicious period.  ...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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