Notes From the Margins…
Posts Tagged Syria

On Writing and Silence

  • December 18, 2016
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A loyal follower of this blog and Internet friend asked me last week why I haven’t blogged much recently, so I thought I should explain to those who are interested. There are three main reasons.  In the first place, I’ve been extraordinarily busy.  I’ve been writing two books, one of which required a...

Talkin’ World War III Blues

  • December 16, 2015
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I know that the British media and political class have had a lot of important things to think and talk about recently, and far be it from me to distract from the seriousness of the debate that has been taking place about our latest headlong leap into the Middle Eastern unknown.

Nevertheless, there are certain alarming...

Corbyn’s rebels

  • November 28, 2015
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Lyndon Johnson once said of F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover that ” It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”  Perhaps that was the rationale behind Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to pack his shadow cabinet with so many people who did  not  reflect the new political...

We Bomb Therefore We Are

We Bomb Therefore We Are

  • November 23, 2015
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Many people who have never read a word of military history or strategy will have come across the Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz’s famous observation that “war is politics (policy) by other means.”   If wars are fought in pursuit of political goals, then it follows that governments will know what these goals are, and...

Pitiless War

Pitiless War

  • November 18, 2015
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The Narodnik revolutionary Vera Figner once described terrorism as a ‘very sombre form struggle.’  Figner spent twenty years in prison for her part in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II – the most high-profile assassination of the nineteenth century and an act that contained many of the essential features of revolutionary terrorism, so she knew...

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...

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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