Notes From the Margins…
Posts Tagged Syria

Destroying and Degrading: the War Machine Grinds On

  • September 11, 2014
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It’s often difficult to determine whether the seemingly endless wars and interventions that followed the atrocities of 9/11 are directed by incompetents or by cunning and devious knaves.

For thirteen years now, the US and its allies have left a trail of violence across the world, which has left the shells of broken eggs everywhere but...

An Afternoon in Belchite

  • September 04, 2014
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Lower Aragon is a very different place to the towering peaks of the Aragonese Pyrenees, where I spent most of last week.   Drive south of Zaragoza and you leave the fertile plain of the Ebro River and pass through a strikingly weird lunar landscape of chalk-white hills that would make a perfect location for...

Indiana Cameron and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Cameron and the Temple of Doom

  • August 18, 2014
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Of all the Indian Jones films, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is for me the most obnoxious, with its racist stereotyping and casual recycling of nineteenth century imperialist cliches about white men saving childlike dark-skinned folk from the clutches of a demonic native death cult.

In his great essay ‘Shooting an Elephant’   George Orwell...

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...

The UK and Syrian Refugees: from political pawns to political tokenism

  • January 29, 2014
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After weeks of vacillation, the UK government has finally agreed to resettle 500 of the ‘most vulnerable’ Syrian refugees.   Lord Snooty appears to have overruled Theresa May, who was reluctant to enter an ‘open-ended commitment’ to UNHCR’s call for European governments to resettle 30,000 refugees that might have undermined the Coalition’s ‘tens of thousands’...

Saudi Arabia Stamps its Foot

  • October 22, 2013
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The House of Saud is angry with the United Nations.     So angry in fact, that it has taken the historic step of turning down the opportunity of a two-year rotating seat on the Security Council.     This is an unusually dramatic and public move from a state that has generally preferred to...

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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