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“Let others talk of glory, let others celebrate the heroes who are to deluge the world with blood…They know not what a cottage is. They know not how the poor live…”

Mike Marqusee’s latest column for Red Pepper celebrates William Frend, a radical who deserves to be better remembered. Contending for the living Red Pepper, August 2014 The 35-year-old Cambridge lecturer William Frend was putting the finishing touches on ‘Peace and Union’, his pamphlet on political reform, in early 1793 when the hostility between Britain and… Read more

The British anti-war movement should be standing with anti-war protesters in Russia

The argument against Western imperialism can only be strengthened by a firm opposition to other imperialisms, argues Mike Marqusee Red Pepper blog, 5 March 2014 It really should be easy enough to condemn Russia’s action in Ukraine while at the same time rejecting and campaigning against US-EU military intervention. Sadly, there are some in the… Read more

Atreverse a fracasar, atreverse a ganar

“Dare to fail, dare to win” Spanish translation (for Rebelion) of Red Pepper column on “Success, failure…” En la lucha por el cambio social, el éxito y el fracaso son a veces difíciles de determinar. Sólo si aceptamos que podemos fracasar asumiremos los riesgos que podrían conducir a un mundo mejor. Traducido para Rebelión por… Read more

Success, failure and other political myths

CONTENDING FOR THE LIVING Red Pepper, December-January 2012-2013 As we approach the tenth anniversary of the global anti-war protest of February 15th, 2003, people are bound to ask what it actually achieved. Certainly it failed to stop the war, a failure for which Iraqis paid and are paying an exorbitant price. So was it a… Read more

Obama abroad

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD The Hindu, 29 May When it came to foreign affairs, Barack Obama’s first presidential task was a simple one. He had to be better than his predecessor. For this alone, it seems, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. But those who hoped Obama’s promise of “change” would apply to the US’s… Read more

Empires past and present

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD The Hindu, 23 April A high court in London is hearing a suit brought against the British government by four elderly Kenyans who were tortured, sexually abused and in one case castrated while held in detention during the British repression of the Mau Mau rebellion in the 1950s. As a result of… Read more

Thoughts on Libya and liberal interventionism

In the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland writes that liberal interventionism is “fine in theory” but goes wrong “in practise”. I’d suggest that it goes wrong in practise because it’s deeply flawed in theory. The hypocrisy, double standards and selectivity displayed in the western military action in Libya defy enumeration, but just for a start…. In Yemen… Read more

The Iron Click: American Exceptionalism and US Empire

[This essay was published in 2007 in the book Selling US Wars, edited by Achin Vanaik, Olive Tree Press.] I am so terrifed, America, Of the iron click of your human contact. And after this The winding-sheet of your selfless ideal love. Boundless love Like a poison gas. DH Lawrence, “The Evening Land”, 1923 “The… Read more

Israel in Gaza: Beyond Disproportionate

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD The Hindu, 11 January Marching amid the 50,000 protesters in London bearing witness against the Israeli offensive on Gaza, I spotted a hand-made placard inscribed with the words of the radical Brazilian educator Paolo Freire: “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the… Read more

No sanctuary

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD The Hindu, 19 April Despite an average of 40 violent deaths a day in recent weeks, Iraq, the British Home office insists, is a safe place. Accordingly, 1,400 Iraqi asylum seekers have received letters informing them that they must return home or face homelessness and destitution in Britain. Those who agree to… Read more