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Most articles condemning military adventures offer an explanation of the ‘true’ motive for a war, a motive that is different from the ostensible one. But for our leaders, there is no single reason why.
Some of them are mad. Some are nationalists. Some just do as they’re told. Most are men, and many were probably the sort of boys who carried on reading The Victor when others had moved on to Health and Efficiency. Some are driven by realpolitik, however unrealistic it may be; some have a missionary zeal to bring the light of explosions to places where now there is darkness. Some think bombing anywhere that isn’t Israel is in Israel’s interests. Most are egomaniacs who crave global fame but aren’t that good at sport. Some see money in it, for themselves or for their class.
Some think it will be valuable for the country, strategically. Some care less for country than for the triumph of global capital. Some genuinely believe, having weighed the pros and cons, that things would be better for humanity if it were subjected to a localised cull. Some don’t give it much thought. Some don’t understand their own motives. Some like some wars more than others; Kosovo was a big hit in the 1990s, among those who couldn’t see, and still can’t, that it was the start of a trend.
All of the above believe war is a good idea sometimes. They’re not doing it to wind us up. They’re sincere. Later they’ll say they’d never have supported it if only they’d known then what they know now. The thing we should know by now is that unpicking their motives doesn’t really help to demolish their case. People can passionately believe they’re right and still be horribly wrong.
Grace Blakeley investigates the curious case of Carillion: how the company’s slow decline and abrupt liquidation reveals the nature of modern capitalism.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns