Tensions between Washington, DC, and Tehran seem to have gone from a boil to a simmer, but they nonetheless remain. There is reason to believe that US President Donald Trump – reckless by nature – will launch an attack on Iran in the next few months. He might do so to distract from the impeachment trial he faces in the US Senate or to hasten his chances of re-election in November 2020. The objective of the US has been to subordinate Iran, to defang it, and to make it irrelevant in West Asia. That has not happened, and it is what continues to provoke tension in the region. After the assassination of Soleimani, the Iranians said that if they were attacked further, they would destroy Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Haifa (Israel). Iranian short-range missiles can hit Dubai; but it is Hezbollah that will strike Haifa. That means that the United States and its allies will face a full-scale regional guerrilla war if there is any bombing run on Iran. These militias are the deterrent for Iran. That is why Trump hesitated; but he might not hesitate for long.

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In the Ruins of the Present traces the challenges posed by globalization and what these challenges produce for our society. The first attempt to address the problems of globalization was neo-liberalism. It failed. Next came cruel populism, which expresses itself in narrow, hateful terms. It will also fail. The Left is weak – decomposed by globalization. The need of the hour is for the Left to recompose itself, to become a vital force for a fragile humanity.

Our second Notebook analyses the contemporary production process that results in Apple’s iPhone. We move from a look at the iPhone’s production to the inner workings of profit and exploitation. We are interested not only in Apple and the iPhone, but more particularly in the Marxist analysis of the rate of exploitation at play in the production of such sophisticated electronic devices. It is necessary, we believe, to learn how to measure the rate of exploitation so that we know precisely how much workers deliver into the total social wealth produced each year.

Raw minerals are needed for everyday life, but when that life is also the cost of our infrastructural needs it is time to start asking questions. Why do 60% of the world’s mining companies have their headquarters in Canada? In this briefing we provide the financial details of ten Canadian mining companies. This data becomes a corporate crime rap sheet when it is read alongside concise accounts of the most horrendous violations committed–globally–by these companies. Canadian wealth is deeply dependent on a depraved indifference to human life, an indifference seemingly shared by Canadian mining companies.

No such hatred marked US relations with Iran during the reign of the Shah (1941-1979). Only when an economic nationalist – Mohammed Mosaddeq – came to power between 1951 and 1953 and only when he threatened to nationalize Iran’s oil industry, did the CIA, the Shah, and the right-wing of the Iranian army – led by General Fazlollah Zahedi – move against him. But even then, they saw the communists as the threat and not the Iranian people. During that period, the Saudi kings and the Iranian Shah made common cause against popular movements and the communists; no Shia-Sunni divide bothered them.

The two terms that define our epoch are ‘crises’ and ‘protests’. The former are an outcome of a world system that has exhausted itself, while the latter are a cry towards the future. Our January dossier is dedicated to offering an assessment of the conjuncture – where is the world today? This year opens up with a detailed consideration of austerity, the bipolar world order, neoliberalism’s exhaustion, and a planet of protest.

National Indigenous March, May 2016

For Colombia and for the people of Latin America, a genuine and comprehensive notion of peace has become a central axis in the dispute between neoliberalism and popular aspirations. This dossier examines the structural causes of the social, political, and armed conflict in Colombia and how the country has come to play a key role in the regional geopolitical dispute that favors the interests of the United States.

Our dossier no 22 presents the challenges confronting popular movements in Latin America and the Caribbean in the face of a new advance of imperialism, the right-wing, and neoliberal projects in the region. These policies have grave consequences for the people and have corroded the legitimacy of the governments that propel them forward, developing new processes of popular struggle, mobilizations, uprisings, protests, and resistances. In this context, it is necessary for Latin American critical thought to reflect on the methods and capacity to promote an alternative anti-neoliberal, anti-racist, anti-patriarchal, anti-capitalist subjectivity.

Since mid-September, an intense wave of protests has cascaded across Haiti. Roughly five million people – half of Haiti’s population – have participated in road blockades and marches. They demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse, reject any foreign intervention, and call for a resolution of the energy and economic crisis. Lack of fuel on the island is the spur. The government’s response has been to send in the police. Our Red Alert #4, sent to us by our comrades in Haiti, offers a fuller assessment of the situation on the ground.

The Fate of Xolobeni Would Be the Fate Of Us All

Since 1996, activists in Xolobeni, a coastal region in South Africa, have been fighting a foreign mining conglomerate that learned that their ancestral lands happen to be rich in titanium. The anti-mining activists of Xolobeni, who have lost many comrades to hit squads, continue to struggle against this foreign company and its partners in the South African government. Given that their land is located in a global biodiversity hotspot, their struggle is the struggle of us all: it is the fight for water, soil, food, and air.