The report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) is a most striking proof of this old saying that the first casualty of war is always the truth. It is being presented by the war party in Washington and Tony Blair as conclusive "proof" that Saddam Hussein is just "months away" from launching a nuclear bomb.

The events of last September were painful ones. But as the dust finally settles on the shattered ruins of the twin towers, a growing number of men and women are beginning to think and act for themselves. The terrible blows that shake the lives of the millions also help to knock out of their heads a hundred years of dust and cobwebs. Slowly, painfully, the fog is clearing from many minds and people are compelled to come face to face with reality. One year after September 11, Ted Grant and Alan Woods look at what has happened in the aftermath of the attacks.

The preparations for war are acquiring a more feverish and urgent character by the day. On September 16, Iraq offered to allow UN weapons inspectors back without conditions. But this does not mean that war is off the agenda. On the contrary, war is now much closer. The decision by Iraq to allow the inspectors back was a last desperate attempt to avoid military action. The press has described it as Saddam Hussein's ace card. But this is not a game of cards but a life and death struggle in which the rules are made up as we go along.

The coming period will be a test for the AKP government. The workers and toilers in general, who voted for the AKP seeing in it a hope for salvation, need to draw important lessons from this coming period of government on the basis of their own experiences. The truth has to be explained and the advanced layers need to be organised. This task falls on the shoulders of revolutionary Marxists.

Resolution 1441 has given the green light to the warmongers in Washington and London. It was voted unanimously by the 15 members of the council, including Syria, the only Arab member. This scandalous result at least serves to expose a lot of things, starting with the UN itself. What all this shows yet again is the completely reactionary nature of the dis-United Nations, and the hopelessly utopian attitude of those "Lefts" and pacifists who always appeal to the UN to "defend peace".

On December 1, 20,000 people took part in an anti-war demo in Istanbul. Although there was a lively and angry mood on some sections of the demo the turnout was rather low compared to previous demonstrations. The trade unions did not help as, although they were officially part of the promoting group, they did very little to mobilise their forces. This, in spite of the fact that an overwhelming majority of 80-90 percent of the population is against the war.

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