As the drums of war grow louder and louder from Washington, (finding their echo in the usual venues of London and the UN Security Council), the anti-war movement has gained steam over the past few months. Mobilizations around the world have been organized to protest the actions of American capitalism - a million in Florence in November, tens and hundreds of thousands in Spain, Salzburg, Genoa, and elsewhere. The workers and youth of the world have repeatedly voiced their opposition to this war, and are not buying the flimsy pretenses of Bush and his cronies. Yet, although Bush is aware of the fact that he he's painted himself into a corner and that the UN inspectors have turned up empty handed, he has invested too many soldiers and too much of his prestige to simply pull out now. Also there are huge vested interests that are pushing the Bush administration to war. In the face of growing discontent at home and abroad, he knows it's now or never. Little does he know that he is careening headlong into a situation over which he could lose control very quickly.

Immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a spirit of optimism in the United States. We had "won" so to speak, and in the words of our then president George Bush, we could look forward to a New World Order of peace, freedom, full employment, and the crushing domination of the US in world affairs and trade. This fresh outlook, coupled with one of the most powerful economic booms in history, led many to believe ever more strongly in the system. Yet there are chinks in the armor. To look at the stock market, the economy is still healthy. But corporate profits are at their lowest level in nearly a decade (in spite of the billions of dollars handed to them in corporate welfare), and for the first time since the early 1990s, workers are seriously worried about losing their jobs. While the momentum of the boom is still in most workers’ consciousness, it is apparent that among the most advanced layers, the mood is definitely changing in America. From optimism to pessimism, hopes for "the good life" are disappearing for broad layers of Americans, with important implications for the coming period.

The repercussions of the terrorist attacks in the US will be much wider than anyone could have imagined. Now that the shattering impact of these events is beginning to seep into people's minds, the far-ranging implications for the world economy, the class struggle, national and international politics and world relations are becoming more and more clear. We explained on numerous occasions that we have entered the most unstable period in history since World War II - a period of wars, revolutions, and counter-revolutions. We predicted that economically, politically and socially, the world would be turned upside down. But nothing could have prepared us for the suddenness and trauma of these events. The dramatic crashes into the Pentagon and World Trade Center not only destroyed lives, material wealth, and symbols of imperialist power, they also dealt a severe psychological blow to the US working and ruling classes. So while the reaction of the American public has been to universally condemn these attacks, the question on everyone's mind is what next?