The US-led alliance… which has been supported by the majority of countries across the world with the tacit consent of many Muslim states, is now being put to the test. As the war goes on, the leaders of Muslim states and pro-Western regimes that face threats to their internal stability are increasingly expressing their discontent about the killing of civilians in Afghanistan and demanding the conclusion of the military campaign as soon as possible. In order to maintain the current momentum, the USA will have to match the apparently effective military campaign of the last 11 days with substantial progress on the political level and, in particular, on shaping Afghanistan’s political landscape for the day after… For this reason, the Bush administration has over the past few days made intense efforts, making contacts with Pakistan, the Northern Alliance, the opposition forces in southern Afghanistan, former king Mohammed Zahir Shah, and moderate Taleban elements for the formation of a coalition government under the symbolic leadership of the 87-year-old exiled monarch. Washington’s aim is not only to arrest Osama bin Laden and eliminate the Al-Qaieda organization, but also to crack down on terrorist elements in Afghanistan for good. This can only happen with the establishment of a viable and – to the extent possible – democratic regime, not by the US but rather the UN. This was expected as, in this case, the candidate for PASOK’s secretary was trying to defend himself and his achievements at the Public Works Ministry that the opposition was about to attack.

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