Strange things are happening. In the United States of America there is a growing number of critics of American policy: Two or three weeks into the bombing campaign, only four in 10 Americans agree with what their president and his close aides portray as an anti-terrorism policy. Could these critics be inspired by those who condemn the war in columns published in the American newspapers? This seems extremely unlikely. Perhaps, it is just that with the end of innocence experienced by Americans on September 11, as has been repeatedly noted, people begun to sense en masse that being in line with White House policy does not comprise an invariable law of nature but rather an axiom, a political axiom which can be questioned and refuted. And one should just think that the disillusionment of public sentiment (in both the USA and Europe), as reflected in opinion polls, is not due to the sentimentalism caused by the devastating images coming from Afghanistan. In other wars similar images, whether genuine or faked, served propaganda objectives and overwhelmed the screen. Now only a few of them escape censorship. But even when such images are published, official rhetoric is always ready to discredit or disparage them, denouncing them as products of Taleban propaganda… Kathimerini has long emphasized the importance of the problem and has underscored the need to tackle it effectively. That the overwhelming majority of citizens rejected the original proposals of Simitis, Papantoniou and Yiannitsis does not undo this fact. It merely maximizes the government’s responsibility to make daring changes with the aim of averting an unbearable social cost that threatens to disrupt the social security system in the medium term. The above implies that Simitis will have to ignore the potential political cost.

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