Please skim down to the Egg's may 12 post, "The Moral Minority," for a reminder of how blinded by their own ideology and propaganda the neo-cons were when the fight in Afghanistan was still fresh. In early 2002, our colleague Father Ron assured us that the war was "winding down." Of course, he also thought that nobody cared much about the World Trade Center. It was this counting of un-hatched chickens that led us to fight the unnecessary war in Iraq before winning the thoroughly necessary one in Afghanistan.
But don't lose sight of the fact that Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, is an essential front in the war against terrorism. This is one that we actually do have to win, as we will probably have to win the eventual combat operations in Pakistan, whether or not they are undertaken with the support of that nation's government. (Holy cow! Did I just type that? it feels like I've broken the code of silence. But come on -- we all know it will have to be done.)