My math may be off, but this Friday (the 26th) marks the day the last Soviet tank rolled across the bridge and out of Afganistan in the 80s, as compared to the length of America's present involvement there. The US has managed to unseat the government (one might say a second time) and replace it with some weird set of Unocal marionettes, but the state of the state seems less than ideal, barely even stable. And meanwhile, the real war is being prosecuted over in Pakistan, mostly, apparently, to our detriment, and the costs keep stacking up. Honestly, it looks like bin Laden planned his strike just right, knew just how the Bush administration would mess things up, and still he can afford dialysis and cover. Then there is this TSA absurdity. How can one say that al Qaeda have not succeeded beyond their wildest dreams? How can one say they have not already won? Seriously, how can America ever hope to redeem itself, or at least extricate us from this nightmarish mess?