Morton Kondracke’s latest column argues that if we blow it in Afghanistan, we’re going to have a hard time finding friends to help us get rid of Saddam in Iraq. More than that, it looks like things are moving in the right direction in Afghanistan. The loya jirga actually turned out to be quasi-democratic (if not perfect), and featured real people arguing about real policy issues without getting shot or thrown in a dungeon. It sure seems to me like the Afghans are doing what they can to rebuild their nation, but they’re going to have to rely on the outside world to make it over the hump. And the bottom line is, if Afghanistan changes from being the most wretched country in the world to being something decent, perhaps it will plant the seed of an idea in the heads of some people on the fence that being friends with the “great Satan” isn’t such a bad deal.