Premature congratulations, Tony.
I think I can resolve this to everyone's satisfaction by quoting one of my heroes, Jean Loup Sieff: there is no art, only artists.
Slobodan. Not even HC-B claimed that his photography was art; he did though, think of himself primarily as painter/pencil artist. In fact, that was the love to which he returned at the close of his life. If you watch any of the later interviews, you can't but help realise that photography was something he eventually found very boring, if not quite as boring as the questions about it that he constantly found himself fielding. (An extreme example of that boredom can be found in his interview by a queasily sycophantic Charlie Rose.) That his photography is art was something foist upon it/him by the world of curators, publishers and television crews, and their influence has informed most of the voices I hear here. At the most, from what I can glean from his own words, he thought of his photography as geometry, and I can see the relevance and appropriateness of that thought.
Take consolation from Sieff, as quoted above: we can all think of ourselves as artists, regardless of the cream or the crap that we may or may not produce: everybody wins! True democracy at its very best! I love it.
P.S. Afghan Girl. I have no way of knowing how he did the shot; whether he directed her, caught her on the hop or bought her photographic favours. How could I, then, possibly judge?