The U.S. government has taken a beating for supposed failures to find weapons of mass destruction in the press, and from political opponents. There have been some discoveries that have made the news, most notably an incident in May, 2004, when terrorists used a 155-millimeter shell loaded with sarin in an IED. The shell detonated, exposing two soldiers to sarin nerve gas (both of whom survived and recovered). It is this attack that provides one explanation as to why many of the finds have been classified.
If the United States were to have announced WMD finds right away, it could have told terrorists (including those from al-Qaeda) where to look to locate chemical weapons. This would have placed troops at risk – for a marginal gain in public relations. A successful al-Qaeda chemical attack would have been a huge boost for their propaganda efforts as well, enabling them to get recruits and support (many people want to back a winner), and it would have caused a decline in American morale in Iraq and on the home front.
The other problem is that immediate disclosure could have exposed informants. Protecting informants who provide the location of caches is vital. Not only do dead informants tell no tales, their deaths silence other potential informants – because they want to keep on living.
In the bitter, rage-filled and extremely partisan political environment that America has endured since the 2000 election, it must seem strange to some (particularly on the sinister side of the political divide) that there are actually some national objectives--particularly in wartime--that could transcend the seemingly endless and infinitely petty desire to bash and undermine political opponents.
Yet, here we have an instance of such behavior. In psychiatric terms, what we are dealing with is...pure unadulterated emotional maturity ; and I have to say that it is both refreshing and reassuring to know that there are some adults in charge, who put the national interest above partisan politics.
In contrast, in the last few days we have also been witness to the immature, infantile, and incredibly narcissistic behavior of:
1) certain Democrats willing to sacrifice the national interest (as well as personal integrity) if it can put them in a better position for the 2008 presidential race;
2) certain media outlets who appear to think of themselves as a fourth branch of government who arrogantly assume they know what is best for the country and, coincidentally because they think (incorrectly, I suspect) that it will improve their bottom line.
The infantile children in our midst demand that this war be fought 1) with no American casualties; 2) with no negative political consequences; 3) with no setbacks; 4) with no hurting the enemy; 5) with no collateral damage; 6) with no ability to gather intelligence; 7) with no ability to deceive the enemy as to our intent; and 8) with no mess or fuss.
If the above criteria cannot be met, then they just don't want to play--no matter how strategically critical it may be to the national interests of the U.S.; or even how emboldened such defeatism makes the vicious and brutal enemy with whom we are engaged.
They just don't care about all that; they don't like it when things are difficult or take an attention span that goes beyond their politcal capabilities. They want to puck up their toys and get out now. Now. NOW!
Like any other typical immature, irrational, and demanding child--unable to come to grips with an unpleasant reality--they put their hands over their ears and shout loudly so they don't have to hear what they don't want to hear (even if it is good!). Then they pat each other on the back and congratulate themselves; absolutely certain that their self-absorbed whining and foot stomping somehow indicates that they are real grown-ups.
Meanwhile, the REAL grown-ups continue to make the sacrifices on the battlefield; the REAl grown-ups ignore the blatherings of the no-nothing press; the cut-and-run Democrats; and the we-hate-America left; the REAL grown-ups manage to put aside the partisanship and need to make short-term points; and do what needs to be done for the long-term good of this country.
The REAL grown-ups work toward victory over the enemy that wants to destroy our way of life.
Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet; make the hard choices; and do what is right--rather than what is easy or popular.
At least, if you are a REAL grown-up you do.