Not the ground soldier, stealth bomber nor nuclear bomb is
“I knew that above all what a nation needs to fight and win a war is the strength of moral conviction,” Mr. Crawford said when explaining the reasons he founded his activist organization a month after September 2001. “
A Manhattanite who works in technology business development, Mr. Crawford, 23, recognized then that Americans were riding this moral clarity. His primary mission with Patriots, a group of about 20 core activists, was and is to promote both a strong, uncompromising foreign policy and the belief that the war, at root, is a battle between fundamental ideas, between those that make
Back then, he also anticipated that this anti-Americanism would emerge more boldly at home and abroad. Its practitioners would try to blur the fundamental distinctions between free nations and terrorist-sponsoring tyrannies such as Islamic fundamentalist
Part of Patriots’ activism involves keeping people abreast of the activities of such tyrannies through its website at defenseofamerica.org, featuring weekly news stories on terrorism-related issues that its staff analyzes and often encourages some 4,000 members to take action on, such as writing letters to Washington policy makers and speaking out at public events.
While distinguishing itself by explicitly promoting a moral case for war, Patriots derives its uniqueness from the premise that
“Moral clarity means more than just knowing what our basic values are,” Mr. Crawford explained. “It also means being consistently true to those values and principles in action, day after day, decision after decision.”
While President Bush has been stronger and more consistent than previous administrations in dealing with terrorists, having ousted dangerous regimes in
The Bush Doctrine, for example, calls for ending terrorist states, yet the president engages in “road map” negotiations that would create a terrorists-led Palestinian state, and he treats Saudi Arabia as an ally, “even though there’s clear evidence of their support for terrorists,” he said.
Mr. Crawford believes history amply demonstrates the deadly consequences when free nations compromise with tyrannical regimes, exemplified best by Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler and its lead up to World War II.
A devotee of Objectivism, Mr. Crawford has torn his positions from the pages of Ayn Rand’s novels and non-fiction — which illustrate that evil derives its power and sustains its existence only by the moral compromises offered it by the good.
To back up this position, he cited the State Department’s annual report on global terrorism that in April revealed attacks had declined by 44 percent in 2002, the lowest figure in over 30 years.
Moral consistency demands President Bush cease negotiating for a Palestinian state with “some of the worst supporters of terrorism” in Arafat and his cronies, Mr. Crawford said, and cut off all diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and place it on the State Department’s list of “most active” terrorist-sponsoring states.
Topping that list annually is
At a recent bi-monthly Patriots meeting, activists wrote letters to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee applauding the “Iran Democracy Act,” introduced by Senator Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, which supports the Iranians poised to overthrow their theocratic rulers for a secular, freedom-based government.
“I think we must overthrow the ayatollahs in
The Patriots website provides resources for visitors to contact their elected officials or media outlets and voice their support for a sustained but uncompromising war against
He has delivered Patriots’ moral message in various arenas. In January, he gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in
Encourage by this unsolicited attention, Mr. Crawford is focused on funding a fulltime media staff. And with nearly a thousand people nationwide expressing interest in forming Patriots chapters, he believes this support could translate into the start of hundreds of them.
Of course, all of these advancements come back to one central purpose.
The goal of the Patriots for the Defense of America “…is to give a voice to the moral support for a strong foreign policy, and to help people make their own voices,” Mr. Crawford said. “Part of our message is that one individual can make a difference in public debate, and that all you have to do is speak out.”