A Patriot for the Defense of America

by | Jul 6, 2003 | POLITICS

Not the ground soldier, stealth bomber nor nuclear bomb is America‘s most crucial weapon in its war on terrorists. To Jason Crawford, president of Patriots for the Defense of America, that weapon is moral clarity, without which our leaders would be unwilling to fire a single bullet. “I knew that above all what a nation […]

Not the ground soldier, stealth bomber nor nuclear bomb is America‘s most crucial weapon in its war on terrorists. To Jason Crawford, president of Patriots for the Defense of America, that weapon is moral clarity, without which our leaders would be unwilling to fire a single bullet.

“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. “America has to be convinced of its own greatness and of the moral right and responsibility we have of self-defense, and that means military retaliation.”

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 America great — freedom, private property, free speech, productivity, personal happiness — and the anti-American nihilism of the terrorists.

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 Iran, fascist Iraq and communist North Korea.

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 America must never compromise with her would-be destroyers.

“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 Afghanistan and Iraq, his pragmatic compromises undermine America‘s war effort, Mr. Crawford believes.

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.

“The stronger America shows herself to be, the safer we will be from terrorist attacks,” Mr. Crawford asserted, “and the weaker and more conciliatory and appeasing our foreign policy is, the more we are inviting terrorist attacks.”

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 Iran, whose regime Mr. Crawford said is the root of Islamic terrorism and that which the Bush administration must confront next.

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 Iran,” Mr. Crawford said, adding that the revolutionary movement there could succeed if the US provides the financial, logistical and, most importantly, moral support for it.

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 America‘s enemies. Mr. Crawford’s personal activism includes calling the White House or the offices of senators and congressmen each morning as he walks to work.

He has delivered Patriots’ moral message in various arenas. In January, he gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Virginia, and earlier that month he spoke at a public hearing on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, arguing that the best way to ensure its safety is to win the war against the terrorists. Moreover, Mr. Crawford, Patriots and its members have been heard on, mentioned or quoted in such prominent media outlets as National Public Radio, the Washington Post and USA Today.

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.”

Joseph Kellard is a journalist living in New York. To read more of Mr. Kellard's commentary, visit his website The American Individualist at americanindividualist.blogspot.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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