This 4th of July, enemies of our country have threatened to attack us here at home. If we wish not only to prevent such threats but to defeat their source, we have to be clear about the nature of our foes and why they wish to do us harm.
Unfortunately, our enemies are not just the Islamic State, which has issued calls for violence to mar the celebration of the birth of our country. That organization and its self-styled Caliphate are but a manifestation – if a particularly dangerous one – of the larger Global Jihad Movement. Its various component parts, Shiite as well as Sunni, share a common purpose: They seek our destruction.
Let’s be clear: The reason America is in the cross-hairs of the world’s jihadists – and, for that matter, other foes like Russia and China – is because we truly are the exceptional nation.
As such, we are the model of everything they are not: A free, prosperous and powerful people, living in a constitutional republic that enables this land of plenty to be one of relative security and unlimited opportunity for all. Ours is the place in which untold millions around the world would prefer to live, instead of their own lands.
Rather than emulate us, which would spell the end of their various totalitarian enterprises, America’s adversaries seek to eliminate us. If ever they could succeed in such an endeavor, there would be no serious check on their ambitions to replace the United States as the world’s preeminent nation – and subject us, and others, to the harshest repression imaginable.
Let us resolve, as we celebrate the USA’s 239th birthday, to be America Proud by prizing and enhancing what makes us the envy of the world, and by resolving to ensure that those attributes – and the Constitution and country that enable them – are protected against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy under President Ronald Reagan. He is currently the president of Secure Freedom (also known as the Center for Security Policy).