In America we have come to feel safe in our liberties. We like to think of ourselves as a beacon of human rights, justice, democracy and freedom. However, I want to challenge you to think of America as radical and full of political extremists.

The media likes to create an image of the radical Muslim that desires only to kill Americans. They use words like extremist and terrorist to disassociate their actions from anything resembling sanity or clarity. But we never look at our own clerics and leaders (also known as generals and politicians) as extremist, radicals or terrorists. With the release of 400,000 secret war documents compiled by the U.S. Army detailing the horrific, and at times unjustified, murder of 65,000 to 100,000 civilians in Iraq, I am questioning our assumptions.

[media-credit name=”David Logan” align=”alignleft” width=”201″][/media-credit]American leaders justify this bloodshed in the name of peace or security, but I contend that these wars serve the interest of transnational corporations that are securing billions in profit from the war. America has killed over 100,000 people if we include Afghanistan and our expanding operations in Yemen, while only 3,000 Americans have been killed on U.S. soil.

Now, I do not want to just compare numbers, but  to provide perspective — we are comfortable in believing that America is generally good, because belief to the contrary would make us all complicit in this death and destruction. Would it be crazy to look at the Islamic jihad response to this mass Muslim killing as a defensive reaction against a murderous empire?

In America, it has become clearer and clearer that the motives behind the war in Iraq have been monetarily based. If America is fighting for money, and the supposed Islamic radicals are fighting for God, then who is right? America has brought a killing machine worth trillions of dollars to their soil and continued to kill Muslims for nearly a decade, yet if they ever dare try to defend themselves this is seen as a radical Islamic jihad that threatens the world.

While this jihad only threatens America and her western allies, we, as citizens and civilians of this country and the world, need to realize that this is not the world, and our fantasy is not reality. The American media and military cannot maintain this bubble for too much longer, and just as the housing bubble burst, soon our beliefs will be shattered internationally.

Obama has just put, for the first time, an American citizen on the CIA’s list of targets to kill without a trial. What happened to his constitutional right to a trial? I thought that as American citizens we had unalienable rights? It seems as if they are becoming more and more alienable. According to specialist Bryan O’Neal, U.S. Army soldier Pat Tillman repeatedly shouted, “Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat fucking Tillman, damn it!” as his fellow soldiers shot him, and only him. He was the poster boy for the U.S. Army and according to his brother, who is also an Army ranger, his views after going to Afghanistan were becoming very pacifist. He was a powerful voice that could have swayed U.S. public support for the American military campaign.

These examples are intended to highlight the sheltering of information to the public, because ultimately, we hold the power, and the government and “Islamic extremists” know that. So do not be surprised when “innocent” American civilians are attacked, because by voting (or not) and paying taxes you are funding and supporting these deaths, even if your ignorance will not allow you to believe the truth.

I want to make it clear that I am not pro-war, but pro-perspective, because this is the key to understanding. We must be able to understand our “enemy” to be able to decipher right from wrong. While we believe they threaten our existence, they believe we threaten their existence — and we do. We cannot decide and say what they do is right or wrong, just as we would not want these “radical” leaders to determine for us what is right or wrong. We are deciding though, as we have attempted to install democracy and secularization. We think they are human rights, but who are we to make that decision? Similarly, we would not want Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan, to kill and chase away the leaders of our government, then institute Taliban rule based on Islamic law.

You have been born into the American perspective, but you must realize that this is not how the world thinks. Every culture, group and person has their own perspective, and we must respect that or endure the response that has become global jihad.