After reading the opinion editorial by Bryan Gurwitz entitled “American War Machine Offers Parallel to Jihad Extremists” (Daily Nexus, November 4, 2010), I feel I must set the record straight in the face of this kind of anti-American rhetoric that has become increasingly more prevalent.

America is without a doubt the most benevolent nation and superpower the human race has ever known. I am not saying that America is a perfect country, because it most certainly is not, but as the world’s superpower it has held some the world’s worst tyrants in check and has provided billions of dollars in assistance to some of the most poverty-stricken countries in the world.

The very notion that the U.S. is a “murderous empire” is insulting to the U.S. and all of its soldiers who have sacrificed blood, sweat and tears to not only defend America, but protect millions of innocent people around the world. Many are quick to forget the numerous acts of good America has done that are unparalleled by any other nation. America is always the first responder in any international crises, donating doctors, food, housing, security and money to help get countries back on their feet.

America has always been willing to defend freedom and help liberate oppressed people anywhere and everywhere. The U.S. saved the world from Hitler’s Nazi Germany, liberated Eastern Europe from Soviet control, Taiwan from Mao’s oppression, Iraq and Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, stopped the North Koreans at the 38th parallel and even helped push out the Soviet Union from its invasion of Afghanistan. Some people believe that America hates Muslims, but that’s simply not the case. The U.S. armed the Mujahideen throughout the 1980s and as a result, the people of Afghanistan were saved from a brutal Soviet takeover.

Fast-forward 20 years later, and the U.S. is still defending innocent Muslims in the Middle East. Iraq is now a better place because of Saddam’s removal. Although we found no weapons of mass destruction, Saddam himself was a weapon of mass destruction. Saddam murdered as many as one million of his own people, many times using chemical weapons, and tortured and falsely imprisoned countless more.

Leaders like Kim Jong-Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are a direct threat not only to the United States’ security but also to global security. Without America’s proactive defense, the world would be exposed to Islamic extremists. Let me make this perfectly clear: America does not have a war against peace-loving Muslims, but it does have a war with extremists who walk into crowded supermarkets and detonate bombs strapped to their chests, and against those who fly 747 airliners into buildings. This Jihad is responsible for thousands of innocent deaths around the world, and believe me — if they get their hands on a nuclear weapon, via Iran or some other outlet, that death toll would quickly rise.

Make no mistake about it, the danger of Muslim extremists is real and is the second greatest threat to the global community. I argue that the biggest threat is the world having a pre-9/11 attitude, where we live in denial over Jihadist’s fighting under the banner of Islam. America brings hope that this Muslim insurrection brought about by such groups as Hamas and al-Qaeda will be defeated, and that justice and freedom will prevail.

To live in denial about the Jihad’s motives or to have a “blame America first” attitude is not only inaccurate but downright dangerous and counterproductive. So let’s cut it out with the anti-American sentiment, comparisons of George Bush to Hitler and the United States to a “murderous empire.”  True “murderous empires” would have killed, tortured and/or jailed someone for speaking one’s mind, yet I’m pretty sure freedom of speech is protected in this country. The first amendment alone makes the United States far greater than the truly evil, murderous tyrannies of the world.

I am proud of my country and forever grateful to the many soldiers who have sacrificed for what is right, even when millions of people don’t always appreciate it. We all must remember what Edmund Burke once said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” It’s time for the whole world to stand up against a common enemy — the Jihadists, not the United States.