Finn, this is how I see it, in a nutshell.
I was in Ireland last year. I took a lot of walks with my uncle, a very wise, well traveled, educated man. He's a very respected man who has made a very comfortable life for his family in an area that is rather inhospitable at times. He has many friends and business associates on either side of the divide, if you will.
Before you think I'm fixated on Ireland, let me explain.
We discussed the violence that had been a predominant force in his life. I found it shocking. I don't come from an area that is without its own troubles but nothing on the level they endured. There are areas in Canada with the same basic genetic make up of N. Ireland, same religious differences but not anywhere near the same murder or crime rate. So what is the difference?
It's an acceptance of violence. In one place it's de rigeuer, in another, it's greeted with appropriate horror.
So maybe burning a Koran isn't a crime against humanity, but it can quickly go that route.
Americans have a long history of eating their own. A knack of building people up and tearing them down, or just kicking them down. You have a history of hating and you haven't learned from your past.
The U.S. is often portrayed as a melting pot, but one gets the message that if you don't quite fit in, you're either the pot or the stew. Your politicians have for a very long time preached from bully pulpits about true americans, hard working, god fearing, red blooded americans.
And yet, if you were an indian, a black slave or a commie or a hippie or a vietnam vet or a brown guy in arizona or a muslim just about anywhere or a japanese fisherman during the war or a 2nd generation immigrant wop off the boat, or the returning heros from an ongoing war, that come home, not to open arms but homeless shelters, if you're left or you're right, you some how never measure up.
You live in a divided state, a country of two divides. A two party state that seems to never agree on anything but how much they can **** the other party over. You hate the blue states, or the red ones and somehow the 'other' never measure up either. You produce enough guns per annum to pretty much arm the world because you don't trust your neighbours or your government or anybody really. Any you have some of the highest murder rates in the world. You hate criminals and you kill 'em and yet, those states have the worst crime records of them all. You hate the poor, homeless, welfare, single mothers, and the sick and dying. You'd rather people suffer and go bankrupt than follow the example of the vast majority of the world and reduce yourselves to being called socialists. I shudder.
Weird since you all profess to live in the best country in the world.
God Blesses the USA and all that, and you really do, live in a great place but...
You all seem so grumpy, paranoid...
As a people you seem terrified of and a little shaky when it comes to the isms. Socialism, communism, fascism, Muslims, Hinduism, Judaism, Catholicism, atheism, environmentalism, feminism blah, blah, blah.
You preach the separation of church and state and yet, if your president doesn't go to church you get your selves in a tizzy.
Instead of building an appropriate monument to the victims of 911 or doing something constructive to stop the violence, thousands of angry hateful people picket a proposed place of worship, and not just in NY, it's happening all across the States. Have any of these people done anything to prod action or pay for a memorial. Nope, probably not, but they can act like buffoons toward their fellow citizens. Question their red blooded americaness... Thank god for the American constitution.
I'm not sure you or I or anybody can pinpoint the number of "jihadists" in the world. I can tell you that it's probably a very small minority. I can tell you that it's probably a growing movement, with every imagined and/or real slight they feel they've been put upon. I can tell you that some of their complaints are justified. I can also tell you that all "jihadists" do not speak for all muslims and that not all "jihadists" are suicide bombers. But they are an angry lot too. Just like y'all. Their message started out on bully pulpits too.
Just like, not all "koran burners" speak for all americans, and all "koran burners" are capable of violence, but... and I stress, not all people that hear the message are pussycats. You only have to look at your own history to see that ugly ideas can become a reality. Need I remind you of the Alfred P. Murrah building or lynchings?
As far as Left and Right.... I'm not an Ayn Randian. While those ideas are a favourite compunction in the USA, or at least the moneyed set, most of the worlds other democracies don't consider themselves communists either. In other words, in most places, I wouldn't be considered a lefty. You're welcome to judge me otherwise though, you do that well.