I reluctantly agree with EmperorTarkin about the failure of VietNam lying with the politicians, not the people. However, to claim altruistic motivations in the war is naiviety. No nation on earth does anything unless it helps themselves. Self interest isn't neccesarily a bad motivating factor, but it is important in every governmental action. Vietnam was about asserting American power in the world, and protecting our interests. [/quote]It was not about "asserting American power" in the purely selfish fashion I think you're alluding to. As part of a proxy war in the greater Cold War, it was every bit about preserving Western-style freedom. To characterize America's involvement as a gangster-like attempt at getting more stuff is to ignore the core reality of why we were fighting the Cold War in the first place. Self-preservation? You bet: preservation of the freedoms that define the West.
To say, however, that America is innocent of any war crimes is a lie. The fire-bombing of Dresden by the US during WWII was a war crime by any definition, as too could be considered the use of atomic bombs on civilian cities.[/quote]Incorrect. It is my understanding that Dresden was a production center for Germany. At that late stage in the war, I doubt the German people had no clue as to what they were fighting for.
As for the atomic bombings, they prevented the need for an invasion of Japan, which surely would have killed multiple times the numbers the bombing did, if the Japanese's suicidal resistance for the tiny Okinawa islands is any indicator - just imagine how much worse it may have been for the actual main islands.
And further, you try to take a neutral stance between the reasons both sides were at war with one another. There really are evil aggressors in the world, and I don't know why anyone wouldn't call a spade a spade. Japan was every bit the evil aggressor then, and with popular support to boot.
Getting sadistic pleasure from the dropping of the bombs would be one thing, but seeing it as a way to end the bloodshed is as altruistic as one can get while at war.
Had such actions been taken by the Axis powers, they would have been tried for them. However, given that the Allies won the war, actions such as those I mentioned, as well as some of the Soviet Union's atrocities during the war, went unpunished.[/quote]I agree that we should have taken a harder stance against the USSR after the war - hey, blame FDR for buddying up to Commies - but you still try to draw up an undeservedly 'neutral' view of the two sides (as if man's selfish nature means we cancel each others' wrong-doings out, and that true attempts at some kind of good can't be made and championed?)
I want to add that I do appreciate the principles America was founded on. I do not appreciate what America has become, how some of those principles have been perverted. [/quote]If America is far from the principles it was founded on, it is because of the retreat from Judeo-Christian values to Modern Liberal theorizing. One of the most damaging aspects has been the idea that one culture is really no worse than the other, which, ironically, seems to produce a desire to make knee-jerk condemnations of America at every turn.