Alex Massie pin points a disturbing feature of American culture:
The trouble with the notion that Americans only fight wars for other people is that it encourages a mindset in which it is much more acceptable for the US to go to war than it is for other countries. Your aggression is wicked, our aggression is the disinterested defense of innocents.
Sometimes, as most obviously, was the case in the Second World War, there really are many innocents to be defended. But the United States was not exactly a disinterested player in World War Two. Nor can one avoid reminding you that the conflict left the United States a much stronger country than it had been before the Japanese dragged the Americans into the war. Self-interest and principle overlapped but even the Good War wasn't quite as clean or noble as is recalled.