In fact, he thought foreigners understood Americans better than Americans understood themselves. Americans thought of themselves as a benevolent, peace-loving people. But benevolent, peace-loving peoples don't cross oceans to new continents, exterminate the natives, expel the other foreign powers, conquer sovereign territory, win world wars, and less than two centuries from their birth stand astride the planet. The benevolent peace lovers were the ones all that shit happened to.
-- Barry Eisler, Fault Line, Chapter 7