What strikes me about many of the responses, though, is that they show such a high degree of naivete. There is no questioning of why we have so many bases all over the world. No thought that maybe they really are not necessary, that they are simply a part of the military buildup, essentially our empire-building.
Nobody seems to think about how this would feel in another country, either. How would we like it if Germany planted bases in our country - on prime land that we'd like to use ourselves - and then wouldn't let any of us into the base to visit the shops or Disneylands they've built? How might that feel? And how about if they ignored our traditions, customs, and laws, and passed laws saying they aren't subject to our laws? How good would we feel about that?
The U.S. does not help other countries unless it is for the benefit of the U.S., particularly U.S. business. That's a fact.
I think many people have grown up with a fairy tale version of this country. Spy stories represent Americans as humane, caring, doing the right thing, attacking the evildoers. You don't see stories about the CIA propping up murderous dictators, which is what they seem to do best. You don't see how we go in when it suits us, then leave when it suits us, leaving behind people -like the Iraqis in the early 90s - to rise up against their evil dictators on their own, with no help from us.
I have been thinking about this for a while now and I am not quite ready to express the entire thought. I will say that we are not alone in what evil we do. We have plenty of company. The reason we are so dangerous is that we are so powerful. The world needs a better balance of power.