Historical analysis in international relations should not be focussed on the denunciation of certain regimes, but on understanding why tension exists between nations, and what the best ways to deal with such tension are. For, considering American actions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (along with all the actions that would follow in the name of the Cold War) we would even be justified in understanding why so many people looked up to someone like Stalin for being a strong, committed opponent to US and European imperialism. Just as America’s international military actions were rooted in ideological fear, corporate interests, and a self-righteous imperialist campaign to ‘lead’ the world, Stalin’s actions were based on a context of imperial intervention in Russia and a desire to protect the system he had forged (and his own position at the head of that system).
The idea of an ‘Axis of Evil’ expressed by George W Bush was an ignorant, arrogant representation of how imperial forces in the US wish to erase historical contexts and logic from international relations in order to keep the American public in the dark (and supportive of aggressive imperialist campaigns abroad). ‘Evil’ does not rise from a vacuum. Like fire, there is something that ignites the flame, and more fire, far from extinguishing it, can only increase its power.
The USA has supported violent dictatorships, death squads and groups it would later call terrorists when it was no longer convenient to support them. It has overthrown democratic governments, funded opposition to popular movements, and tried to prevent organic revolutionary uprisings. Along with other imperialist powers, it has ignited the flames of violence and hatred, and at the very least fanned them. Therefore, judging the conflicts or politics of other nations without looking at the role imperialist forces have played in those nations simply eliminates the possibility of progress towards a world of freedom, justice, and peaceful coexistence.