I don't think it has anything to do with nationalism. Just as it doesn't have anything to do with your utter and complete contempt for the US.
Which raises the question why is there such universal contempt for us? What have we done that has made us lose our almost universal love and respect?
The US falling at some point in the relatively not far off future wouldn't be unheard of.
In the 6 party talks with North Korea, recently for the first time the US doesn't hold the most power. The way is has worked is China would put forward a proposal, and typically the US rejected it. Recently China put forward a proposal (one similar to the one that President Clinton put forward at one point), and we rejected it. Then China said it was the last proposal, and we could either take it or leave it. And so we took it.
Now if you think about this beyond face value, what's happened is our declining support throughout the world has led us to the point where China could bully us into supporting a proposal that we did not support based solely on the merit of the proposal. Our unquestioned power over China is no longer unquestioned.
China has a larger army, and it won't be long till they have a more powerful army. And it won't be relatively long until they have a more powerful economy, and our $140 billion trade defecit with them ALONE is definately helping their cause.
The thing is they know we couldn't take on the whole world without killing ourselves too, and it's pretty much universal consensus that we're not crazy enough to end human life as we know it. So thus, because of MAD (mutually assured destruction) our nukes are for all practical purposes nonpoints, and thus we have to consider the other aspects of our military, which don't even compare to China's, let alone the rest of the world.
So without wholeheartedly supportive allies, we cannot maintain our power, and that support is something that has been taken for granted as of late.
To answer the original question though. I think there are a number of differences between the US and those that you mentioned. The US is not looking to expand it's territory or land rights accross the globe. Contrary to what some people will say. Having a millitary base does not constitute possesion or occupation in other nations. We don't make the right choices or decisions all the time. I don't think you will fiind anyone on this board that thinks the US has been perfect in it's foreign policy. But I think we as a nation are aimed more towards allowing or helping others to guide themselves, as oppossed to occupying and conquering nations for expansion. The same people that despise the US such as Timmy, will always despise it. They will always look to it's faults and misteps, as posed to anything good that may come from our actions.
I agree, except for the last part. There are some people that will despise us regardless, and thus there's no point in trying to get them to like us. But then there are allies who 30 or 40 years ago would've gone with us wherever who didn't get behind us for Iraq. Keep in mind that traditionally Europe has been an undying ally (namely because we keep saving their asses), and now there we have England (although domestically their support of the US seems to be very unpopular), and some support from Spain and Italy (I think), and worldwide the only nation that will support us to the end of the earth is a nation with no real military to speak of, Japan.