This has been quite an interesting thread to follow.
"...and values, are neither good or bad, but rather shared or not..."
I think this expresses one of the great problems we are facing today, relativism. The Taliban's values included such things as:
1. Women should not go to school.
2. Women should not work.
3. Women can only go to female doctors (see points 1 and 2.)
The Ku Klax Klan have interesting values concerning non-whites.
The Nazi's had some values concerning how Jews should be treated.
How about genital mutilation, is that value neither good nor bad, just a society's values that must be respected.
The list could go on and on (and unfortunately does).
"North American and Europeans are aware, and distressed by the fire bombing and fire storm at Dresden.. and but are unaware the same was done to Tokyo.. atrocities occured on both sides. "
True. However, sometimes the means do justify the ends. Sometimes when people are fighting to survive, they lose interest in the rules. When you are watching 10's of thousands of your people being killed you are more concerned with saving them than saving the enemy.
A moral question: What if the Allies had an atomic bomb in 1939. Would incinerating Berlin in order to stop Hitler have been justified. Would saving 30 or 40 million lives have been worth a few hundred thousand Berliners? As a guess I would say the answer of Yugoslavian who had most of his relatives slaughtered, or a Polish Jew, would be, for the most part, quite different from that of a Canadian or American.
A somewhat tangential rant about values: There seems to be a fear of judging anyone today. I get sick of hearing, "he (or she) is really a good person, they just did something bad." Imagine how much less crime there would if "good people" stopped committing them.