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  • It's stated that the four nations should be equil, but when you look at the map, the earth kingdom is half the world and the fire nation is only about 1/8. Is that equil?

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    • If one side's plan includes genocide, its probably not the "right" side. Besides, geographic size is not a 1:1 correlation with how powerful a nation is: just look at the USA and Canada.

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    • but what about when sozin just nabbed small parts of the earth kingdom?

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    • Sozin may have had good intentions with "spreading the wealth of the Fire Nation", but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and littered with the bones of the resulting casualties. Invasion is invasion, and Sozin intended to forcibly subjugate sovreign nations for the sake of his own twisted savior complex. Definitely not what I would consider to be on the "right" side.

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    • It's an interesting question. To pharaphrase Winston Churchill, history is written by the winners, because the losers are usually poor and illiterate. Look at the United States, a country whose history is full of genocide, wars of aggression, and interference with weaker sovereign nations. Today, the US associates itself with freedom and democracy and all that good stuff. Had the Fire Nation won the 100 Years War, they would almost certainly have rewritten history along the lines of what we saw in "The Headband," and quite possibly even eventually evolved into some kind of stablerepresentative democracy (assuming that Ozai and Azula would have eventually been thrown out of power). Given the Fire Nation's level of industrialization, living standards and life expectancy were most likely the highest in the world. Then too, consider their primary opponents-the isolated, patriarchal, and technologically backwards Water Tribes and the corrupt and classist Earth Kingdom. Only the Air Nomads could really claim the moral high ground here; in absolute terms, the quality of life might well have been higher in the Fire Nation colonies than the Earth Kingdom. Of course we all agree that genicide is unequivocally wrong and Ozai's plan to destroy the Earth Kingdom was obviously insane, but looking at the Fire Nation as a whole as well as the original justification for the 100 Years War, you might be able to make the case that the Fire Nation simply had the bad luck to go up against the Avatar.

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    • Maybe they should have taken a page from Russia on the matter? If you do it during a time where the Avatar is too young to do anything, you could annex entire areas for passable reasons. All about the timing though.

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    • You're kidding, right? The Fire Nation wasn't interested in equality, they were interested in power. They wiped out an entire nation and then subjugated the people in the areas they conquered. Also, just because something is smaller doesn't mean it's not equal in power.

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    • True, but what the Fire Nation was interested in doesn't necessarily translate to the effects of their actions. Genghis Khan and the Mongols, for instance, raped and slaughtered their way across Asia, but ultimately created a Pax Mongolica that lasted over a hundred years. The only thing the Mongols were interested in was conquest and riches, but that doesn't change the fact that their actions unified Eurasia and ushered in an era of widespread wealth and prosperity. Similarly, the Roman Empire performed numerous atrocities in their conquest western Europe but also created unprecedented living standards in the areas they conquered. Ozai's plan to set fire to the Earth Kingdom notwithstanding, life in the Colonies really doesn't seem like it was all that bad. I'm not trying to say that genocide is ok, just that history is rarely objective when it comes to right and wrong.

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    • 4500X has a point. It also reminds me of an Avatar quote. "Our actions have consequences, but sometimes not for many lifetimes." How many years did it take for people to even recognize that the US has participated in genocide? There wasn't some Messianic figure, disillusioned prince, or ragtag band of heroes that stopped us. Those social inequities still exist today. Similarly, we don't know how the Fire Nation might have changed 50 or so years down the road. Yes, they'd been at war for 100 years, but how long did it take us to address slavery? Women's rights?

      Now, the caveat here is that Azula was next in line & they were about to burn down a huge swath of the country to basically ensure complete domination of most of the world, so there wasn't really much time for the Fire Nation to get its act together.

      As far as the land goes, I think you can definitely make the argument that the Earth Kingdom has way more territory than it needs, & on the other extreme, the Water Tribes have practically nothing. But war is probably not the smart solution to that problem.

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    • well it is a point to think about but when it comes down to it all benders can live anywere in a happy community like aang found out in the swamp it really shouldnt be thought of as differant places any way

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    • Just a point to add about the size of the Earth Kingdom: its listed on this very wiki that the Earth Kingdom is a "confederate monarchy," which is fancy talk for a whole bunch of nations that pay lip service to The Earth King in Ba Sing Se. So while the "Earth Kingdom" looks very impressive on a map, I would imagine that it is politically more akin to Fuedal Europe; everybody does their own thing but remain within the confines of the hierarchy. So while the Fire Nation might look smaller, its probably both more united and more industiralized, making for a more formidable foe than the larger continent. 

      Also, Great Britain was also a small archipelago, yet it managed to create the largest empire in history. Moral of the story; size apparently doesn't matter. 

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    • Yes, Great Britain became a superpower by conquering other nations. That's basically what the OP is pointing out. When you start out with a small territory & your society keeps growing, what else are you going to do?

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    • It has happened quite a number of different times in history. Each time, the respective empire grows until it reaches that peak and then always crumbles into a shell of the former glory. Another kingdom just replaces it. Romans, Persians, Byzantium, Greeks, Franks, Tzarist Russia, Britain, Normans, Mongols, Ottomans, and on.

      With 10,000 of history between Wan and Korra, there could have easily been great cycles of the various elemental kingdoms rising and falling. The URN and separate water tribes also add a new spin on the question.

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    • He could use peacful ways to get it. the map of the world of avatar is nice but it's not fair.

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    • When you think about it, the people of the 4 nations migrated to territories that aided their bending the most. Most of the land is made of Earth which is why the Earth Kingdom has the largest nation. Fire nation lives close to volcanoes and such. The air nomads lived in the sky and on mountains where the winds were most powerful. Water nation lived on land made of water.

      Their seperation is based on the geography of the world. Sozin could have just as easily slowly branched out from the fire nation into parts of the Earth kingdom through negotiations of buying territory or trading goods/services. He was an imperealist who wanted power. So yeah, Fire nation were definitely not on the right side. Neither were the United States. Can't justify genocide.

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    • Korrafan315 wrote:
      It's stated that the four nations should be equil, but when you look at the map, the earth kingdom is half the world and the fire nation is only about 1/8. Is that equil?

      They killed a nation/race dude.

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    • first off. I think the discussion is based on an improper premise. I believe it was previously officially stated that the map we see of the avatar world is curved and therefore not an accurate representation of size. i.e. the fire nation is actually bigger than the map indicates and the earth kingdom is actually smaller. that being said I just realized im responding to a forum that has been inactive for almost 2 years. ill leave it up for hilarity. :)

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    • Rean411 wrote:
      first off. I think the discussion is based on an improper premise. I believe it was previously officially stated that the map we see of the avatar world is curved and therefore not an accurate representation of size.

      And this was confirmed by whom?

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    • thus the use of the words. "I think". if I knew where I got it I would have had a link and a bunch of other information.

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    • Rean411 wrote:
      thus the use of the words. "I think". if I knew where I got it I would have had a link and a bunch of other information.

      Alright, so you're confirming your theory is a headcanon. It wouldn't kill you to be more clear next time. Anyways, I don't really get what you meant by "the Avatar world is curved"? 

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    • my apologies for being touchy. I meant the map we see is curved in such a way that it distorts how we see the nations. if I can find information converting my "Headcanon" to real cannon I will post it. until then good day to you.

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    • heres where I got it from. http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Map_of_the_World_of_Avatar

      whether this makes it cannon or not I don't know but check the trivia section.

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    • Rean411 wrote:
      heres where I got it from. http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Map_of_the_World_of_Avatar

      whether this makes it cannon or not I don't know but check the trivia section.

      Oh, that's much better. I don't think I see anything that says the Earth Kingdom's territory is more different than it appears, though. Just that the Fire Nation is larger and the Water Tribes are smaller than the map shows.

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    • He is likely referring to the Earth shown from space, in which indeed the sizes on maps were shown to be somewhat distorted. The Fire Nation isles are indeed much larger (relatively)  IRAL (in real Avatar life) than shown on the map.

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    • actually darknet got it right. I just messed up earth for water since it had been so long since I read it.

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    • You don't get to commit genocide and be on the right side of anything.

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    • Given their entire global empire was predicated on the premeditated genocide of a nation of people? No. 

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    • The Fire Nation exterminated the Air Nomads, erased huge chunks of their own culture, killed off the dragons, drove the Southern Tribe to the brink of extinction, made waterbending and earthbending illegal in their territories, destroyed the Moon, almost burned down the entire Earth Kingdom and devastated the physical and spiritual balance of the world. Sozin might have had benevolent intentions at the start, but it became imperialist and racist as it went on. It still has a long way to go before the world forgives it entirely.

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    • JediMasterSam wrote:
      The Fire Nation exterminated the Air Nomads, erased huge chunks of their own culture, killed off the dragons, drove the Southern Tribe to the brink of extinction, made waterbending and earthbending illegal in their territories, destroyed the Moon, almost burned down the entire Earth Kingdom and devastated the physical and spiritual balance of the world. Sozin might have had benevolent intentions at the start, but it became imperialist and racist as it went on. It still has a long way to go before the world forgives it entirely.

      Sozin had no benevolent intentions. All he wanted was conquest and power. He said he wanted to spread the greatness of their golden age but he truly wanted world domination.

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    • In the real world?  People who go around planting their flags on other people's territory tend to have some paternalistic notion that they're doing the locals a favor by bringing "civilization" or whatever.  It's a rationalization, and a bullshit one, true; but it's more likely to be in play than not.

      In other words: no, he didn't mean well.  But, disturbingly enough: it's entirely possible that, up to a point, he sincerely believed that he did.

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    • This is something I've always considered. As awful as the war was, a Fire Nation victory over the world might have actually been more beneficial in the long run. I mean sure a lot of people died and would have continued to die and many more would have been forced into bondage or suffered in other terriby ways. But a one world empire united under a single banner with a common culture and identity could have ensured peace for future generations thereafter.

      When you look what took place decades after. We had the Equalists trying to rid the world of all benders, we had a Water Tribe civil war with the ruler of the Water Tribes being just as tyrannical and oppresive as the Fire Lords, an Earth Kingdom who's citizens lived in poverty and repression due to their dispotic queen's extreme extravagence, which eventually lead to said queen being assassinated and the kingdom falling into chaos only to be reunited under a even worse tyrant who like the Fire Nation tried to subjugate the world by force and this time with a WMD.

      Now maybe I'm being really optimistic here but I feel that under the rule of the Pheonix Kings a lot of these problems could have been butterflied away. Sure countless would have died and a lot of people around the world would have initially suffered. But all of that could have resulted in peace and prosperity for billions overtime.

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    • That's not generally how it works, & also you'd just be replacing old problems with new ones: Ozai's solution would probably be to kill the Equalists instead of advancing nonbender rights, the Water Tribe would still "civil war" in that they'd be fighting against the new Empire, the Earth Kingdom would still be repressed by the Fire Nation, & it's pretty much mathematically infeasible for them to control the whole world since the Earth Kingdom alone is so much larger than they are so eventually part of the Empire would fall & lead to factionalism.

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    • Korrafan315 wrote:
      It's stated that the four nations should be equil, but when you look at the map, the earth kingdom is half the world and the fire nation is only about 1/8. Is that equil?

      1. Size isn't everything.

      2. Earth Kingdom seems to be the country with the largest focus on expansion and economy, war-era Fire Nation aside. The air nomads were happy in their temples and the water tribes were happy on the poles (Do prom-nights in the water-tribe include poledancing?), because they were not so focused on being a big, powerfull nation.

      3. The Fire Nation was fascist and wanted to kill lots of innocent people, so they defintely weren't right.

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      That's not generally how it works, & also you'd just be replacing old problems with new ones: Ozai's solution would probably be to kill the Equalists instead of advancing nonbender rights, the Water Tribe would still "civil war" in that they'd be fighting against the new Empire, the Earth Kingdom would still be repressed by the Fire Nation, & it's pretty much mathematically infeasible for them to control the whole world since the Earth Kingdom alone is so much larger than they are so eventually part of the Empire would fall & lead to factionalism.

      I'm not saying there wouldn't have been problems but I don't think things would have been as bad as you make them out to be. I'm not sure if the Equalist movement would have even taken root given how Republic City would not exist. If any such 'anti bender' movement sprung up it would be against firebenders since they would be shown greater favoritism than the other elemental diciplines. But like you said the Fire Nation would have being more decisive in cracking down on them which I don't think would be a bad thing since they were a terrorist movement and a very violent one at that. Bending had always been a fact of life in this world. Its wasn't until a single state was created with a melting pot of different bending people living together and all of whom were given preferrential treatment over non-benders that it became an issue.

      Now I don't doubt that for a long time there would be a lot of rebellions against Fire Nation rule from the occupied peoples. But I feel that while initially like all empires there would have been initial stages of oppression towards the conquered people but overtime things would have gotten better for those people as they would have integrated into the Fire Nation state. Just look at Yu Dao. It was one of the first places to be conquered by the Fire Nation and over time it became a thriving community with a blend of both Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom cultures. Its Earth Kingdom citizens were also quite loyal to the Fire Nation and some even intermarried as evidence from the magistrate and his family.

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    • QueenCeline wrote:
      You're kidding, right? The Fire Nation wasn't interested in equality, they were interested in power. They wiped out an entire nation and then subjugated the people in the areas they conquered. Also, just because something is smaller doesn't mean it's not equal in power.

      Sozin believed that the fire nation was the greatest nation and he wanted to spread those morals with others. While I do not agree with that it is still not entirely wrong.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      If one side's plan includes genocide, its probably not the "right" side. Besides, geographic size is not a 1:1 correlation with how powerful a nation is: just look at the USA and Canada.

      The only reason there was a genocide is because Sozin wanted to kill whoever Roku's reincarnation was

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    • Cool motive.  Still genocide.

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    • Kimathite wrote:
      QueenCeline wrote:
      You're kidding, right? The Fire Nation wasn't interested in equality, they were interested in power. They wiped out an entire nation and then subjugated the people in the areas they conquered. Also, just because something is smaller doesn't mean it's not equal in power.
      Sozin believed that the fire nation was the greatest nation and he wanted to spread those morals with others. While I do not agree with that it is still not entirely wrong.

      Because if forcing your culture and beliefs on others is definitely a nice gesture that should always be appreciated.

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    • Kimathite wrote:
      The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      If one side's plan includes genocide, its probably not the "right" side. Besides, geographic size is not a 1:1 correlation with how powerful a nation is: just look at the USA and Canada.
      The only reason there was a genocide is because Sozin wanted to kill whoever Roku's reincarnation was


      Why, what a nice person, he only murdered an entire civilisation because his enemy belonged to them!

      Dude, I get your point. Sozin thought he was doing the world a service, in his weird, twisted way. And maybe the Fire Nation is a great place that would align with our morals, more so than the over cultures of the Avatar-Universe.

      Thing is, there are very few evil people that actually wanted to do evil. 9 out of 10 dictators thought they were doing the right thing. Religious nutjobs that send their gay kids to biblecamps to "cure" them, which means psychological torture, think they are saving their kids from hell. Killers that hear voices inside their heads think they are doing people a favour by murdering them, or that the voices will be so pleased they won't attack their loved ones, or whatever. The point is: Little to none of all the villains of our world wanted to be villains and some might not even understand that we consider them villains.

      Having good intentions doesn't make you a good person, it doesn't justify your actions, either.

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    • So Fire Lord Sozin wanted to conquer the entire world in order to "share with the world" the greatness of the Fire Nation. That's nice, except the first thing he did once Roku was dead was to commit GENOCIDE on the grandest possible scale. Sozin succeeded in exterminating the entire population (with only one survivor due to highly unusual circumstances) of one of only four nations in the world. Hell no, he was not in the right on any level.

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    • My point exactly.

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    • Korrafan315 wrote:
      It's stated that the four nations should be equil, but when you look at the map, the earth kingdom is half the world and the fire nation is only about 1/8. Is that equil?

      Who says the nations have to be equal? It was only said "in balance". You can reach a state of equilibrium, i.e. balance, with forces of different strengths. And in any case, no country has some "right" to greatness. Germany is larger than Belgium; that wouldn't give Belgium a right to attack and conquer German territories. You're being absurd.

      As for the FN propaganda... seeing as the EK is clearly based on China, one can take the FN to be Japan and their propaganda to be the same crap as Japan's "Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere" talk before and during WW2. It's indeed just propaganda,nothing more.

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    • I would totally appreciate the irony if we got invaded by Belgians.

      By the way, in the German version they are said to be in "harmony", which really doesn't require equal political strenght. Unless the weaker nations have oil or something, but let's not go there.

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    • I suppose, to make the irony perfect, we would just be the Belgians' marching road to attack the Netherlands from behind :P

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    • Of course, it would still be wrong. But hillarious. But wrong. Merkel would make a very grumpy face and declare she doesn't exactly like having her country taken over.

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    • In the original pilot it was mentioned in the commentary that the Fire Nation reason for waging war was similar to Japan's during WWII. Which is their nation having industrialized so much and I'm assuming one result of this is their population exploding beyond what their economy could handle drove them into a need for greater resources to sustain their empire, hence why they began invading the other nations. I don't know how much of this is still considered canon but when you consider how massive the Fire Nation war machine was when they started the war and how much it grew within a hundred years, I think one can appreciate the fact that the Fire Nation out of necessity had to expand their empire or crumble under their own weight.

      From the Fire Nation's perspective I think it was in their nation's interest to go on a war for global conquest. Because for them war meant more territory for their people to colonize, more resources for them to exploit and a way for young men and women who had nothing better to do to bring greater preeminence to their country.

      Was the war awful? Yes for those who were on the receiving end of it, it was. But while people from the other nations did suffer from Fire Nation aggression, one would have to consider that if they didn't go to war it would be the Fire Nation's people who would have suffered. If the Fire Nation was an allegory for Japan's industrial growth during the 19th and early 20th century then one can understand that the Fire Nation's motivation for war went beyond just one man's ambitions. 

      Japan's population at the turn of the century had grown so large due in large part to industrialization and the importation of Western medicines. As a result they hardly had enough food in the mainlands to feed their entire population and large pockets of their society began starving. Compared to Japan the Fire Nation don't seem to have as much land reserved for agriculture due to their country being mostly mountainous and had to rely more on raising cattle and fishing. I doubt you can sustain a large population with such meager sources of food overtime and although they could have imported food elsewhere it was just easier and more reliable to go to war.

      Overall I think the Fire Nation was fighting for what was best for their people and not for the world. I know that may sound selfish but that is essentially how the world works. Humans mostly only look out for the collective they are apart of even to the detriment of other groups that are foreign to them.

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    • If the USA started invading all other American countries in the name of freedom while commiting genocide and forced labor they wouldn't be right.

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    • Barbiquearea wrote: In the original pilot it was mentioned in the commentary that the Fire Nation reason for waging war was similar to Japan's during WWII. Which is their nation having industrialized so much and I'm assuming one result of this is their population exploding beyond what their economy could handle drove them into a need for greater resources to sustain their empire, hence why they began invading the other nations. I don't know how much of this is still considered canon but when you consider how massive the Fire Nation war machine was when they started the war and how much it grew within a hundred years, I think one can appreciate the fact that the Fire Nation out of necessity had to expand their empire or crumble under their own weight.

      From the Fire Nation's perspective I think it was in their nation's interest to go on a war for global conquest. Because for them war meant more territory for their people to colonize, more resources for them to exploit and a way for young men and women who had nothing better to do to bring greater preeminence to their country.

      Was the war awful? Yes for those who were on the receiving end of it, it was. But while people from the other nations did suffer from Fire Nation aggression, one would have to consider that if they didn't go to war it would be the Fire Nation's people who would have suffered. If the Fire Nation was an allegory for Japan's industrial growth during the 19th and early 20th century then one can understand that the Fire Nation's motivation for war went beyond just one man's ambitions. 

      Japan's population at the turn of the century had grown so large due in large part to industrialization and the importation of Western medicines. As a result they hardly had enough food in the mainlands to feed their entire population and large pockets of their society began starving. Compared to Japan the Fire Nation don't seem to have as much land reserved for agriculture due to their country being mostly mountainous and had to rely more on raising cattle and fishing. I doubt you can sustain a large population with such meager sources of food overtime and although they could have imported food elsewhere it was just easier and more reliable to go to war.

      Overall I think the Fire Nation was fighting for what was best for their people and not for the world. I know that may sound selfish but that is essentially how the world works. Humans mostly only look out for the collective they are apart of even to the detriment of other groups that are foreign to them.

      Except that the Fire Nation absolutely didn't have the same population and/or resource problems that Japan did, so you're still making an apology for a nation's reason for war simply being "We want to, we can and there's no Avatar to stop us" so it's like arguing the Galactic Empire's anti-human policies are justifiable when the Lucas wrote them explicitly as Space!Nazis.

      And second only to anti-Korrasami claims does it bother me that people are still on this both during the show's run and in the comics (ex. the proto-Republic City having the exact same problems with colonialism right down to the racial hierarchy) with "Turf Wars" going (eye-rollingly) further in adding "homophobe because reasons" to Sozin's list of villainy that he made homosexuality an arrestable offense when the FN "used to be as welcoming as the Air Nation" yet I get the feeling that he could be shown killing a temple full of baby air bison and laughing like a madman while doing it and people would still be like, "Well, maybe the FN needs the pelts for winter..."

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