Carol C. and artbrooks: THANks for the references. It's the most persuasive point I can think of to say the War was pointless. It's one thing that we are now allies of the Germans and Japanese, after having defeated them, occupied them and remade their political structure (in the case of Japan, also their society). It's quite another to be buddies with someone who was supposed to be the great Satan, just 35 yrs. ago, who defeated us.
A good thing we occupied Germany and Japan, and changed them. Not a real good precedent, though.