JMHO, but if we could tame down the identity/culture/upbringing and focus on the one thing that unites us all -- that we're human beings -- there would be a lot less turning on, killing, maiming and stealing. It's not a very popular view, though, because we all like feeling that we're special because we belong to a certain group.
You make a fine point here, Karen, and one that more people should/could embrace... that we're all human beings and therefore we should care about one another. However, my view of patriotism, looking out for your countrymen/women, is not one that's confined by national borders. That should be a given, but it should extend also to other peoples of other nationalities, simply because they are human beings with the same basic needs as everyone else.
Besides, what is nationalism/patriotism these days anyhow?? With globalisation and migration, many countries have multi-cultural populations these days... migrants who integrate well and who are proud to call their new countries home. There is nothing wrong with being proud of one's national identity or heritage, however, it helps to define us, and there is nothing wrong with belonging to a particular group, providing that group is not exclusive of or detrimental towards others.