Originally Posted by jmc
As has been pointed out a billion times Gotham was at peace time. For the best part of 8 years. They very goal they were striving for actually happened - without them having to destroy the city. And yet they decided to do it anyway for....... what exactly? The motivations were poor and in most cases a direct contradiction to what happened previously, and as Spider-fan rightfully points out, badly executed.
And as pointed out a billion times by the other side of the argument, the LOS was about "restoring balance" when civilizations became too decadent. And had attacked Gotham economically 20 years prior to the events of Batman Begins. Nowhere in Batman Begins did I ever get the impression that the League would simply back down if Gotham got "saved" another way. No, they wanted to raze it to the ground and send the rest of the world a message.
Look, it's fine if you or anyone don't like this motivation or you didn't want the LOS to return. I just don't agree with this notion that it's impossible to understand and makes no sense. It makes plenty of sense if you think about what the LOS truly stands for. What makes no sense is expecting a radical terrorist organization to back down when the western world is able to suppress their problems in their own way. Terrorists are not that cuddly and reasonable. Locking up criminals does not eliminate the greed so deeply rooted in that society that leads to their existence (hence the film focusing more on white collar side villains and class tension). They had Gotham selected because it was "the world's greatest city". It's a very global ideal they have. Just because Gotham locked up its mobsters doesn't mean the world was any more balanced. The LOS, both in the films and in the comics essentially want to reboot society. Everything they did in TDKR reflected this ideal. It's never monologued away in the film, but it's very much present.
I like the way Alexei said it though, they're attacking America for being America.