In studying world history, nationalism seems to always end in disaster. When you consider the motives for World War I, Serbian nationalism was a major factor in the start of this deadly conflict. Nationalism was also a strong determinant in the decision by European powers to colonize Africa, which was disastrous to the African people. In the United States, the jingoism that followed the terrorist attacks in 2001 led the United States down a harmful path. It ultimately led to the suspension of important civil liberties and towards involvement in two wars in the Middle East. The problem with nationalism is that it naturally leads to actions that benefit one's own country, with often detrimental effects on other people or countries. These negative aspects of nationalism support the quote.
While nationalism has its own assortment of problems, it can, in fact, act as a positive force. Nationalism has been a key factor in almost every drive for independence over a colonial power. This is true of American independence, as well as independence movements in Latin America and Africa. Nationalism is also utilized for peaceful means between countries. This is especially true in the world of science and space exploration. Countries pursuing the quest for space in the name of nationalism had a truly beneficial effect on the world at large. Patriotism in the pursuit of strong economies also can benefit the way of life of people within the realm while not necessarily doing harm to others. These are some potential arguments that can be used against the idea of nationalism leading to distress.