Surely, people in the US do know that they are not the whole world?

Judging from the WU immediately following yours, possibly not...

Cid: The big corporations, as they really are multinationals, are not the problem. And arbitrary political boundaries are no better or worse than any other arbitrary boudaries.

Like phone area codes and postcodes, the country domain suffixes are there for a reason - there simply aren't enough words in the OED to sustain the current rate of DNS abuse out there. The whole *.com, *.net etc. phenomenon isn't helping, and is completely unjustifiable unless one assumes (like you do) that Americans are lazy and have bad memories, or (like K9) that they have an inflated idea of their own importance.