Can you image say Shikamaru running Konoha from the shadows and doing terrible things under Rokudaime Naruto? Of course it wouldn't happen because unlike Danzou with Hiruzen, Naruto already converted Shikamaru to his belief system and they are best friends. But even if he did not, Naruto would stop it.
Danzou didn't inform Tsunade when he sent Sai off on his mission of treason, and also not when he killed the frog that was supposed to summon Naruto back, or that he was in cahoots with the guy who had just killed the Hokage, or that he was planning on assassinating Anko so why, in view of his very consistent self interested and insouciant attitude toward the village and it's leaders, would we assume that he actually went out of his way to warn Sarutobi that he was actively involved in orchestrating a genocide? If somebody told Sarutobi, it would have probably been Itachi, a guy who actually did love the village.
That's the story with Danzou. Like Sai's sempai said, it's the view in root that Danzou is the man who would one day secure the future of Konoha. His people are wholly invested in making that happen. That's why Danzou has root. He wants to be in charge and nobody has any value to him beyond making that happen.
Kishi made this crystal clear. Not even in his flashback when he died did he express any love for the village or it's people. Just regret that he didn't rule it and some overblown evaluation of how important root was.
I honestly don't get this. Danzou demonstrated time and time again, going back to his flashback, that he was just a coward with a god complex. Even at the end when he was about to be killed for the final time by Sasuke, it never occurred to him to sacrifice himself for the sake of the village. He was still thinking how he couldn't die because in his mind, his existence is much more important than Konoha.
And as far as we know it, given his behavior, the Raikage could have been right and Danzou could have been involved with Oro in that plot that killed Sarutobi. Like every time the village was attacked, he was completely absent again when that happened. Konohamaru has spent more time defending the village from attack than Danzou has.
He didn't inform Tsunade of Sai's mission due to the fact that she was one of the foolish people trying to allow Sasuke to return back to the village. And killing the toad was done because she wouldn't listen to reason. I mean, the Elders gave a reasonable explanation as to why they shouldn't call Naruto back, but Tsunade ignore them and was willing to risk everything all over blind faith. He really didn't have any reason to bring up his past actions with Orochimaru or plans towards Anko given the situation. Anyway, We know he had to have told Sarutobi because Sarutobi was given a time limit in which to appeal and negotiate with the Uchihas.
I wouldn't say he was a coward with a god complex. In the flashback, he knew what was needed to be done, he just couldn't pull himself to do it as fast as Sarutobi did. It was more Sarutobi being more heroic then him and the others being a coward. And he did attempt to take both Sasuke and Tobi down in the end with the reverse Trigram, along with crushing Shisui's eye just in case. As for being in on Orochimaru's plan, the question then becomes that if he was in on it, why didn't he take advantage of it? Why didn't he use that opportunity to become Hokage? Seems strange he would assist and not gain anything out of it. Plus, if he simply wanted Konpoha destroyed, he could have simply allowed the Uchiha's to go through with their coup years before. While Danzo tends to use underhanded methods, you can't deny that his opinion towards Sasuke and the needed state of the villages aren't quite unreasonable.
There was nothing foolish about trying to bring Sasuke back at the time Danzou decided to instead, trade the dossier of all the Konoha Anbu to Oro for a crack at Sasuke. At that point he was still a missing nin but not an international criminal. There is also nothing wrong, in the face of complete annihilation, with calling in every powerful fighter you have. And clearly he not only hid his association with Oro, but was planning to kill good Konoha shinobi to keep it a secret because his behavior was indefensible and treasonous. But most importantly, Danzou wasn't Hokage and he doesn't get to make decisions for the village. And they were always bad self interested decisions. If Naruto hadn't come back, Tsunade would have died.
Like I said before, Danzou never planned on dieing in the fight with Sasuke. How do I know that? Well, he said so. The seal was set to go off with the advent of his death. Until the very end he was planning on living, which also speaks to his arrogance.
The flash back showed what sent Danzou off on this parallel quest for power. He couldn't satisfy the requirements for being a will of fire type ninja because unlike all the rookies, he never crossed his own dangerous bridge. He could never actually put the village before himself. He was anguished over his own cowardice, not disappointed that Sarutobi beat him to the punch.
I wasn't suggesting that he wanted the village destroyed. He wanted to rule it and use it to shackle the rest of the ninja world beneath him. And lastly, I don't know exactly what Danzou, the great hero, who was willfully complicit in at least one genocide and harvested the eyes of the freshly killed to augment his own power, could have gotten from helping Oro clear the way for him to become Hokage and not take advantage. But given his history, it's as likely he was involved as it is that he wasn't.
Konoha knew Root existed because Itachi was a double agent and though Hiruzen had no alternative but to allow for the extermination of the Uchiha, he did promise Itachi to take are of Sasuke. So Hiruzen knew Root existed and that Danzou was in charge of it.
Jiraiya wasn't incompetent and he warned Tsunade about Root before he left to attack Akatsuki. So he obviously knew of them and their intentions.
As for Naruto being outcast and led on a path of hatred, Hiruzen knew what he was doing and allowed him to enter the ninja academy. He was orphaned but who took care of him? Hiruzen always kept an eye on him with his crystal ball. If Naruto was babied since the beginning, he would've been a pansy and not very shinobi at all. He was also given Kakashi as a teacher, someone who would take care of him because Naruto's dad was Kakashi's teacher.
Which brings me to Kakashi. Kakashi only failed in keeping Sasuke in the village and not realizing how intense his hatred for Itachi was. Sasuke was doing great getting along with his fellow Leaf shinobi. He's said it himself. He said that being happy in Konoha made him weak.
As for leaving Orochimaru alive, that was Hiruzen's only weak spot because he had the chance to kill him but didn't. So, as for Danzou being able to do the dirty work, Danzou would've made quick work of Orochimaru for being a threat to the village. Why didn't Danzou eliminate Orochimaru? Personal interest. People are claiming Danzou to have Konoha's true interests at heart. Bullshit. Danzou had his own interests at heart. He permitted the Sand invasion and did nothing in the Pain invasion. Why? With Hiruzen out of the way he could try to become Hokage. That backfired on him because Jiraiya came to save the day and was asked to be Hokage. Had he done anything about it, he would've become Hokage. As for the Akatsuki invasion, he did nothing about it and would have succeeded had he not died against Sasuke. If he truly had Konoha's interests at heart, he would've eliminated Orochimaru the moment he learned he was in the village during the Chuunin exam. He would've helped stop Pain. If he really cared about Konoha he would've stayed in Root and helped Konoha instead of wanting to be Hokage. Thanks to him, thousands of Leaf villagers and ninja have died for no other reason than to further his lust for power.
As for the alleged crappiness, Hashirama literally created the Leaf from the best two clans of ninja in the world. He gave bijuu to everyone to balance power (he probably forsaw other Hokage use them to rule the other villages). Tobirama sensed tension in the Uchiha after the Madara incident and made them into the police force, which is supposed to be the most trusted position to keep the peace and law in effect.
As for Kushina being kidnapped, everyone was sent to save her but only Minato succeeded. That doesn't mean that Hiruzen wasn't doing his job. As for the Hyuuga giving a corpse to the Cloud, Hiruzen said it was to avoid war with a village boasting the strongest military force of the 5, it was most likely Hizashi's wish to die so Hiruzen complied. Hizashi even told Hiashi that it was his wish to die to save the village.
And considering Yagura ruled Kirigakure for years before being discovered, Danzo using Kotoamatsukami to quickly get rid of Sarutobi by suicide or simply stepping down wouln't have had the same issue. Even if Danzo didn't want to directly rule, he could have easily chosen a Root member to become a "puppet Hokage" in his place.
Logically he wouldn't have to worry much about those things because of how unlikely it would be for them to use their abilities upon the Hokage without reason. That's why Yagura was able to rule for so long, because it took awhile or people to suspect something was up and get to the point of investigating him. I doubt he though Sarutobi was too strong given his attitude towards him and Danzo being controlled is unlikely considering all that he was allow to do, like keeping Root around even though it was suppose to be disbanded.
For once, i have nothing to say in defence of Konoha. They have been boasted to apparently be the greatest, yet they cower in fear against other nations. They are careless when it comes to bloodlines and only rely on a select few. And its quiet surprising that they did indeed leave two of the now most powerful rookies and arguarbly Shinobi to fend for themselves. I know i argued and still stand by the principle that Sasuke was not much of a threat and never needed any care, but they did honestly handle him terribly. I mean sending rookies to retrieve him? Seriously?
Looking at the power scales of the rookies for example, they are soo messed up and far behind both Naruto and Sasuke that its not funny. They are essentially non factors if they were the ones defending Konoha if Sasuke invaded. And it seems like the Manga is nearing its climax.
Hiruzen was too much of a pacifist, I know he preached about the Will of Fire but seriously, bending over every moment someone screwed Konoha? He was the goddamn God of Shinobi.
Same for the Naruto/Sasuke issue, I'm not talking about making them as weapons, but hell developing all the raw potential those two had, one as an Uchiha, the other as the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki.
Now they use the "prodigy like no others" of the Hyuuga clan as comic relief. Neji. The one that, according to Kakashi, would've mopped the floor with Sasuke. Comic relief. And now Sasuke is an international threat.
Konoha and the whole Ninja system is messed up. The 1st Hokage didn't have to deal with Danzo so its not his fault. The 2nd Hokage was a jerk and the 3rd was weak and cared to much about his old friendship with Danzo to fully stop him. The 4th maybe would have handled Danzo better. In all, all of the countries are authoritarian governments and will do anything to keep stability or a hold over the other nations and/or countries. What they don't realize is that if they had a democracy and drew a line in what would be going to far to keep peace their world wouldn't be as violent and such ruthlessness wouldn't be necessary, also if they tried to work together and take diplomacy seriously and not have power through bruit force their world would be better. I like the Uchiha clan and what Danzo the 3rd and Itachi did to them was wrong and could have been handled much better. Again if both sides were use to handling serious situations with out force things could have been better and I highly doubt that all the Uchiha wanted to take over the village and all of the kids should have been spared, as if a 10yr old cares or knows about political things. In my opinion Danzo was a old fart and I appalled Sasuke for killing him, maybe those elders should be killed to. Maybe the Uchiha would be alive if the 4th was ruling. But yes Naruto's Generation has a heart and they use their own brains instead of following what some old guy wrote centuries ago(The Ninja Code). Naruto will bring not only peace but justice to the village and only through true and pure justice will lasting peace ensue. Something that the likes of Danzo, Itachi, and the elders should have learned. lords decides who the join(not all adults) can vote for to become Hokage. They have all the power.