What if when the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked, the United States had had leaders like the ones that built the post-World War II world order?
Those guys weren’t angels: they got the Cold War going, and they set the American empire on its global course. But they weren’t stupid.
Even at a time when, unlike now, the American economy was unrivaled and booming and the rest of the world was in shambles, they had the good sense not to overreach. They were aware of the limits of American power.
If we had had leaders of that caliber in 2001, would they have stoked up the spirit of revenge after 9/11 in order to reshape the Greater Middle East, a part of the world that they barely understood? Would they have started never-ending wars that create the conditions for more never-ending wars?