A common thread in postwar histories of WW2 was one that liked to paint Adolf Hitler as increasingly unhinged and detached from reality towards the end of the Third Reich. We were told stories of how he liked to indulge himself in flights of fancy, surveying architectural models of a new Berlin, one that was to be built after Germany won the war, despite the Allies already closing in on both sides. Delusions of future grandeur, while everything was collapsing all around him. A case of “cope”?
The feel of omnipotence after a string of great successes can often lead one to think of themselves as permanent victors, incapable of defeat. This enters the realm of delusion when the facts on the ground run counter to the perception of victory. This is the real estate currently occupied by a large segment of the US foreign policy community.
Yesterday, I was alerted to this “online briefing” that took place earlier today: