That we think a dictator is acting stupidly, or that history will agree some day that a dictator was acting stupidly, means neither that he believes he is or that he cares, or that in the here and now such perceptions matters much. The Poles of Warsaw or the Jews of Kraków did not care much in 1939 that Hitler’s invasion was really stupid for Germany’s long-term interest and would soon eventually be proven so.
Stupid is thinking otherwise.
VDH is a historian, so he should realize what a load of hooey he just spouted. “Stupid” and “smart” are always determined on the stage of history by victory or defeat. Germany came within a hair of defeating the gathered might of the West. Had they done so, some current Victor David von Hansen would be writing about how “imbecilic” it was for America to go to war against Germany.