Henry Kissinger (still keeping the faith of cynicism) tries to defend the Bush doctrine of preventive war with the “what if Hitler had been stopped” trope:
Had Churchill’s early warning been heeded, the Nazi plague could have been destroyed at relatively little cost. A decade later, tens of millions of dead paid the price for the quest for certainty.
If France and Britain had wanted to fight Hitler before they actually did, they would not have needed any dubious theory of pre-emption or prevention. They only needed to stick by their treaty commitments: just for starters, Article 10 of the Covenant of the League of Nations and the 1924 and 1935 Czechoslovak treaties with France. Hitler’s ostentatious scrapping of the armaments restrictions in the Versailles Treaty, the Anschluss, and the reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1936 could have been casus belli [mistake in Latin grammar fixed] by themselves. He wasn’t some possible future threat to international security but a serial violator of it, practically from the word go.