This was brought to my attention by the editors of the London Review of Books. It concerns something written by the influential mid-century theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who as every mid-Illinoisan should know was raised and partly schooled up in Lincoln.
The concluding sentence of Niebuhr's The Irony of American History (1952) says this:
If we should perish, the ruthlessness of the foe would be only the secondary cause of the disaster. The primary cause would be that the strength of a giant nation was directed by eyes too blind to see all the hazards of the struggle; and the blindness would be induced not by some accident of nature or history but by hatred and vainglory.