This chapter discusses both imagined and real, between the 1991 Persian Gulf international crisis and the dawning of a New World Order (NWO) as proclaimed in September 1990 by the Bush administration. It argues that the idea of a NWO was entirely incapable of contributing in substance toward resolving the crisis in any practical and political sense. The president's own thinking about the nature of future world politics evolved over the seven crisis months from September 1990 to March 1991. Looking more closely at the crisis behavior of the United States and other leading actors, it is clear that realpolitik rather than any new morality or new thinking determined their policy choices, beginning with the formation of the anti-Iraq coalition. Vocal domestic critics dismissed the initiative as a cheap exercise in public relations, and the NWO slogan as devoid of meaning.