They could still have done that:
It is a time of civil war... Rebel spaceships strike from a hidden base... meanwhile, on the Enterprise, Captain Picard is wearing a funny hat.
Wasn't there some implication that those funny hat guys at the very start of the movie were supposed to be potential allies in the dominion conflict, which is why the Federation was courting them? I wonder what they
were going to bring to the table in the war?