This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
President Obama’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly last Wednesday was commonly received as a repudiation of the go-it-alone foreign policy associated with George W. Bush.
But there was a scolding embedded in Obama’s remarks that bears directly on Iran’s outlaw nuclear program:
“Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world’s problems alone. We have sought – in word and deed – a new era of engagement with the world. And now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”
In other words, the alternative to unilateral American action against potential nuclear terrorism cannot be no action at all. Given that choice, Obama – or his successor – will ultimately act in America’s interests. Bank on it: That’s what presidents do.
In this case, the United States and humanity in general share a compelling interest in keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of a radical regime committed to intimidating Arab governments and destroying Israel.
Israel’s own nuclear arsenal is one of the harrowing realities at the core of this dispute. Iran’s ostentatious test-firing this week of missiles capable of hitting Israel is a reminder of how scary this could get.
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