When I say “fight,� I don’t mean militarily, although it could come to that. What I mean is, do we have the will to stand up to Iran, to keep standing up to Iran when appeasement and acquiescence would be so much easier?

A nuclear Iran is a horrifying thought, but it could be our future reality. Russia and China do business with Iran and will be slow to allow the UN to intervene meaningfully. America is entangled in Iraq and Afghanistan, our populace is increasingly weary of conflict and our President has squandered much of the popular support he needs to lead effectively. And Europe? A nuclear Iran would have warheads that could threaten European cities, so the EU’s stake is high.

But with their soft voice and small militaries, do they have the leverage necessary to confront Iran? Already, the EU’s diplomatic tactics have failed and, even with the UN involved, neither Europe nor America seem to have the stomach for tough sanctions.

That leaves Israel, the nation with everything at stake. Undoubtedly, Israel would not hesitate to bomb Iranian facilities. But unless the will of the Western World is behind them, Israel could end up endangering itself even more by taking such unilateral action. Without the support of other Western nations, Israel cannot maintain her security.

Diplomacy could prevail. Sanctions could work. A war is not inevitable. But unless the rest of the world commits itself fully to denying Iran nuclear weapons, the theocratic regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will doubtlessly continue working towards acquiring such weapons.

We must find the will to stop them, even if it does come to war. But we might not have the resolve.

The last two paragraphs of Victor Davis Hanson’s essay in today’s Chicago Tribune sums up the tragic scenario which could unfold if we let it.

Money, oil and threats have brought the Iranian theocrats to the very threshold of a nuclear arsenal. Their uncanny diagnosis of Western malaise has now convinced them that they can carefully fabricate a Holocaust-free reality in which Muslims are the victims and Jews the aggressors deserving of punishment. And thus Ahmadinejad’s righteously aggrieved (and nuclear) Iran can, after “hundreds of years of war,” finally set things right in the Middle East.

And then a world that wishes to continue to make money and drive cars in peace won’t much care how this divinely appointed holy man finally finishes a bothersome “war of destiny.”

A world without Israel? That would be an unforgivable sin.

Politics Does the World Have the Will to Fight Iran?