It is understandable, in a time of high unemployment, that the attention of the American people is focused on our floundering economy.
But an even greater potential threat to our nation than high joblessness or the depressed housing market may be brewing in Iran.
Evidence has mounted -- particularly in recent weeks -- that radical Iran is building nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently concluded what the world really already knew: that Iran has been involved in activities "specific to nuclear weapons," not just peaceful nuclear energy production.
That might not be so alarming if we were dealing with almost any country besides Iran. But Iran has proved by its words and its deeds over a period of decades that its radical Islamic government has violent aims.
Iran's sponsorship of terrorism -- including a recently uncovered plot to kill Saudi diplomats on U.S. soil -- is extensively documented.
Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made repeated remarks about destroying Israel. And Iran recently said it was planning to deploy missile-armed ships near the coast of the United States.
"[W]e will have a powerful presence near the U.S. sea borders," the head of Iran's Navy declared.
That creates the frightening possibility that if Iran does develop a nuclear weapon, it will be able to get close enough to the United States to target our nation -- something it may not have the technology to do from distant Iran.
So what do the United States and Israel, both of which are threatened by Iran, do to head off the possibility of nuclear attack by Iran?
Dare we rely on the U.N. or the "international community" to stop Iran's development of nukes?
Decide for yourself. The New York Times recently noted that "[G]lobal powers meeting in Vienna criticized Tehran" on its nuclear program. But that criticism "fell far short of threatening further pressure or actions to curb Iran's" nuclear program.
So the international community cannot even agree on whether to "threaten" additional "pressure" on Iran to stop it from building nukes. Does that give you any confidence?
The Obama administration, meanwhile, is imposing more economic sanctions on Iran -- though previous sanctions have failed.
So what is the answer? Should the United States or Israel launch military strikes to take out Iran's nuclear sites, as Israel did previously against Iraq and Syria?
We would surely be condemned by many nations if we did so. But it is we -- and not the critics in other nations -- who are responsible for protecting the lives of more than 300 million Americans.
Every reasonable diplomatic effort should be made to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons.
But ultimately, the United States, Israel or both nations may have to act to prevent Iran from being armed with nukes.