Thomas Sowell

 That is where we are internationally today. Many years ago, there was a book with the title "The Suicide of the West." It may have been ahead of its time.

 The squeamishness, indecision, and wishful thinking of the West are its greatest dangers because the West has the power to destroy any other danger. But it does not have the will.

 Partly this is because most of our Western allies have been sheltered from the brutal realities of the international jungle for more than half a century under the American nuclear umbrella.

 People insulated from dangers for generations can indulge themselves in the illusion that there are no dangers -- as much of Western Europe has. This is part of the "world opinion" that makes us hesitant to take any decisive action to prevent a nightmare scenario of nuclear weapons in the hands of hate-filled fanatics.

 Do not look for Europe to support any decisive action against Iran. But look for much of their intelligentsia, and much of our own intelligentsia as well, to be alert for any opportunity to wax morally superior if we do act.

 They will be able to think of all sorts of nicer alternatives to taking out Iran's nuclear development sites. They will be able to come up with all sorts of abstract arguments and moral equivalence, such as: Other countries have nuclear weapons. Why not Iran?

 Debating abstract questions is much easier than confronting concrete and often brutal alternatives. The big question is whether we are serious or suicidal.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate