But the problem, as Bush noted last month, is that the stakes involved in Iran being allowed to do what it likes involve the possibility of mass murder.

While all those interested in stopping Tehran want desperately to avoid the use of force, the likelihood of meaningful UN economic sanctions being enacted is slim to none. With China and especially Russia backing him up, Ahmadinejad can cheerfully thumb his nose at Bush. The only hope that this can be changed is if our European allies – and our Russian and Chinese antagonists – no longer perceive Bush as isolated on this issue.

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If Hillary Clinton were to stop apologizing for winding up on the same side as Bush on Iran and instead begin talking more about the cost that American failure on this issue would entail, it could not only strengthen her future position as president but also serve to rally international support for sanctions now while they still have some small chance of working.

Waiting for 2009 to make Iran a consensus issue may appeal to some partisans, but the interests of the nation and international peace require that it be moved up on the agenda.

Like it or not, both Clinton and pro-Israel Democrats need this to be one issue on which they are willing to support Bush now.

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