The Atlantic has a disturbing story with monstrous ramifications:

In an interview conducted shortly before he was sworn in today as prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu laid down a challenge for Barack Obama. The American president, he said, must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and quickly—or an imperiled Israel may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities itself.

“The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu told me. He said the Iranian nuclear challenge represents a “hinge of history” and added that “Western civilization” will have failed if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

In unusually blunt language, Netanyahu said of the Iranian leadership, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.”

History teaches Jews that threats against their collective existence should be taken seriously, and, if possible, preempted, he suggested. In recent years, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has regularly called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” and the supreme Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, this month called Israel a “cancerous tumor.”

Netanyahu is right to fear for the future of Israel if Iran gets the bomb. But what are the chances that Obama is going to do anything more than talk with Iran? That leaves Israel with no options other than military action. That’s a powder keg.

This one should worry everybody. Iran is building the bomb. Obama will likely not take any forceful action to prevent it. Netanyahu is intent on stopping it.

One of the sides of this possibly deadly triangle must change. And I don’t think it’s going to be Iran.

You think about moments in history. And often the key moments are defined by the personalities of the time. During the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union you had giants like Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and perhaps most importantly Pope John Paul II. These heroes stood up strong and brought the evil empire down.

On the other hand you have men like Neville Chamberlain meeting with Hitler at another key moment in history.

So often, key moments are defined by the players. I fear that this moment may be one of those moments with Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu, and Obama as the leading actors of our time and their strength, will, and character will determine the outcome. And the world may forever be changed.