As the drumbeats heralding yet another major conflict in the Middle East rise in tempo and volume, it now appears to be a forgone conclusion that Israel will not permit its neighbor Iran to produce a nuclear device, and rhetoric from the leaders in Israel indicate that they are prepared to exercise the Sampson option.
The combined bluff, bluster and sanctions against North Korea have done nothing to prevent that rogue state from developing and testing atomic bombs, and to threaten its neighbors and the United States with their use in a pre-emptive strike.
So, too, it is with Iran, where sanctions have barely slowed that country's reach for the immensely powerful genie. Arrayed against Israel is a large but somewhat out-of-date Iranian military force, several fellow Muslim states in various stages of collapse, the terrorist organizations of Hezbollah and Hamas - and soon, perhaps, one or two nuclear devices.
Israel has developed a superb military fighting machine with the proven capability of being able to defeat any threat.
Today, Israel's state-of-the-art military might and weaponry is backed up with an estimated 250 to 500 nuclear and thermonuclear devices, as well as the ability to deliver them at a moment's notice anywhere in Iran with pinpoint accuracy.
For decades following World War II, the United States and Russia faced off against one another in a cold war, each nation possessing terrifying arsenals of atomic weaponry that if ever used would amount to mutual assured destruction (MAD).
Fortunately, in times of crises, cooler heads managed to prevail.
When Israel decides that it cannot allow Iran to develop an atomic bomb, with or without the support and backing of the United states, it will likely endeavor to destroy Iran's bomb-making capability. Should Iran respond to this provocation with a shower of missiles and a land-sea counter attack, it is highly likely that Israel would unleash one of its atomic bombs on a selected military target.
Such actions, if permitted to escalate, could draw other nations into the conflict and threaten civilization as we know it.
However, faced with the real threat of great harm at the hands of the Iranians, it is likely that Israel would certainly do all in its power to counter the threat, even if it means exercising the Sampson option by igniting World War III.
President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have had a great deal to talk about in Israel this week.