A reader asks:

I have been enjoying the intelligent discussions on your Blog site concerning the “Just War” principal and its relation to the War against Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, etc.

In light of these discussions, I wonder how you would apply the “Just War” principles in this case.

How you think Israel (and the United States) should respond (if at all) to this threat? At what point does this threat become “immanent” and justify a military response from Israel in compliance with Just War principals?

I think we faced a similar situation in Iraq. We may find out in retrospect that Iraq’s WMD program was not as far along as we had thought. But really, how long could we afford to wait to find out for sure?

These are not nice people and they want us dead. How do we stay alive and maintain our allegiance to Just War principals at the same time?

I think what I’ve always thought: that 9/11 has shown you don’t wait around till people who want to kill you have the means to do so. However, I also think some prudence in the case of Iran might do, since the regime is not exactly thriving and a lot of Iranians are eager to see it go. So we should see if we can help that happen before charging in with a lot of guns and making Iranians love us as much as Iraqis are coming to love us.