In 1962, presented with U2 spy plane photos of Soviet missile sites in Cuba, President John F. Kennedy ordered his Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, to directly confront the Soviets. At a tense emergency meeting of the Security Council, Stevenson exposed the Soviets denials as lies by showing the world the U2 photos.
In 2009, presented with evidence that Iran had concealed a nuclear weapons uranium processing plant, President Obama said nothing, giving Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a week at the U.N. to threaten Israel, deny the Holocaust and preen on the world stage with his fellow dictators.
History books look back in admiration at how President Kennedy faced down the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis and brought the planet safely back from the brink of nuclear war.
It's worth pondering how the history books will treat Obama's handling of a similarly apocalyptic Iranian nuclear threat.
Newt Gingrich, a Republican, was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He is the author of the new novel "Treason" (Center Street, October 11) and co-author, with his wife Callista Gingrich, of "Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in Our Nation's History and Future" (Center Street, May 17, 2016).