It is lack of political courage that has permitted this looming confrontation. Only courage and will can bring us out of it. The question is whether Obama can muster that will in an election year when any compromise is bound to be cast by Republicans as a betrayal of Israel.
Even if the Iranians did manage to make a handful of nuclear weapons, why should we believe they would ever use them against Israel? They know that Israel already has 100 to 200 nukes of its own -- enough to destroy every major city in Iran.
Oil, the prestige of global dominance, Iran's urge to be a regional power, and domestic political factors are all converging in a combustible mix to make the Strait of Hormuz the most dangerous place on the planet.