President Obama has pledged that the United States will not allow Iran to gain nuclear weapons capability. But that's easier said than done.
The price of a gallon of gasoline is $4 in some parts of the country, and, to hear the seers and soothsayers tell it, the cost will go up to about $5 a gallon by summer.
That is bad news. Skyrocketing gasoline prices are the functional equivalent of a tax increase that sucks out of consumers' pockets money that could go to other purchases, like food, clothing and entertainment, and keep our slowly improving economy headed in the right direction.
So what's going on?
As warm weather approaches, the price of gasoline routinely goes up because of increased demand in the summer driving season.
But the real problem is political instability in the Middle East that is driven by Iran's nuclear weapons program, United Nations' sanctions aimed at persuading Iran to change course, and, of course, the possibility that Israel, facing annihilation if Iran acquires the bomb, will launch a military attack to either slow down or knock out Iran's nuclear program.
So far, there's been nothing but saber-rattling. But the saber rattlers have credibility.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has predicted a strike. Israeli leaders have been no less candid, suggesting if they wait much longer to attack, it will be too late.
Meanwhile, Iran's leaders have adopted a two-edged approach. They routinely threaten a nuclear attack that will wipe out Israel while simultaneously publicizing the progress they are making on the nuclear front.
Just for the record, Iranian leaders have repeatedly denied their intention to build a nuclear bomb, maintaining their nuclear ambitions are only related to energy. But that claim is hollow when contrasted to Iran's repeated threats against Israel.
War-weary U.S. leaders are resisting Israel's invitation to launch the attack on Iran. Instead, they've pursued a campaign of economic sanctions that has achieved considerable success in disrupting and undermining the Iranian economy. At the same time, European Union countries have announced they'll no longer purchase Iranian oil, another effort to pressure the mullahs into abandoning their nuclear weapons program.
So far, Iranian leaders have shown no interest in backing down. Anticipating the oil boycott, Iran announced this week that it won't sell oil to European Union countries including France and Great Britain as well as economic weak-sister Greece.
This kind of gamesmanship contributes further to oil price instability. But it is child's play compared with what a military attack on Iran's nukes would do to the price of oil.
Where this will stop no one can say. But the bottom line, of course, is higher oil prices that threaten to cripple our economic recovery as well as the world economy. Brace yourself, there's turbulence dead ahead.