There are far smarter and better informed people whose job it is to consider "what if..." but allow me to toss in my two cents. Oil is arguably the most important resource on the planet. Imagine a serious disruption in the flow of Middle East oil. Despite a price spike, we in America would be ok as we get most right here in the Americas, but shortages elsewhere would be the source of massive human suffering. Imagine the reaction of states that suddenly could not get products and services, even necessities like food, to market. It wouldn't take long for those gov'ts to take direct action against those slowing the flow of oil in order to protect the lives of their people. As Sallow noted on another thread "even Jimmy Carter let it be known to Iran that an interuption in the flow of oil to the US would be tantamount to an act of war. " Carter, as most here know, is a particularly gentle (and a bit misguided) soul.