Reed Hundt, a contributor to Josh Marshall's www.talkingpointsmemo.com, has posted a very interesting article on how Dick Cheney sees the U.S. role in the Mid-East. According to Hundt Cheney believes that for the next 60-80 years America will be dependent on imported oil, mainly from the Mid-East. During that same period America will be at war with Islamic fundamentalists. Therefore, America withdrawing militarily from the Mid-East is dangerous to our economic security and we have to keep on pouring troops and money into that region. Cheney also believes that withdrawing from that region would imperil Israel, a point of view also espoused by Lieberman.
Hundt also argues that at some point Democratic candidates for president have to confront and debate Cheney's views, especially since they are also being articulated by McCain and Romney. All this leads to a another point and that is that while Democrats are very good at challenging Republicans on particular policy choices, we need to do a better job of attacking the philosophy that underlies what Republicans advocate. This means in debates over domestic policy attacking the Republicans' market fundamentalism. It means in debates over foreign policy, attacking the Republicans' belief in a go-it-alone approach to foreign policy. If we don't attack the underlying philosophy, then we are allowing them to set the terms of the debate. Ceding to them the power to set the terms of the debate weakens our ability to win the debate.