Ross Douthat (NYT March 29) gives a good analysis of what the U.S. is doing in the Middle East. What we do not debate or even discuss is the basic assumption that the U.S. must be the dominant power in this area. But why should we dominate an area so far from our borders? It is well known that the reason is the oil companies’ desire to make big profits there. How would we feel if Syrian or Iranian companies got big profits from the wheat and corn farms in the Midwest?