The strange thing about tonight's debate is that telling the truth about foreign policy would be an electoral disaster for either candidate.
The bizarre moratorium on mentioning George Bush or Dick Cheney, or saying anything accurate about their eight years at the helm, means that it's impossible to tell the truth about US foreign policy, or about our place in the world.
After the fall of the Soviet Union post-1989, the NeoLiberals down at Project for the New American Century got the idea that America should take its place as the world's sole superpower. Forward bases throughout the world and especially, getting a handle on the Middle East and the oil-rich areas known as the "Stans" were seen as key to success by the "Corporations are People" People. Efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq evolved in support of this goal.
There are those of us who would say it was an idiot's errand to begin with (which is why I almost always agree with Dan Kervick) but in any case the NeoCons royally bollixed up the effort. So instead of genteel-ly guiding the process of creating a more peaceful, multipolar world, we're stuck years later having lost much of our economic power, most of our international standing, and deep in debt to the gleeful Chinese, who can hardly believe their good fortune.
Democratic shame, Republican denial and our President's far-too-polite-to-mention-it-by-name squaeamishness instill any debate on the subject with a theater of the absurd atmosphere, like Thanksgiving dinner at the Pastor's house with his gay son and new boyfriend.
Should be a rollicking good time.