Originally, this talk was entitled "The United States in the Middle East: Confronting Syria." It was the second of three lectures sponsored by the Lebanese Club at MIT. Chomsky did not want to limit the talk to this one subject. Instead, he spoke about the objectives and ramifications of the U.S. presence in the Middle East: oil, Iraq, global planning, and delivering democracy via a military occupation. Chomsky also commented on developments in the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestine. Recorded on February 15, 2005 at M.I.T. in Cambridge, MA.