Echoing these words so that Mr. Panetta could benefit from his own wisdom would sound like this: “Just get to the damn [negotiating] table, Mr. Panetta, reach out and mend fences with al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea or even the Republican Party back in Washington, or risk facing even greater foreign policy failures, and further political deadlock at home...”
There are two traits which point to the core of the faulty doctrine utilized by the United States:
It would appear that US President Barack Obama’s administration does not seem to comprehend the meaning of extreme ideology. Their faulty logic postulates that all humans are reasonable, rational people who could be convinced once the truth is presented in a clear, transparent form, supported by facts and reinforced by historical or scientific evidence.
What Obama fails to understand is that fervent insistence on maintaining an ideology (including deep-seated religious beliefs) makes evidence, expertise or any line of reasoning irrelevant.
If some people believe that they possess the absolute truth, they view those who disagree with their point of view as fundamentally wrong and misguided (in many cases they deem those who disagree with them as criminals). Evidence contradicting their beliefs becomes irrelevant, a violation. Respectful arguments not in line with their ideology are of no use. Compromise is a bad word since it shows frailty and weakness.
Obama seems to understand this simple truth where it applies to his own situation concerning al Qaeda, yet he fails to apply the same logic when Israel enters the picture.
Both Hamas and the Palestinians provide the same threat to Israel that Iran and al Qaeda provide to the US. These Islamic extremists are trapped inside their own ideology. Peace and compromise are deemed blasphemy. The more you concede to these adversaries the bolder their actions become. It’s a war they started; they won’t end it unless Israel is destroyed, unless the US is defeated. To their minds, it’s an all-or-nothing guiding principle where no middle ground is possible. This conclusion is supported by so much evidence that to list it would require volumes upon volumes.
The second piece of faulty logic on the part of the Obama administration is the belief that compromise is always possible because both sides to a conflict or an argument always swear by a common goal like world peace or global economic growth. The president and his team believe that all people are reasonable; they all strive for the same goal of bettering the lives of their fellow citizens.
Obama fails to appreciate that many of his adversaries do not share his goals, or even view them as valid points of view. If the other side wants you dead, disappeared, or even wiped off the map—even at the cost of their own wellbeing, they will never compromise since their talk concerning peace and cooperation is designed to mask their true intentions.
Iran and North Korea see Obama’s attempts at compromising as a sign of weakness and stupidity (can’t this idiot see what we are up to? They must ponder). They will never admit failure of their policies. Instead, they will double down.
The Palestinians will never accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Instead, they continue to promote hate speech and glorification of terrorist murderers. They continue to fire rockets at Israeli civilians. They brainwash the young generation, employing Nazi style anti-Semitism, so that real peace will be prevented from taking root for the next century and beyond.
The Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world’s Islamists do not see peace with Israel as their objective. Their only aim is to see Israel wiped off the map, whereas Israel’s objective comprises a peaceful co-existence. These two ends could never intersect. Accordingly, no compromise can take root and no negotiations around the “damn table” can bear fruit.
Obama’s olive branch offer to Iran’s leaders at the commencement of his government’s rule was, and still is viewed as weakness and stupidity. Iran will not pull away from their path toward becoming a nuclear-armed superpower simply because Obama is logical and clearheaded. Their intentions collide with Obama’s. Iran does not look forward to world peace because they are lying in wait for Armageddon. It’s their crazy religious dogma and their Islamic ideology that stand in the way of any compromise or logical undertaking.