No Diplomats Required

President Obama is trying to make nice with Muslims, according to the Washington Post article of January 27th Obama Voices Hope for Mideast Peace in Talk With Al-Arabiya TV

President Obama expressed optimism yesterday about the prospect of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but he said a peace accord will take time and require new thinking about the problems of the Middle East as a whole.

Oh, sure, solving an intractable problem is easy; it just takes some time and a new thinking. It has been suggested that the Bush administration has set back peace between Israel and Palestine because the administration disengaged after Hamas seized power in Gaza. Actually, disengagement is a strategy and, no question about it, this was new thinking. The fact that it did not work simply ranks it among the best (and worst) strategies to date. No strategy has come close to working. So, now, we have the venerable George Mitchell and Richard Holbrooke going to the Middle East. These are good men, no question. But you could say that they had their shot. Maybe they are better for having tried and failed. Best of luck to them.

Later in the article

“All too often the United States starts by dictating — in the past on some of these issues — and we don’t always know all the factors that are involved,” Obama told al-Arabiya. “So let’s listen. He’s going to be speaking to all the major parties involved. And he will then report back to me. From there we will formulate a specific response.”

I think I know what Obama means.

  • We didn’t have all the factors when Iraq invaded Kuwait.
  • We didn’t know all the factors when Iraq kicked out nuclear inspectors, then claimed to have destroyed their nuclear weapons, but offered no documentary evidence.
  • We didn’t know all the factors surrounding Iran’s supply of explosively-formed projectiles to insurgents in Iraq.
  • We didn’t know all the factors surrounding Iran’s and Syria’s use of Hamas as a proxy.
  • We didn’t know all the factors regarding Iran’s nuclear ambition.
  • We didn’t have all the factors surrounding the Iran Holocaust Conference.
  • We didn’t have all the factors surrounding the Syrian reactor site that Israel took out.
  • We didn’t know all the factors pertaining to the Pakistanis that opened fire in Mumbai. It was, according to Deepak Chopra, the fault of the United States.
  • We don’t know all the factors surrounding the execution of Daniel Pearl or why it was filmed and placed on Arab websites.

How obvious! Hey, you Liberals Progressives, listen up, these Middle East regimes are not complex, and their intentions are not nuanced. Try reading the Hamas Covenant of 1988. It doesn’t take a diplomat to get their drift.

Later in the article

But in tone, his comments were a stark departure from those of former president George W. Bush, who often described the Middle East conflict in terms that drew criticism from Palestinians.

By contrast, Obama went out of his way to say that if America is “ready to initiate a new partnership [with the Muslim world] based on mutual respect and mutual interest, then I think that we can make significant progress.”

Did Obama really say “based on mutual respect”? Did he really “go out of his way”? Tell me he didn’t! I mean, there is nothing wrong with respect, but this quote cedes a straw man argument to Muslims, doesn’t it? Recently, columnist Charles Krauthammer had this to say

…over the last 20 years, the United States has been engaged in exactly five military engagements in the world, two in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait, all of them liberating Islamic peoples.

We have no need to apologize. Extend a hand, yes, but to imply that there was a disrespect of Islam in the last administration, I think is unfair and fictional.

Indeed, the United States has done more, much more, than any other country to liberate Muslims from tyranny and help improve educational prospects for young Muslim girls.

I remember back to 9/11. People, including President Bush, repeated over and over that Islam was a religion of peace and that the hijackers had perverted the religion. The problem was, the people repeating this were nearly all Christian and rarely Muslim. It would have been nice to hear Muslim’s disavow the actions of the hijackers in something other than muted tones, and in large numbers, too.

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