By AVI PERRY
In his latest speech at the Brookings Institute, Leon Panetta offered Israel his words of wisdom. “Just get to the damn [negotiating] table, reach out and mend fences with the Palestinians, or risk facing even greater isolation. If the gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are, and Israel’s moral standing will grow even higher.”
Echoing these words so that 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 D.C., 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 held by the leader of the western world.
a. The Obama administration does not seem to comprehend the meaning of extreme ideology. It believes that all humans are reasonable rational people who could be convinced once the truth is presented in a clear, transparent form, supported by facts, reinforced by historical or scientific evidence.
Obama fails to understand that fervent insistence on 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 them as 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.
Obama seems to understand this simple truth when it applies to his own situation concerning al Qaeda. Yet he fails to apply the identical logic when Israel enters the picture. Hamas and the Palestinians are to Israel what Iran and al Qaeda are 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 they become. It’s a war they started; they won’t end it unless Israel is destroyed, unless the US is defeated. It’s an all-or-nothing guiding principle where no other middle ground settlement is possible. This conclusion is supported by so much evidence that to list it would require another volume.
b. The Obama administration believes that compromise is always possible because both sides to a conflict or the 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 goals of bettering the lives of their fellow citizens.
Obama fails to appreciate that many of his adversaries do not share his goals. If the other side wants you dead; if they want you to disappear, to be wiped off the map—even at the cost of their own welfare; if their talk concerning peace and cooperation is designed to mask their true intentions, they will never compromise. Iran and North Korea deem Obama’s attempts at compromising a weakness and stupidity (can’t this idiot see what we are up to? They 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 keep promoting hate speech and glorification of terrorist murderers; they keep firing rockets at Israeli civilians. They brainwash the young generation, employing Nazi style anti-Semitism, so that real peace will be precluded from taking any roots 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 roots and no negotiations around the “damn table” can bear fruits.
Obama’s olive branch offer to Iran’s leaders at the commencement of his government’s rule was, still is viewed as weakness and stupidity. Iran will not pull away from their path toward becoming a nuclear-armed power by the soundness of Obama’s logical arguments. Their intentions collide with Obama’s. Iran does not look forward to world’s peace; they are lying in wait for Armageddon; it’s their crazy religious dogmas and their Islamic ideology that stand in the way of any compromise or logical undertaking.
And finally, Obama’s own neighbors here at home, the Republican Party, have professed via their leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell that their foremost objective is to see Obama out of office. This goal may even come at the expense of seeing to an improvement in the country’s economy. In fact, since “it’s the economy, stupid” that may decide the fate of Obama’s success in securing his second term, the goal of removing him from office is contradictory to the goal of seeing to an improved economy. Still, Obama continues to seek bipartisan support; he continues to offer compromise where compromise is unacceptable, rather than declaring an all-out war, employing al the weight his position can muster.
Obama, Panetta, Clinton have failed to recognize that negotiations—with those whose goals are diametrically opposed to theirs, or with those whose ideology prevents them from accepting any compromise—would achieve the exact opposite of what they are intended to. A willingness to negotiate with fanatics who reject compromise can only make those fanatics tougher and more confident that their position is spot-on since it weakens the other side.
When the ideologues, the ones who want to see you expire declare an all-out uncompromising war on you, Mr. President, the only way you have a chance of surviving is not trying to “get to the damn table and negotiate” with those who reject negotiations and compromise, but rather, draw on every weapon in your disposal to strike back and win.
Do not confuse cause and effect; do not put pressure on Israel to keep conceding; do not let the Iranian mullahs gain time by pretending that peace is on their mind, because when your adversaries’ goals are dichotomous to yours, when their ideology stands in the way of reason, the only option left on the table is an unwavering confrontation.
“And that’s the way it is,” Mr. President.
Dr. Avi Perry, a talk show host at Paltalk News Network, is the author of “Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks,” and more recently, “72 Virgins,” a thriller about the covert war on Islamic terror. He was a VP at NMS Communications, a Bell Laboratories distinguished staff member and manager, a delegate of the US and Lucent Technologies to UN International Standards body, a professor at Northwestern University and Intelligence expert for the Israeli Government. More information is available at www.aviperry.org