Back in 2009, President Obama included the following statement in an interview with Al-Arabiya:
“My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy”.
Ummm, okay, but that was always a glaring oversimplification. Left unsaid was that we should probably differentiate between the Muslim world in general, and specifically radical Islamists (such as the Taliban), seeing as how the latter consider themselves to be OUR historic enemies, and plan on remaining so until long after we’re all dead.
For a man who prides himself on ‘nuance’, failing to make such a distinction called into question Obama’s basic competence for this job.
Accordingly, last week I detailed why I think Obama’s new idea of conducting “peace talks with the Taliban” was ludicrous, idiotic, and stunningly naïve. Is this really that tough a call? It’s the Taliban, for pete’s sake!
C’mon: just say that phrase right now, out loud:
“…peace talks with the Taliban”.
“Peace talks, …with the Taliban…“
See? I rest my case.
But hey, I’m just a blogger; what do I know? So in the videos below are some folks who’ve a tad more experience in this realm than lil’ old me: Major General Bob Scales, terrorism analyst Erick Stakelbeck, and former CIA counter-terrorism agent Gary Berntsen.
Amazingly, their analysis of having “Peace Talks with the Taliban” sounds suspiciously similar to the words of yours truly. Or maybe it’s not so amazing. After all, this is more about common sense than knowledge of foreign policy minutiae.
Negotiating 101: Whether it’s over a peace settlement or a used car, only a patsy, a sucker, makes a deal with anyone whom they know to be neither reliable nor trustworthy. And once you’re labeled a sucker, word spreads fast.
While I’ve no clue if the entire “Muslim world” has accepted that they have nothing to fear from Obama at this point, …I’ll bet my last penny that the Taliban sure has.