Jim Miller nails it:
But all these — and many more practical objections — are small considering the grandiose stupidity of his central idea, that our differences with radical Muslims can be worked out in an “honest discussion”. A significant minority in the Muslim world does not want to talk to us, but wants us to submit and, preferably, convert. Most Muslims do not want that, but most Muslims are not our problem. Our strategy must be to separate the radicals from the moderates, not to unite all Muslims to demand things from us.
(See also this post.)
Left and Right both err fundamentally by treating Muslims as monolithic. The Left imagines a harmonious Islam that the West has offended and should now appease. The Right is concerned about a monolithically hostile Islam that the West must defend itself against. In fact there are all kinds of Muslims, many of whom are friendly to the West, many of whom are part of the West. If our leaders don’t understand the important distinctions between Muslims then we will have great difficulty in responding effectively to events in the Muslim world.
Obama’s statements on foreign affairs reveal both foolishness and arrogance. Foolishness because appeasement as a strategy is never effective against committed enemies. Arrogance because it’s not all about us: there is big change underway in the Muslim world, it’s been going on for decades, and while we are now deeply involved and have a lot of power and influence, we didn’t start it. At best we can protect ourselves and help reasonable Muslims to prevail over the killers. But to do that effectively we need to draw clear distinctions between good guys and bad.