Non-leftists predicted such a reaction but leftists are surprised. Despite 3,000 years of multicultural history leftists always assume that making concessions to others produces forgiveness and goodwill. Why do they make that assumption?
Easy: Leftists assume that everyone, regardless of culture, ideology or personal history, ultimately views the world in the same exact way as does a left-wing college professor.
They expect everyone to respond to any action in the same way a lefty professor would. A lefty professor would view the attempt to open negotiations as a sign of strength, compassion and a willingness to coexist. Therefore, the leftists reason, a regime like Iran’s will react in the same way. Likewise, a lefty professor could imagine engaging in acts of terrorism only if compelled to do so by the atrocities committed against his side by some horrific enemy. Therefore, leftists conclude that anyone engaging in terrorism must be suffering horribly.
Unfortunately, most humans in the world have their own cultures, ideologies and personal histories that cause them to have world views highly divergent from that of a leftist intellectual. In particular, individuals who owe their positions within their own societies to violence and oppression do not view a willingness to compromise as a sign of strength. People create world models, especially models of human behavior, which justify their own actions. People who murder their way to the top, and stay there by continuous oppression, create a model that justifies violence and oppression and view the willingness to impose them as a virtue. Since clearly it is only moral for those in the right to use such tactics, they also develop a model in which they hold sole moral authority.
For such people, an individual compromises only when forced to by a superior opponent. Moreover, since their opponents are always evil, any willingness to negotiate on an opponent’s part must come solely from the opponent’s awareness of his own weakness.
The mullahs of Iran are not multiculturalist, they do not believe in free-market economics and they do not believe in ideological diversity. They believe themselves completely in the right and therefore justified to use any means to reach their divinely mandated ends. They have no common ground with those of us who seek a diverse and free world.
The mullahs view America and the West in general as decadent, godless and predestined by divine will to fall before the righteousness of the mullahs. In their model, when we attack or frustrate them, we prove our evil intention towards them, but when we seek compromise we do so only out of weakness and fear. The mullahs believe they have a sacred duty and absolute right to exploit our weakness by kicking us when we are down.
Negotiating with Iran, without breaking them first, only reinforces the internal power of those most hostile to the West. Such individuals can point to our concessions and claim they drove us to concede and that therefore they should have more power to drive us to even greater concessions.
Leftists’ egocentrism shows up in all areas of politics from economics to social issues. But it is most dangerous in foreign relations where leftists consistently misjudge authoritarians, whom they insist on treating like leftist intellectuals. Obama will naively go into negotiations with Iran and give away the farm because he assumes they will react in the same way Obama would were he in their shoes. They won’t and the rest of us will pay for Obama’s egocentrism.