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Mr. Obama’s vow to “listen” instead of “dictating” to Muslim leaders shows how little he understands his own country, the Middle East or the seminal reality of our time. At his core, Mr. Obama is a post-modernist leftist who champions an anti-American, transnationalist agenda. Whenever there is an international problem, America is always to blame and “aggressive diplomacy” (a meaningless and incoherent phrase) is always the answer.

Yet, it is not America’s flaws that need to be focused on; it is the Muslim world’s deep-seated flaws. The region is dysfunctional, and the only thing that can fix it is real reform - the kind ushered in by the Bush administration. “Listening” to venal Saudi princes or inept Palestinian leaders or corrupt Egyptian strongmen will not lead to a new strategic partnership. It will lead to another dead end - one that enables the region’s autocrats to stay in power.

Call it diplomacy by self-induced delusion. Mr. Obama may want to deny we are in a war against radical Islam, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. He may choose not to fight it.

We did that once before. The result was 3,000 dead and the worst attack ever on U.S. soil. What price will America pay the next time we refuse to face this ugly reality?

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times.