I'm not a Barack Obama apologist, normally. The phrasing was "inelegant," to borrow a term from Governor Romney. But one thing that is clear to see, is that Barack Obama gets his view of foreign relations from science fiction, or at least shares the same with many science fiction writers. It is seen all the time in shows like "Star Trek: Next Generation" and "Doctor Who."
The view is basically that a civilized culture will eventually EVOLVE to the point that they will eschew violence and provided that enough respect, encouragement, and communication happens, peace will come. Obama, in his view, has extended the hand and tried to show that he was not going to get involved in the Middle East policies, especially jumping to Israel's defense, because he is an understanding, different kind of President who can see all sides. He apologizes for past offenses, and tries to show us a much more humble, less arrogant nation. The Middle East should respond, in his view. However, while they continue to learn to trust and develop...the theory goes...there will be some who try to jeopardize the movement toward peace and how people respond to that can move the process forward, or kill it.
Watch an episode of TNG...happens all the time, when they are not dealing with some kind of rip in the Time Space Continuum. Some Romulan will cause an explosion at a peace conference on the ship because while the wise old leader is tired of generations of war, there is some goofball who can't see shaking hands with the Vulcans or the Klingons or the Smurfs or something. And then there is a huge speech about how important it is that this one incident doesn't get in the way of something truly momentous happening. And things are good until another rip in the Time Space Continuum or the Holo-deck misfunctions.
|(gratuitous picture of David Tennant)|
It's there in Doctor Who, too...it was the core belief of #10. Everything can be solved by talking if only people would listen, even the Master (Ha!). Number 11 professed it, too, particularly early on ...but is struggling with it now.
I am sure that this theory works in good time. After all, there is peace in Ireland. However, those who espouse the theory that eventually we will come to an understanding because in the end, we all want what's good always end up struggling with how to deal with the fact that sometimes there is just evil and people who just want power and domination. There are people, countries, etc. who don't want to live side by side, who don't want to share...but want to have control. And at those times, there is such a thing as a righteous war.