Yet clearly Obama has no notion—or will not admit to one—of what that “common ideology” might be, except for a misunderstanding, which presumably his outreach will correct, about American intentions.
In fact, though, in the sense that they speak of it, the United States is at war with Islam, the revolutionary sort of Islam of course. To help any country resist radical political Islam is, in their eyes, opposition to proper Islam. Perhaps this is why the Obama Administration seeks to help turn other countries toward Islamist regimes.
Of course, the United States is not at war with Muslims but not only al-Qaida but Hamas, Hizballah, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafists, the Taliban and dozens of other groups, ideologues, and militants know that America is their enemy. No matter what Obama does he will not persuade them and their millions of supporters that the United States is their ally. Even though Obama has often actually made America their ally.
It would be like helping Communism in the Cold War to take over countries in order to show that America is not at war with the Russian people, or to do the same with Nazism to show that America is not at war with the German people, or to help Gamal Abdel Nasser or Saddam Hussein to take over the Middle East to prove America is not at war with the Arab or Muslim people.
A more accurate picture is offered by a Saudi writer in al-Sharq al-Awsat:
"The most acute [aspect of] the problem is that Obama is laying down the systematic groundwork for the development of extremism and sectarian violence that will make us miss the Al-Qaeda of George W. Bush's era, while deluding himself that he eliminated Al-Qaeda when he killed Osama bin Laden!"