Manata just cannot get it into his mind, it just seems impossible to him, that there is a great and meaningful difference between claiming that: (1) God allows or permits certain things to occur (the majority view among Christians concerning evil and suffering), versus (2)God actively predetermining and desiring for those things to occur (the view of necessatarians/calvinists). Since he intentionally will not make this distinction, or grant this distinction, he thinks we are in “the same boat.”
i) Of course I've debated this very distinction ad nauseum. Plenty of times with Reppert, most recently in my review of Olsen's book. Robert wouldn't look dishonest if he made sure to point out that I have seen this distinction and argued against its viability as somehow being a better position than the Calvinist's. If Robert was unaware of this, then I'll assume he'll take the necessary steps to correct his libel.
ii) Of course, (2) is much more robust than Robert lets on. Therefore his comments have the irony of being a case where a person blames others for his own failings. It is Robert who intentionally will not get his opponents right. The Calvinist position is that God willingly permits. The reason (2) is problematic coming from Robert is that he means (2) to be read as something like God pulling the strings of puppets.
iii) Why is a charitable reading of (2) problematic? Where is the argument? Here is one: "Well, if a human did that, then the human would be naughty." Likewise, though, if a human "merely allowed or permitted" 9/11 to happen, while he had the power to stop it, then that human would be naughty.
iv) In response to the rejoinder in(iii) the reply is, "Well, when God does so, his hands are clean. He has a good reason for allowing the evil he does." At this point the Arminian should see his problem. The Calvinist can say the same thing: When God willingly permits an evil, negatively governing it, even decreeing it, this is different than when a mere human does so. God's hands are clean. He has a good reason for what he does."
v) So, yes, there is a difference. Yet announcing it, however loud, does no earthly good because the purpose it is meant to accomplish, once analyzed, forces the Arminian to drop his PoE against God. But, when one runs out of arguments, all that is left are loud announcements.