"The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars," Obama said in a June 2009 speech in Cairo. "More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies, without regard to their own aspirations."
What has happened in the Middle East during the presidencies of Bush and Obama? Bush went to war in Iraq and then tried to install a representative government there through years of occupation. Obama supported rebellions in Egypt, Libya and Syria.
In Libya, some of the Islamists Obama helped liberate from Moammar Gadhafi turned around and attacked a State Department mission and a CIA compound, murdering four of our people. In Iraq, Syria and Egypt, Christians now face potentially existential struggles.
According to the 2013 report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, "The government of Iraq continues to tolerate systematic, ongoing and egregious religious freedom violations, including violent, religiously motivated attacks."
Christians and other religious minorities, says the commission, "have fled the country in recent years, threatening these communities' continued existence in Iraq."
The State Department's 2012 report on religious freedom said that "due to emigration as Christian flee the country," Syria's Christians may have dropped from 10 percent of that nation's population to about 8 percent.
The Central Intelligence Agency estimates 10 percent of Egyptians are Christians. But with their systematic attacks on Christian churches, Egyptian Islamists are now sending a message to Christians who still live in that land where Jesus once lived: Get out.
The Bush-Obama policies were rooted in two great errors. Their job was not to change other nations, but to protect the liberty, security and prosperity of this nation. And the greatness of this nation has ultimately been rooted not merely in the admittedly felicitous form of our government, but in the popular embrace of moral truths -- expressly taught by millennia of Judeo-Christian tradition -- that make all freedom possible.
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