Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are responsible for the unstable and uncertain situation in the Middle East.

Before Bush launched the Iraq war, Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak openly pleaded with him not to do that because he was afraid Bush would stir up the can of worms in the Muslim world. He had been Egypt’s president since after President Anwar el-Sadat was assassinated Oct. 6, 1981. He knew well the Arab culture and the Muslim world. Unfortunately, Bush didn’t have the wisdom to think through the cost and consequence of fighting the war. Now we are still paying the heavy price.

The inexperienced and ambitious Obama went to Cairo in 2009 to deliver his famous Cairo speech to appease the young people of the Muslim world. Then, one year later the Arab Spring began. Of course, the wishy-washy Obama fans have credited that to Obama’s Cairo speech. Now some people have started to call it Arab Winter because the turmoil of this movement has turned the Arab world upside down.

Egypt used to be a friendly nation to Jewish people and the Christian population in Cairo. Now they are living in fear there. Just the other day the Egyptian soldiers drove a truck into the Christian crowd in protest to kill 26 of them. Many Christians have fled from Cairo to the West. Israel closed its embassy in Cairo and left after it was attacked by the mob. In general, even the Egyptian people themselves don’t know what to think. They know their lives have been changed for the worse.

Mubarak, in prison today, must have terribly regretted his decision to let Obama come to his country in 2009 to deliver the speech to his people. He couldn’t foresee that was a curse to him. Being a strong U.S. ally and having worked with United States in many difficult Middle East crises, he would never have even in his dreams believed he would, one day, be thrown under the bus by a U.S. president.

Here I can’t help think how President Ronald Reagan handled the 1986 Philippine crisis: President Ferdinand Marcos, who had been a strong U.S. ally for 20 years during the Cold War era, refused to step down after he had lost the election. And he was about to bring the nation to the edge of civil war. Reagan knew he had to help the Philippines as well as Marcos. He sent Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., as his special envoy to quietly persuade Marcos to step down and come to the safe haven in Hawaii.

Reagan believed in quiet diplomacy, and he would never allow himself or his secretary of state in public to call for an ally leader to resign and leave.

Chris Hsu

retired state employee

Baton Rouge