Dear President Bush,
A rare and extraordinary moment in history is before us today. And it is a real tribute to your unwavering vision for the future of the nation and the people of Iraq and the stability of the middle east.
Rightly or wrongly, you led America and a small coalition into a preemptive war with Saddam Hussein and the nation of Iraq. And, even when faced with sagging public opinion at home and abroad, you ignored the critics and the polls and stayed the course to bring stability and plant the seeds of democracy in this once enslaved land.
As Congress demanded withdrawal, you successfully forced a major surge in troops and fought off every attempt to end the war and subsequent occupation. Hell, you won every single funding battle.
You took the hard road and made certain beyond all doubt that there were no weapons of mass destruction in the hands of this potentially powerful nation. More importantly, you deposed the despotic and unstable leader and his sadistic sons and returned this land to it's varied and noble peoples.
Today, the leader that has been duly elected by all the of Iraq people has reported to you, in both words and deeds, that Iraq has grown and is now ready to chart it's own course and resume its rightful place in among the world's sovereign nations.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is in ruins and Iraq's own military has now assumed the lead role in routing the remaining forces. In Basra, in Sadr City, and in Mosul, Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki has shown that he has both the will and the means to control his country.
Now is the time for you to accept the victory you have long sought. Now is the time for you to accept Nouri al-Maliki's most generous offer for a strategically negotiated timetable for withdrawal of combat troops.
There is no doubt that your acceptance of a timetable for withdrawal drawn up by the Iraqi's in consultation with our military leaders on the ground will literally turn around your entire Presidency. Your approval ratings will jump twenty points overnight.
You're not bowing to some politically mandated withdrawal plan coming from no-nothing Washington politicians. You've won that battle for the last four difficult years. No, you would be leaving on your terms. Settling the war BEFORE you leave office. What a victory!
Sure, there is a side benefit that this will benefit Senator McCain in his quest for the Presidency. Yes, as one of the original architects of the surge, McCain will share in your victory. And yes, it will effectively remove a political weapon from Barack Obama's arsenal.
And, frankly, if you fail to grasp the olive branch of victory today, you will effectively hand it to the future Persident Obama, who will not repeat your mistake. Trust me on this one, President Obama will negotiate a timetable for withdrawal. Why let Obama steal your moment in the spotlight?
The only way to prove you were right all along is to accept al-Maliki's pathway to independence. It will totally disarm your critics who claimed this was all about oil. Or power. Or greed.
Negotiate today and you can depart on your terms, at a pace dictated by the real events on the ground.
But, no matter what, negotiate today. Accept victory when it is handed to you by the Iraqi's themselves.