Reprinted from NewsMax.com
Mr. President: Bring POWs Home
Monday, June 18, 2007
TO: President George W. Bush
FR: Former Congressman John LeBoutillier
RE: How to Save Your Presidency
Mr. President, 66 percent of today's public views your performance as "poor." You are today almost as unpopular as Richard Nixon was just before he resigned in disgrace. And most voters rank your presidency as a "failure" or as one of the "worst" — right down there with Jimmy Carter.
However, there is a way for you to reverse your fortunes in one fell swoop.
There is a way for you to do something so spectacular as to change the whole dynamic of American politics.
There is a way for you to earn the respect of those who today shun you.
There is a way for you to reverse the declining morale of our armed forces — and to restore pride again in the American uniform.
There is a way to take the national focus off of Iraq, and instead focus it on something for which you share no blame.
There is a way to make Americans feel good again about the country, because this single act will help to cleanse the body politic.
There is a way to expose all your predecessors, and rivals, for their role in something that the American people would never accept — if and when they know about it. And, Mr. President, there is also a way to "one-up" your father.
What is this magic elixir for a lame-duck-bordering-on-a-dead-duck presidency?
Quite simple, Mr. President.
This coming Friday — June 22 — you are meeting with Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet in the Oval Office. It is the first time a Vietnamese head of state has come to the United States since before the war.
Here is a simple plan, President Bush: when you sit down with President Triet, tell him you recently received and read a copy of "An Enormous Crime: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia."
Tell President Triet, "Mr. President, this never-ending POW issue has hurt, and continues to hurt, both our nations — and yet neither of us had anything to do with it. So here is what I am proposing."
As you speak, pull out a letter to President Triet and hand it to him. Then say, "President Triet, this letter from me to you serves as a public, presidential statement that the government of the United States is now prepared to pay the government of Vietnam $15 billion for all the living Americans who are "left over" from the war — including any in Laos. These include U.S. servicemen who were not "registered with the Centre for POWs. This $10 billion is to make up for the $4.75 billion Nixon and Kissinger pledged to you 35 years ago and which was never paid."
You can also tell President Triet that for face-saving purposes if Vietnam wants to continue to claim they have no POWs that is just fine with us. We understand. It is OK with us if they "find" the POWs in Laos and "liberate" them and return them to us.
We have no interest in embarrassing Hanoi; nor do we want to renew hostilities with them.
All we want is our men — all of them — and to put this sordid chapter in our national rear view mirror.
Yes, there will be critics who say, "we can't pay for these POWs. That would be tribute or ransom. It will encourage others to seize Americans and hold them for negotiation. And besides we don't have enough money any more for all of this."
Well, that is all nonsense.
We are now offering rewards in Iraq for the two missing U.S. Army servicemen. And President Bush, you have just pledged $30 billion for AIDS in Africa.
If we have enough for people in other countries, then we certainly have enough to pay for hundreds of our servicemen who have spent over 35 years in captivity waiting for Uncle Sam to come and bring them home.
So, Mr. President, are you going to step up to the plate and make history?
Are you going to be different than all your predecessors, including your father, who have allowed this festering sore to continue?
This Friday, President Bush, is the day you can reverse all the negative trends and do something so spectacular that you will earn a level of respect you haven't seen since right after 9/11.
Friday, June 22.
The Oval Office. Make the deal, Mr. President.
It is time for our POWs to come home.
Editor's Note: "An Enormous Crime: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia" - Get Your Copy Today!
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