I must be dreaming - a nightmare, at that.



Solid intelligence has shown large truck convoys leaving Iraq for Syria just prior to America's assault on the Saddam Hussein regime, largely over the WMD issue. This was confirmed by former political and military leaders, both at home and abroad.



Arab insurgents, hell-bent on stopping the spread of the democratic "disease," have freely moved back and forth across the Iraqi-Syrian border.



Syria, to this date, still does not recognize an independent Lebanon. And it has continuously assassinated -- or had assassinated by its stooges -- one Lebanese politician after another who believed otherwise; one, just days ago. Not to mention its involvement in killing hundreds of Americans and others in Lebanon and elsewhere, as well.



For decades, Damascus - which largely instigated the June 1967 Six Day War- bombarded Israelis from the Golan Heights. The Heights, by the way, were actually to be part of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine after WWI, but wound up in Syria's hands after some imperial trading between the British and the French. Indeed, over the centuries, the Heights traded back and forth between many different rulers, including Jews.



Yes, it must be just a bad dream.



After all, the Arab butchers in Damascus are simply peas of the same pod with the latest Arab butcher of Iraq, who - thanks to the US - was dragged out of his hole in the ground and is now scheduled to meet his seventy or so virgins in Islamic Paradise. Among other things (including massacres and forced Arabization of Kurds), Assad the First's regime sired the Hama Solution, in which Syria killed far more Arabs in a month than Israel killed in all the years of fighting Intifadas, Hizbullah, Fatah, Hamas, etc.



So, I'm hoping to wake up to hear that I was just imagining reading that James A. Baker III, who is now back on the front burner after working continuously for decades behind the scenes, has proposed to solve Iraq's woes by rewarding Syrian Arabs for "their cooperation." This he will do by delivering the Jews to them on a silver platter and by shafting the Kurds once again to boot.



So what, pray tell, is this nightmarish price (I hope I'm just dreaming) for Syria to stop its murderous, hegemonic behavior?



Well, for starters, Syria expects that Baker's former promise to Assad the First, made while Baker was Secretary of State to his close friend George Bush Sr., will indeed materialize. Israel will be squeezed to return to the days when Syria freely shelled Jews below on kibbutzim and on the Sea of Galilee. Baker, with George "Dubya" Bush and Condoleezza "Condi" Rice's approval, will pressure the Jewish State to cave in to enemies sworn to its demise.



America and Great Britain can topple governments or go to war thousands of miles away from home in the name of their own national security interests (what was the overthrow of Noriega in Panama or the Falklands War really all about?), but an Israel that one needs a magnifying glass to find on a world map is expected to simply return to the status quo ante and turn its other cheek - something good, predominantly Christian nations surely don't do. And rightly so. Nobody should be expected to commit personal or national suicide.



Yet, keep in mind that Israel had earlier indeed agreed to such a withdrawal. Not long ago, an Israeli prime minister offered (and not the first time) an almost complete return of the Golan Heights. The exception would cover a tiny stretch of land protecting Israel's water sources. But, of course, this was too much to ask of a Syria still dedicated to Israel's destruction, as are most Arabs.



Well, bad news. I woke up with a horrendous headache, made worse when I realized that I wasn't dreaming, after all.



Baker's commission recommendations to pull America's - especially Republicans' - chestnuts out of the open fire in Iraq (just in time for the Christmas season, for those familiar with the late Mel Torme song) are evidently meant to compromise both Jews and Kurds, yet again, for Arab interests. This is something the State Department, unfortunately, has a long history of doing.



But the American people are not stupid and have, on the whole, a good code of ethics (regardless of what Borat says). They know that the one place in Iraq where folks aren't constantly blowing others apart is in the Kurdish north. Many now also know that some thirty million Kurds don't even have one state, let alone the almost two dozen that Arabs already have (largely as a result of conquering non-Arab peoples and lands). And they know that the Kurdish north far more exemplifies American values and is aligned with American interests far more than any of Baker's law firm's Arab clients.



A sense of fair play must put the birth of an economically viable Kurdish state - which was indeed promised after WWI, but aborted largely on behalf of British petroleum and Arab interests - ahead of creating yet other states for Arabs at the expenses of both the "Jew of the Nations" and the Kurds. Yet, that's what Baker is up to again; evidently, with Dubya's blessing. George II (whom I voted for) would be wise to work to restore a sense of morality to American foreign policy. Many Republicans, let alone others, are not too happy with him these days.



Traditionally, it has taken a strong American executive to resist the Arabists who too often call the shots at Foggy Bottom, from President Truman onwards. There's lots of money to be made via the revolving doors of businesses tied to Arab wealth and governments. Baker is just one of too many cases in point over the decades. George II must not allow Baker's and his own family's huge financial ties to Arab petrodollars to dictate foreign policy in this volatile region.



A Michael Mooreish/Jimmy Carter Democratic alternative won't cut it, either. Most Americans rejected this long ago. Yet, on the topic of appeasing Arab interests, Dubya, Condi, Baker, Moore and Mr. Peanut all seem to agree. But Jews, Kurds, and America's soul and reputation deserve something far better.