Notwithstanding the overall tone and implicit purpose of the ISG report as a document designed to manage our defeat, there are a few staggering items in it that are worthy of a good fisking. What was the name of the Iraq hit piece written by Michael Scheuer called again? Imperial Hubris if I recall. What a perfect description of the ISG proposals relating to Israel, Syria, and the Palestinians. It takes a massive amount of hubris to give away land to a terrorist state that you do not even own. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mossad has a hit team en route to take out the entire phreaking panel.
Baker and Company went ahead and offered (16) Syria the Golan Heights in exchange (15) for various easily reversible and completely unenforceable concessions on their part including withdrawing support from Hizballah, cooperating in the investigation of their involvement with the Hariri and Gemayel assassinations, and refraining from interfering in Lebanon. In case you do not know, that location is a geographical high ground that if occupied by a hostile aggressor, would allow for the convenient artillery bombardment of the entire northern half of Israel.
Yitzak Rabin once said of the Golan:
"Withdrawal from the Golan is unthinkable, even in times of peace. Anyone considering withdrawal from the Golan Heights would be abandoning Israel’s security."
The idea that another country would unilaterally decide to cede the State of California to Mexico (which isn’t even a threatening nation) on our behalf in order to extricate itself from a completely unrelated foreign policy SNAFU, is not only absurd but pretentious in the extreme.
Consider this, the ISG on page 54 recommends (12) that, "Syria can establish hotlines to exchange information with the Iraqis." I did not make that up. 1-800-JOKES ON U is my nomination for the hotline number. Maybe the Arabic letters are different on the phones over there (I’m not sure). But I am sure that whoever gets hired to man the phone center for the "tip line" should bring his Gameboy to work because there won’t be anything to do there.
One of the other utterly specious aspects of the report is its reliance on a resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. What is it that makes Baker and Company believe that after agreeing to give back the Golan Heights to Syria that Israel would be in a position to negotiate with Hamas and that Hamas would be in the mood to accept what Israel is willing to give up? In the ISG document the issue of "right of return" is specifically listed (17) as something that ought to be addressed during this "Diplomatic Offensive". Granting the 4.5 million Palestinian refugees the "right of return" to a current Israeli population of 6.2 million would effectively destroy the Jewish state altogether. Listing this item in the initial negotiation essentially means that in the event that such a negotiation in this context were to occur, Israel would owe the Palestinians some kind concession on this point or risk the ultimate success of the deal. Israel has already said in no uncertain terms that any agreement to allow "right of return" is a deal killer. Nevertheless, Baker and Company offer this on behalf of Israel when the very dire consequences of this provision would be borne by Israel alone.
What if another foreign government decided to offer the mythical residents of Aztlan the "right of return" to their "native" lands here in the US (of course those "residents" are already staking that claim on the sly) again for the purpose of facilitating their disengagement from their own unrelated foreign entanglement, how could that make any sense? This report makes me think about a person who just bought a lottery ticket calling up their real estate agent in Malibu arranging to see properties for sale on the assumption that they are about to win millions. It is patently absurd, devoid of realistic solutions, and reeking of stupefying gall to even put these inanities on paper and sign your name to it. I would be ashamed to do so.