The question on everyone's mind is "Will the Syrians be in Annapolis for the big peace conference?"
Condi wants them there, Ehud wants them there and the Syrians themselves want to be there, but only if the Golan Heights are "on the agenda."
The Syrians are taking pains to portray themselves as westernized and secular. They say that they "drink liquor and mix with women" just as we do. They ask, "Do we look like terrorists?" They say, "Yes, we are Arab Muslims but also Mediterranean and we have always looked to the west."
Yes, they are a very reasonable, peace-loving and misunderstood people. To listen to them, one could almost forget the assassinations that have occurred in Lebanon. The war between Hezbollah and Israel seems to be all but forgotten. The Syrians say that they only want peace and are ready to live side by side with Israel. It is Israel, they say, that wants no part of peace. They say the Jews "inexplicably bombed a vacant building in the desert" and offer this as proof of Israel's aggressiveness.
There's an old saying in the middle-east, that there is no war without Egypt and no peace without Syria. Egypt has made peace with Israel but for all their "reasonableness," the Syrians have repeatedly said in the past few days that there will be no peace until Israel gives back the Golan Heights.
James Baker says that the Syrians can be "flipped." That is, with a little effort, some strategic land and a lot of money, we can turn them away from Iran and the "axis of evil" and bring them back into the world of corrupted respectability. All we have to do is give back the Golan Heights, pour millions and millions into their rat holes, forgive all their transgressions and kiss their "westernized, secular" posteriors. In other words, capitulate to blackmail, murder, mayhem and terror. That sounds like a good plan. Give them everything they want on a hope and a prayer that there will be "peace for our time."