Explore the insightful analysis of veteran diplomat Stuart E. Eizenstat on ending Wars in Gaza & Ukraine as he shares the keys to peace and diplomacy from his long experience as an international negotiator.

In this episode, we speak with Ambassador Eisenstadt about his latest book, which includes interviews with dozens of U.S. and global leaders such as Presidents Clinton, Carter, and others.

Eisenstat offers reflections on key diplomatic skills, current geopolitical issues like the Ukraine War and Gaza conflict, and provides advice for U.S. military strategy. He also shares personal anecdotes and insights from his extensive negotiations experience, including his work on Holocaust issues and economic peace processes.

Eizenstat said the eventual resolution of the Ukraine conflict will hinge on a strategic stalemate on the battlefield. 

"This war in Ukraine will ultimately end when both sides believe they can't get anything further on the battlefield in terms of their political goals," he said.

Eizenstat advocated for the U.S. to continue providing critical military aid to Ukraine, comparing the potential outcomes to the armistice that concluded the Korean War, rather than a direct peace agreement.

The long time diplomat said the US. must "give Israel the means to defeat and disable Hamas as a governing and military structure, But, we have to also, as the administration is trying to do, combine diplomacy with military force."

Eizenstat cautioned that Hamas will not be defeated alone by military force. and that the US. must "look at Gaza as part of a broader conflict. And that broader regional conflict involves Iran on the one hand, which has been the military supplier for Hamas, with its so called, and they call it this, their axis of resistance with Hamas, with Hezbollah, with the Houthis, with Syria."

00:00 Introduction and Guest Welcome

00:32 Purpose of the Book

01:40 Key Skills for Successful Diplomacy

03:01 Stamina in Diplomacy

04:36 Lessons from Past Negotiations

04:58 Ukraine Conflict and U.S. Military Role

10:26 Gaza Conflict and Diplomatic Strategies

15:51 Holocaust Negotiations and Personal Reflections

16:42 Trump's Foreign Policy and Biden's Age

21:28 Importance of U.S. International Engagement

22:27 Personal Anecdotes and Conclusion

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Show Notes

Insights from a Diplomatic Veteran: A Conversation with Mr. Eisenstadt


In this podcast, Ambassador Stuart E. Eisenstadt shares insights from his comprehensive book, which contains interviews with key U.S. and global leaders spanning Presidents Clinton and Carter to Prime Ministers Tony Blair and top officials from various nations. He discusses the skills vital for successful diplomacy, the importance of U.S. involvement in global conflicts, particularly in Ukraine and Gaza, and lessons learned from past negotiations. Eisenstadt also reflects on his extensive career in diplomacy, touching on pivotal moments and his ongoing work related to Holocaust negotiation. The conversation explores the necessity of stamina, strategic patience, and the blending of diplomacy with military force for effective international relations.


00:00 Introduction and Guest Welcome

00:32 Purpose of the Book

01:40 Key Skills for Successful Diplomacy

03:01 Stamina in Diplomacy

04:36 Lessons from Past Negotiations

04:58 Ukraine Conflict Insights

08:28 Role of U.S. Military in Current Crises

10:26 Gaza Conflict and U.S. Involvement

15:51 Holocaust Negotiations and Personal Reflections

16:42 Trump's Comments and U.S. Foreign Policy

20:06 Bipartisanship and U.S. Engagement

22:27 Age and Leadership

25:39 Personal Anecdotes and Conclusion


Show Transcript

Stuart E. Eizenstat Transcript

[00:00:00] Mr. Eisenstadt, thanks so much for joining us on our podcast today. I really do appreciate it. Your book includes interviews with dozens of U. S. and world leaders, from Presidents Clinton and Carter to Secretaries of State and Defense, leaders of the U. S. intelligence community, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and top officials from Israel, Germany, and Ireland.

[00:00:26] What did you learn from those interviews, and how is that reflected in your book? 

[00:00:32] Bob, I wanted to personalize diplomacy so people could understand how it works. And I wrote the book because we live in turbulent times in which we have seemingly endless conflicts that are incapable of positive revolution resolution.

[00:00:50] And I wanted to show that, in fact, over the last 50 years U. S. led diplomacy has resolved difficult problems and created a better world. And then with hot wars going on now in Gaza and Ukraine, I wanted to take a hard look at when and how U. S. military force, and military force in general, can be an element in diplomatic negotiations in light of the mixed results that we've had from Vietnam through what happened in Libya and Afghanistan.

[00:01:20] And then last, I wanted to write this book because I am afraid that we're lapsing into the kind of isolationism that we had between World War I and World War II, where we just give up and we say, we can't do anything. Things are too complicated. And that's really my reason for writing the book.

[00:01:40] Now, what I learned is that in interviewing over 130 key officials at home and abroad, that there were a set of skills, each negotiation was different, but there were a set of skills that each brought that were critical, and I give examples of those, a fierce determination to succeed, political courage, for example, Sadat going to Jerusalem or the crown prince of UAE making peace with Israel ,the need for preparation, which was emphasized by so many of my interviewers, including the trade representative, President Trump, so that you know where the areas of agreement could be.

[00:02:21] And then something, Bob, that I think is not well understood, and that is listening to the other side. This is not a poker game. Where it's a winner take all. It has to be a win situation where both sides feel that their interests are taken into account. And to do that, you have to listen to what the other side is saying, how they're saying it.

[00:02:41] Put yourself in their shoes. Develop what they're saying. Larry Summers, who was Treasury Secretary when I was his deputy, called it unsympathetic empathy. You have to build personal relationships, as Jim Baker did with the foreign minister of the Soviet Union to get German reunification by taking him to his retreat in Wyoming.

[00:03:01] You have to be creative, you have to use leverage, and you have to have one indispensable element, which again is not well understood, and that's what I call stamina. These negotiations, Bob, will last sometimes weeks, months, and years. It's like a marathon that always ends with a sprint at the end.

[00:03:22] Kissinger was famous for his so called shuttle diplomacy, but it really meant, after the '73 war, almost no sleep going between Syria and Egypt. and Israel. Jimmy Carter got three hours sleep during 13 days of Camp David. I got only a few hours when I negotiated the Kyoto climate change negotiations. It's very important to have the stamina and to be able to think clearly even on little 

[00:03:50] sleep.

[00:03:51] I guess that means you have to go into training before you go into these negotiations, right? It's a 

[00:03:56] little bit like with the Olympics coming up. I call it a marathon which ends on a sprint. 

[00:04:02] But you must, you've had a hell of a career, my God the negotiations you've been involved in, the contributions you've made to this country, it's just incredible and your book is wonderful.

[00:04:15] I had an opportunity to read Most of it. And and I just found it to be fascinating. And anybody who is interested and cares about this country and about how our relationships are with around the world needs to take a look at this book. It's really fabulous. And I thank you for sending it to me.

[00:04:36] Now you just talked about some of the key qualities that successful negotiators must possess. What lessons can be learned from these past negotiations, Mr. Eisenstadt, in dealing with today's international challenges, especially Ukraine and Gaza. 

[00:04:56] So thank you for asking that, Bob.

[00:04:58] And let me deal with the Ukraine first Henry Kissinger, who at the age of almost 100 wrote the forward to my book said that the outcome of. the battlefield determines the course of negotiations. So here, this war in Ukraine will ultimately end when both sides believe they can't get anything further on the battlefield in terms of their political goals.

[00:05:25] But that's why it's terribly important to make sure That we provide Ukraine with all the arms they need, not just to defend themselves, but to take back as much of the territory that Russia has robbed from them as possible so they're in the strongest position when negotiations start. Second I believe we're going to end up with a very different kind of agreement.

[00:05:51] It's not going to be, in my opinion, just a peace agreement like we reached between Israel and Egypt. It's going to be more like the 1953 Korean War, which ended with an armistice. And that armistice had a demilitarized zone, and that demilitarized zone has held for 70 years. There's no formal peace between North and South Korea, but there's an end of conflict, and I think that is what's going to happen here.

[00:06:22] That will mean some very painful territorial compromises for Ukraine, and we can't force them on Ukraine. They have to make the decisions themselves. We can't, as we did in Vietnam, and again in Afghanistan, negotiate behind the backs of the very governments that we represent. But we do have to say, as the biggest contributor to Zelensky, that there will come a time when you have to make some hard decisions.

[00:06:49] Now, in order to enforce that, here's what is absolutely essential. There is a proverb that says, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. And once, in 1994, when Russia got Ukraine and the Budapest Memorandum to give up what was the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world in return for promises which they violated to keep the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

[00:07:23] And then second, In the fighting that happened in 2014 and 15 in the Donbass area, the very area that's being fought over right now, we signed, the United States of America, along with Russia and Ukraine and the United Kingdom, the Minsk agreements, Minsk II, which said, stop the fighting, and Russia will agree not to invade Ukraine and change the territorial integrity of the country. And three days before the, this war started, February 21st, 2022, started three days later, Putin said, Minsk no longer exists. That literally is his statement. He totally violated it. So if we're going to have any kind of enduring peace after this terrible battle, And it will happen.

[00:08:18] There will be an end to it. There have to be security guarantees so that Putin can't simply rest and reload and start all over again. 

[00:08:28] What role should the U. S. military play in these current crises? 

[00:08:33] The role the U. S. military should play is different than the one we played in Afghanistan. It's different than the one we played in Vietnam.

[00:08:41] We don't need to put and we shouldn't put troops on the ground. What we do have to do is we have to have the U. S. military supply and quickly the most sophisticated weapons possible. The six month delay in getting Congress to approve the appropriation of 60 billion dollars in funds was devastating.

[00:09:02] It Blunted their counteroffensive that allowed the Russians to build entrenched defenses and to start their own offensive. And the administration, the Biden administration has not been as speedy as might've been in getting Abrams tanks and F 16 fighter jets. That has to be done immediately. We don't want to put troops on the ground and we shouldn't, but the substitute for that is to make sure that Ukraine has the means to defend themselves.

[00:09:33] Okay, so what advice would you give President Biden for dealing with this?

[00:09:39] It would be to expedite the delivery of the arms that finally were approved, and we should know, and your listeners should know. People say we're sending all this money abroad, 70 percent of the 60 billion in arms will be spent in the United States with our military contractors.

[00:10:00] So what we need to do is continue to supply them. We need to talk to Zelensky, not negotiate behind his back, and get from him, what does he see the end game being? How long can they hold out? What territory in the end would he be willing to cede? And what security guarantees will he need to do it., 

[00:10:26] let's talk let's talk about the situation in Gaza.

[00:10:29] What role should the U. S. military be playing there? 

[00:10:33] I have gone to Israel some 50 times during my lifetime, and I negotiated with Arafat, the leader of the PLO, then the Palestinian Authority some half dozen times between 1997 and 2000 on the economic dimension of the peace process. I went literally to Gaza, and what I saw in July of 2000 was a beautiful thing.

[00:10:57] We had gotten Congress to pass something called the Qualifying Industrial Zone legislation, which meant that Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, which had peace agreements with Israel, could produce products with as little as 10 percent Israeli content and send them back duty free. And when I went to Gaza in July of 2000, I went into a plant, Bob, and I saw the products being shipped onto flatbed trucks going through the Eretz crossing, which we read about today, to the airport we built for the Gazans through the Corps of Engineers with one unarmed Israeli soldier. Wow. One unarmed Israeli soldier. And then the second intifada happened after Camp David 2 failed in the late summer of 2000.

[00:11:50] Sharon, and this is something all these demonstrators don't seem to understand, Sharon the prime minister in 2005 totally pulled every last Israeli soldier out and kicking and screaming pulled out 7, 000 settlers and left the greenhouses and all the infrastructure. Hamas was elected in 2006, 2007. They came into power.

[00:12:15] Instead of getting roses, Israel got rockets. So what we have to do in Gaza is we have to not again put U. S. troops on the ground. We have to give Israel the means to defeat and disable Hamas as a governing and military structure, But, we have to also, as the administration is trying to do, combine diplomacy with military force.

[00:12:39] Hamas will not be defeated alone by military force. We need to look at Gaza, Bob, as part of a broader conflict. And that broader regional conflict involves Iran on the one hand, which has been the military supplier for Hamas, with its so called, and they call it this, their axis of resistance. 

[00:13:00] With Hamas, with Hezbollah, with the Houthis, with Syria, and we need to convince Israel that the most important security it can have is to be within a broader pro Western context with Jordan, with Egypt, with the UAE, and ultimately with Saudi Arabia, and to do that, they need to do it by having some perspective on a future for the Palestinians in the West Bank with the non Hamas more peaceful Palestinians. General Petraeus, Bob, turned around the Iraq war By having a three fold strategy, which applies to Gaza, first, clear the area of terrorists, second, hold the area, but third and critically, build the area so that the non combatants see a better way of life, separate the civilians from the military, and that's a crucial part of what's still missing in the Gaza war.

[00:14:05] Okay, if you were Secretary of State probably not too far afield from some of the work that you've done in the past. Although I don't think you've ever been Secretary of State. 

[00:14:17] I've been under Secretary of State. 

[00:14:18] Yes you were. So let's say you were Secretary of State. And this situation with Gaza presented itself.

[00:14:26] What would you tell the president that should be done? How would it be different from what he's doing? I

[00:14:32] think what he's been doing has been generally correct. I don't think it necessarily was wise to hold off. on the bombs the heavy bombs. Rather, it would be best to do what they have done, which is to say these can't be used in RAFA.

[00:14:50] But I think we need to try to do everything possible to convince the prime minister that his real security And the real security of israel comes from the combination of diplomatic and military means it can't be done by the military alone Now the president and secretary blinken who I know very well and feed on his special advisor on holocaust issues Has been trying to do that.

[00:15:13] It's very difficult. He's got a very difficult coalition with two ultra right wing Members who hold the balance of power in his coalition who don't want to have a two state solution. And neither does Hamas want a two state solution, so you can't negotiate with Hamas, because they want to destroy Israel root and branch.

[00:15:33] We need to work with those elements in the Israeli government and in the Israeli public who recognize that at the end of the day, this can't have only a military solution.

[00:15:45] Okay what is it that you were referring to that you're doing with Secretary Blinken about the Holocaust? 

[00:15:51] One of the chapters of my book deals with my Holocaust negotiations, which I've done.

[00:15:56] And the Clinton administration and continued in every administration, including the Trump administration and now the Biden administration since, have negotiated some 17 billion dollars of recoveries In the administrations and then with the Jewish Claims Conference, so I'm now his special advisor on Holocaust issues.

[00:16:13] I was to for example, Secretary Kerry and Secretary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, I negotiated as recently as 2014 an agreement for 60 million dollars for those who were transported by the French railway ultimately to the German border, and then for the Germans to take them to Auschwitz. Holocaust negotiations have been a principal part of my public life, and I continue to do it now.

[00:16:40] Okay. 

[00:16:42] Now, I'm curious to know what your view is regarding Donald Trump's comments about Gaza, which have been interpreted by some as supporting the shift away from unconditional support of Israel. 

[00:16:57] I think that we can never reach an agreement in Gaza unless Israel knows that we that they have the backing, the full backing of the United States, but that full backing is not a blank check.

[00:17:13] It has to be a recognition that we have interests in the region as well and those interests are building again, a pro Western moderate coalition against the axis of resistance that the Iranians have. And for Israel to be part of that. And they need to be part of it, and they must be part of it for their own security.

[00:17:38] A resolution of the Palestinian conflict has to be done. And that is to be done by separating the radicals, like Hamas, like Islamic Jihad, from the non combatants, and making it clear that there is a better life. Now, when you, as Israel has, this government has done, withhold 140 million in tax revenues for the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank, which is much more moderate, which signed the Oslo Accords in 1993, which recognizes Israel.

[00:18:11] That's contrary to doing that, and in fact, what the current government in Israel has done is weaken the Palestinian Authority and allow Qatar. To spend a half billion dollars supporting Hamas. Because of an opposition to two state solution. Now, I know that there is no support to this day, but there was before October 7th, the only 25 percent of the Israeli public support a two state solution.

[00:18:39] So you can't jump right to a two state solution because no one trusts that it will be a state that will be peaceful. So you have to do confidence building measures, half measures, half steps. For example, Better economic conditions, more joint ventures between Palestinian and Israeli officials, less checkpoints in the West Bank.

[00:19:00] Things that show that there is a willingness to ultimately have a full political settlement, but not jumping right to it because that won't work. 

[00:19:10] Now, I'm also curious to know what your thoughts are about Trump's seeming admiration of Putin and support for ending U. S. support of Ukraine. 

[00:19:22] One of the things that I'm most concerned about is that if the new, if there is a change in the election that money for Ukraine will just be cut off immediately.

[00:19:36] Yeah. President Trump has said, I'll end the fight in a day by, in effect, ending any support. That would be the equivalent of the Munich agreement in 1938. Yeah. It would be a stain on this country for decades to come. It would send a signal to the Chinese on Taiwan, to our allies in the Middle East, that we're not reliable.

[00:20:00] It would be a devastating blow to do it. And here's where continuity is tremendously important. Whoever wins the election in 2024, it's terribly important to continue the policy of supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression. Now, I had just come back from Amsterdam. I was ambassador to the European Union.

[00:20:21] There is a movement, Bob, in the, in Europe, That we're seeing here as well of supporting autocratic or right wing governments in a many Amsterdam Netherlands is a good example. We need at least on foreign policy to have a bipartisan agreement and that perfect example is Ronald Reagan.

[00:20:42] We had a bitter fight with Reagan in 1980, and we were defeated overwhelmingly with Jimmy Carter. But we had also reached an agreement on SALT II, the so called arms control agreement, with the Soviet Union. And it was never ratified by the Senate. What did Ronald Reagan do? He honored it, Bob, for the full course of the treaty and then built on it. That's the kind of bipartisanship I desperately hope we will have whoever wins the next election. 

[00:21:17] That's wishing for a lot, I think. 

[00:21:19] It is. Yeah. It is wishing for a lot. 

[00:21:22] Yeah. 

[00:21:22] But it's terribly important for the credibility of this country abroad. 

[00:21:27] Okay. Is there a need for continued U. S. engagement internationally? 

[00:21:34] There is, because the alternative to a failure to engage, the alternative to a sort of 1930s isolationism would be to create a vacuum in which Russia and China with very different values with very different interests would fill. It would send a signal to our allies in Europe, to our allies in Asia, to our allies in the Middle East that we're not reliable anymore.

[00:22:05] And that would create a chaotic world in which the worst elements would fill the void. Russia would love to come further in to the Middle East. China would love to come further in to Asia. And they will, if they see that we're retreating into isolationism, if they see that we're not willing to stand behind our commitments, they will do just that.

[00:22:27] I'm curious to know, this is maybe switching A little bit, but I'm curious to know what your thoughts are about the attacks on Biden for his age. Neither you nor I are actually spring chickens. And I know that this man has done an incredible job for this country. And, I don't know how he does it.

[00:22:53] I don't know how at his age, which is the same age as me he can run around the world doing all the stuff that he's doing and handling all of these crises the way he's doing it. And yet he keeps being blasted for something he cannot control, which is his age. What are your thoughts about that?

[00:23:14] I agree 100%. I know, I've known Joe Biden for over 50 years. He appointed me to head the Holocaust Museum recently. I've been with him. I've seen him. He's totally engaged, totally able to do the job of president. He's done a good job, both at home and abroad with it. People age in different ways.

[00:23:36] And I think that his age should not be a factor any more than it should be for his opponent who's only three years younger. Yeah, exactly. So I think you have to look at what they're able to do, not just their mathematical age. 

[00:23:50] How do you do it? How do you just said you, where'd you just get back from?

[00:23:55] You run all over the world too, doing it, right? 

[00:23:58] Yes, I told you that one of the elements that I found common elements in all the negotiators of these dozen agreements and in the 130 I viewed as stamina and thankfully I've been blessed with some good genes to have that stamina. I've beaten jet lag and I remember, there's now a decision by the Major League Baseball to incorporate some of the great Negro League players. Yes. And Satchel Paige, who was one of the great Negro League pitchers, pitched into his 60s, once said, you got to keep moving because someone may be gaining on you. 

[00:24:44] That's true. That's true. I was really happy to see that Major League Baseball is doing what they're doing with respect to that.

[00:24:51] And since you brought up baseball, I have one last comment I want to make, and that is that several years ago, I was working for a trade association and as head of communications. And Henry Kissinger was a speaker for a conference that we had, and my job was to go pick him up in the car and take him to the venue, and in the car, brief him on what the group was all about.

[00:25:18] And in the car, I said to the secretary would you like to know about This group and what it is that they're looking for and he said, no, I know let's just talk about baseball. And that's all he wanted to do. It was talk baseball, which I'm a huge baseball fan. So I was impressed, 

[00:25:39] you know when we talk about baseball in the league I have to share one personal anecdote When I was six or seven years old growing up in a segregated Atlanta the Brooklyn Dodgers, then they were the Brooklyn Dodgers at the time, used to have spring training in Vero Beach, and then they would break camp and take a train up the East Coast to start the season and play exhibition games against the minor league teams.

[00:26:01] And in this case, it was the so called Atlanta Crackers in the double A league. But the problem was playing on hallowed Ponce de Leon Park, no blacks were allowed, and so they said you can play, but not with Jackie Robinson, number 42 and Branch Rickey, who was the owner, said no Jackie Robinson, no Brooklyn Dodgers, no game in Atlanta, and that led to him playing, and I remember sitting on the third baseline I'm here today seeing, Jackie Robinson being the first black player played in Atlanta.

[00:26:34] Wow. That's amazing. All right. Listen, I thank you so much for being with us on our podcast, and I do. It's been a great conversation and I enjoyed it. Is there anything else you'd like to add before we sign off? 

[00:26:46] No, I think think we've covered I think we've covered it well.

[00:26:51] I, I do want to make a plea that I've tried to, as Jim Baker said, in my book, to put the reader in the negotiating room. I've tried to personalize this. That's why I didn't base it on just historical books. I based it on actual interviews. And you get to see the real guts of what makes negotiations work, why they succeed and sometimes why they failed. And I think people will get a real history of The most important agreements of the last 50 years and just to give you another element, There's a Washington native who's a very dear friend of mine, Bernie Aronson, and he was a special negotiator for the Columbia Civil War Negotiations with the so called FARC, which was a radical group that for 50 years had a civil war And he broke down their resistance, their distrust of the United States, by saying, look, we are now not in the situation we were before.

[00:27:59] We will accept the results of a democratic election, even if it's a left leaning one. But he also did something personal. And this is why personalization is so important. The FARC leader developed a serious kidney problem. And Bernie went to see him personally in his hospital room, and that did more than almost anything else to build trust that Bernie was a person they could trust and negotiate.

[00:28:30] So these personal these personal relationships, these personal touches, Baker did it with Chevron Nazi by taking him to his ranch in Wyoming when they were doing the German reunification. You can't see your opponents as you would again in a poker game or even in a commercial negotiation as being someone you want to just squeeze every last ounce that they have their own constituency.

[00:28:53] They're representing a sovereign country, 

[00:28:55] right? 

[00:28:55] And you have to respect them and try to build a relationship with them and see them as potential partners and get into their shoes. Let's try to understand their culture and their politics well enough so that you know what they need to bring home, and then shape your negotiations in ways that make them feel that they have achieved something for their constituencies that are in our national interest as well.

[00:29:22] And that's what differentiates successful international negotiations from just traditional business negotiations or, again, a game of poker where it's winner take all. 

[00:29:34] You have had a hell of a career all these years. What'd you say, over 50 years that you've been doing this? I'm wondering if there is a single incident that you would say was the most striking, the most important the, that stays with you the longest, the most, anything like that, that you can refer to?

[00:29:59] Yes, I'll take one negotiation and the other, what was life transforming. You have to have a determination, Bob, to succeed in negotiations of absolute determination. But, you also have to know when to walk away from a negotiation that's not successful. And let the other side know you're not so determined that you're going to accept something you can't accept.

[00:30:25] In the last of the two week negotiation in Kyoto, when we were in the final plenary session with 190 countries. They went alphabetically, A to Z, and they came to U, do you accept this agreement? And I said, with the backing of the White House, no. Why no? Because we had agreed with the European Union to quite deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, but only on the condition that they accept our way of reducing them by Trading by using market mechanisms to reduce the cost because we knew from our sulfur dioxide ozone negotiations that could Achieve an environmental result at cheaper cost and the EU had not been giving us what we need And that's why I said no. It caused a shock it led to the Raul Estrada, the Argentine who headed negotiations, to take John Prescott from the UK representing you and me back to the Green Room.

[00:31:27] And then we came up with something that was ambiguous, and sometimes you have to have that in a negotiation. And that is they wanted top down regulation. We wanted market driven ways. So what we said is you can quote unquote supplement. Regulations with market driven rate. They could interpret it one way.

[00:31:48] We could interpret it another way. Now, the life transforming experience happened in 1968. I graduated from Harvard Law School in 67. I worked for a year in the Johnson White House, and then I was Hubert Humphrey's research director in the campaign against Nixon. And I met a co worker named Arthur Morse who had just published a book called While Six Million Died, and it was an expose using newly declassified records of what FDR and his top aides knew about the genocide of the Jews and failed to act on.

[00:32:20] And it was a shock to me because Roosevelt was an icon in our house growing up, and I pledged to myself at the tender age of 25 that if I was ever in a senior position in government, I would do something to remove this cloud from the otherwise glorious history of the U. S. winning the war, and that's what led me down the path of recommending to President Carter the creation of what became the Holocaust Museum.

[00:32:45] It led me to do all the negotiations. When Dick Holbrook called me in Brussels, and I was MSVU, and he said, would you take this on? My whole staff said, you can't do it. You got a full time job as MSVU. And I remembered that pledge. So I'm still doing it 20 years later. So that was a formative experience in my young life.

[00:33:05] That's amazing. You've had all these, all this experience in negotiation. I wonder how that, I wonder how that translates when you go into a Automobile showroom to purchase a new car. How do you negotiate with those guys? 

[00:33:22] Maybe one of the reasons that I still have an 11 year old car is I don't want to go through that experience.

[00:33:27] I just think that if I was a car salesman and you walked in and you were Buying a new Audi, let's say and you started on me with some of your tactics. I'd probably go, Oh shit, I'd better just give this guy what he wants and be done with it. 

[00:33:40] I think one, one lesson, and there are lessons here for commercial negotiations, is not to be rushed into a conclusion, not to come in and let him think that you're so determined to walk out with that car that you'll agree to anything.

[00:33:55] Yeah, and that's where I say the willingness to walk away from it, he needs that agreement as much as you do. Yeah, you need to make it clear that's the case and that you're not going to accept something that's unreasonable and unaffordable to do it. 

[00:34:09] Okay. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you, as I said joining us on our podcast.

[00:34:14] It's been a great conversation. And folks if you get a chance, pick up his book. It's, it, where is it? I, I presume it's widely available on Amazon. It's widely available. 

[00:34:23] It's on Amazon. It's on Politics and Prose in the Washington area. Yeah. Yes, absolutely. Okay. All 

[00:34:30] right. Thanks so much. I appreciate it.

[00:34:32] Thank you. 

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