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Sadat was also excessively inclined towards wishful thinking. Both Kamil and Fahmy, the two successive Egyptian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, disapproved of the entire negotiation process with the Israelis. As a result of such isolation, Sadat spent most of the Camp David summit secluded in his own cabin, even refusing to eat with the rest of his delegation.

Menachem Begin too was extremely isolated in his delegation. The Camp David negotiation is in and of itself a formidable case study in international bargaining. Yet, precisely because Carter was so personally involved in the Middle Eastern peace process, the Summit can serve as a point of entry into understanding the whole Carter Presidency.

From his inauguration as 39th President, Jimmy Carter identified reaching peace in the Middle East as one of his foremost political objectives. Most books that Carter has written since also discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Brzezinski describes a President who routinely offered birthday cakes to his subordinates, but who also weighed in with his full influence on decisions he took to heart.

Jimmy Carter began his Presidency by walking down Pennsylvania Avenue with his wife Rosalynn, an unprecedented symbol. Both Begin and Sadat were given such treatment. Carter was well aware that, ultimately, his personality was going to make the difference. Carter even traveled to Camp David with his annotated Bible. As a result of both the extreme importance of Camp David for the President and of his personalized style of doing politics, Jimmy Carter designed the summit as a highly interpersonal encounter between decision-makers.

Carter hoped that the relations that Israelis and Egyptians would build among each other would remove the psychological obstacles to peace, a presidential strategy that further heightens the relevance of an individual-based framework. The summit was also completely shut to the press, occurring in an atmosphere of utmost secrecy.

It was the Jimmy Carter conference. He even bargained with Israeli officials of lower ranks and used interpersonal bargaining techniques, such as when Carter delivered handwritten letters to both Begin and Sadat stating that the summit would be adjourned on September 17, regardless of the advancement of the negotiations. Nevertheless, despite his high initial hopes, Carter quickly realized that the best he could hope for out of Sadat and Begin was for them to ignore each other.

As such, the emotional range of Carter was the most constrained of the three negotiators. Carter felt, in many ways, as if he had shared the life experiences of the Egyptian President. He too was born a peasant, and had to fight restlessly to attain power. He too was deeply religious. As a result of such bonds, Carter focused most of his bargaining efforts on the Egyptian leader rather than on the Israeli Premier.

Carter had even invited Sadat to Camp David in February , during which he convinced him not to end direct diplomatic relations with Israel. Over the course of the Camp David negotiations, Carter sent Sadat several warm, personal letters, while the only ones he sent Begin were cold formalities. Between Carter and Sadat, it was never only about politics. This claim is supported by events on day 11 of the negotiations, when after another fruitless confrontation with the Israeli Premier, Sadat decided to leave the conference.

I argue that Carter tapped into his relationship with Sadat in order to secure further concessions, appearing less emotionally reliant on Sadat than Sadat was on him.

Jimmy Carter the Disciple and Ronald Reagan the Alchemist

Carter found it so emotionally draining to interact with Begin that he restricted their interactions to the minimum, only reaching to the Israeli Premier when he had to, and when no concessions could be extracted from Sadat. A crucial, but seemingly trivial, aspect of the negotiations is the clothing style of the decision-makers. Carter insisted on a spirit of informality, under which even heads of state would be dressed comfortably.

Menachem Begin, however, refused to depart from his classic suit and tie, dressing at Camp David as if he were meeting Carter in the Oval Office. On September 17, for instance, when it became clear that the Israelis would not agree to an end of settlement expansion for as long as the negotiation would last, Carter ultimately chose not to confront Begin on the issue. Sadat, meanwhile, was to accept this final concession because of the immense trust and deep affection he felt for Carter. The Israelis, and especially Begin, did not come to Camp David to accept a comprehensive agreement on the fate of the Palestinians.

The Egyptian delegation had come to the summit refusing to differentiate the bilateral Egyptian-Israel file and the Palestinian file, and so did the American delegation. Domestic political forces may have produced significant political pressures upon the three main decision-makers of the Camp David Summit, ultimately accounting for their bargaining behaviors and for the outcome of the negotiations.

This hypothesis would begin by underlining the extreme level of domestic political pressure which weighed on Jimmy Carter at Camp David: being fully and personally involved in the Middle East file since the first day of his Presidency, Carter had had little to show for his efforts. The domestic pressures on Carter, especially because they were very public, were hence a crucial determinant in the resulting Camp David Treaties. Additionally, the issue of domestic pressure was present in most of the conversations Carter, Sadat and Begin had at Camp David.

Carter even stated that both Begin and Sadat had to depart from personal positions they had held in the past, hardline positions which to a large extent corresponded to the state of their respective public opinions during the Camp David Summit. The domestic factors explanation could also account for the behavior of Anwar Al Sadat.

Shibley Telhami adopts such a thesis, analyzing the food riots in Egypt, which made it vital for the Sadat regime to divert Egyptian public attention away from domestic politics.

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This would be greatly enhanced should Egypt become the first Arab country to strike a peace with Israel. Telhami also writes that Sadat felt the pressure of the Egyptian military class that, dissatisfied by the quality of Soviet weapons, favored strengthening the Egyptian-American alliance. Unlike Carter and Sadat, Begin successfully convinced his counterparts that he was constrained domestically. He did this even though he was less constrained than Carter was, and perhaps even less than Sadat was.

This accounts, according to this explanation, for the strength of his bargaining position. Begin indeed came to the negotiations with a trump card that neither Carter nor Sadat possessed: because of the state of the Israeli public opinion, Begin could afford to walk out of the negotiations empty-handed. While this paper acknowledges the strength of the domestic factors explanation, I will attempt to integrate this explanation within my individual framework of decision-making.

I will argue that domestic parameters, rather than effectively constraining the behaviors of the negotiators of Camp David, were used by each of the heads of delegations as additional bargaining chips to strengthen their respective bargaining positions. The first counter-argument is that, ultimately, none of the actors present at Camp David based their participation in the negotiations on an analysis of domestic factors.

For Carter, convening the Camp David summit entailed much more risk than benefit in regard to domestic approval. Regarding Egypt, it became clear, with the overwhelming popular rejection to the treaty, that Sadat was not at Camp David to conquer the hearts of the Egyptian people. Decades after the treaty, the bilateral peace Sadat struck still seems not to have transformed into a fully-fledged mutual recognition between the Egyptian and Israeli people.

Lastly, Israeli public opinion appeared much more conciliatory than the Israeli Premier, as made obvious by the massive demonstrations which followed the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The Israeli political class itself was also more compromise-prone than Begin, as underscored by the resignations of Weizman and Dayan. A different Prime Minister would most certainly have brought a different outcome. This contradicts the most basic assumption of the domestic factors explanation, the inevitability of the application of domestic factors.

Additionally, during the summit itself, domestic constraints seemed to matter little for decision-makers. Begin repeatedly argued with Carter before, during, and after Camp David that the domestic public opinion in Israel could not possibly accept the removal of the Sinai settlements. The same goes for the fate of the Palestinians: Begin routinely argued that no Israeli leader could support the withdrawal of West Bank settlements, effectively integrating his domestic context within his bargaining approach.

Through this research, I attempted to shed light on political decision-making as it occurred at Camp David through an emphasis on individual-based factors.

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I analyzed the contrasting cognitive profiles of decision-makers, which not only constrained the negotiators but also account for the comparative strength of their bargaining positions. Secondly, I analyzed the personal life trajectories of Carter, Sadat and Begin, which significantly shaped their personalities and reinforced their cognitive differences, further shaping the ultimate outcome of the negotiations. I have also demonstrated that the very intent of the summit as well as the broader political style of its host were geared towards reaching political decisions through interpersonal relations.

Finally, I described the relations between the three main bargainers, discussing their contrasting levels of emotional involvement and their impact on decision-making. I find that these three aspects of the individual-based explanation converge in explaining the success of the Israeli bargaining team of Menachem Begin. While I believe that such research sheds light on not only the entire Middle East negotiation process but also on the political style of the Carter Administration, I acknowledge that the specific context of Camp David is a possible confounding variable.

Camp David is an extremely specific context; I have found only one historical precedent, with the convening of the Portsmouth Conference by Theodore Roosevelt to secure a Russo-Japanese peace treaty. Had such a negotiation occurred in a more regular diplomatic setting, the prevalence of individual factors for decision-making might have been mitigated. I nevertheless assert that the findings of this paper regarding the role of cognitive contexts, psychological portraits and styles of interpersonal relations are transferable outside of the framework of the Camp David negotiations, providing a useful framework of analysis for many cases of international bargaining and foreign policy decision-making.

It also entails relevant policy prescriptions, suggesting cautiousness with regards to high-level stress-filled bargaining contexts as well as emotionally loaded interpersonal political relations. Adisa, Folajinmi Olabode. Jerusalem: Gefen House, Begin, Menachem. Bradley, C. New Hampshire: Tompson and Rutter, Brzezinski, Zbigniew.

New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, Byman, Daniel L. Dayan, Moshe. New York: Knopf, DeMause, Lloyd, and Henry Ebel. New York: Two Continents, Fahmy, Ismail. Negotiating for Peace in the Middle East. Farnham, Barbara. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan, Gaillard, Frye. Athens: U of Georgia, Wingate, NC: Wingate College, George, Alexander L. Boulder, CO: Westview, Glad, Betty. Ithaca: Cornell UP, New York: W. Norton, Greenstein, Fred I. Holsti, Ole R. Ikenberry, G. American Foreign Policy: Theoretical Essays.

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Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Jervis, Robert. Perception and Misperception in International Politics. Representative Peter King N. A novel about Belfast during the troubled s. Someone has to read it. Hey, when in Rome…. Government Pan by P. A seasonal read to know the enemy climbing down your chimney. See above. Oh, that the GOP could so roll….

The Deficit and the Public Interest

I just did. I laughed. I cried. I died a little inside. I must get a life…. Representative Thaddeus G. McCotter Mich. His fiction and nonfiction books sold million copies. Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain were among his novels turned into big winners at movie house box offices.

He created the popular TV series ER, drawing on emergency room lore he picked up in medical school. I could go on and on, and the full account of his remarkable career in Wikipedia does just that. But late in his career, Crichton penned a book that stunned many of his admirers and created a sense of betrayal among the Hollywood moguls his thrillers had enriched.

The book is State of Fear Harper. Like the creatures in Jurassic Park , it is a rare creation, a novel with footnotes. The story is fiction; the footnotes are fact. The fiction is engrossing, a first-rate, rapid-fire Crichton adventure tale about the pursuit of a band of ruthless enviro-terrorists trying to engender a calamity that will win them worldwide attention and lots of cash contributions. But the importance of the book lies in the factual footnotes and the disturbing real-life theme they develop about our modern political culture. Crichton illuminates why the politics of fear has become such a popular tool with the chattering classes.

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Politicians invent threats that they will deal with if elected, however unlikely that might be if the threats were truly real. Bureaucrats conjure up problems to get bigger budgets, forgoing solutions that might dictate smaller budgets or none at all. Journalists are suckers for scare stories because they sell newspapers. And a few corruptible scientists join the chorus in search of government and foundation grants that call for little serious research as long as it is politically correct.

What the public gets out of all this is a constant chorus of warnings about dangers that are mostly minimal and in many cases nonexistent. True science is corrupted. And most seriously, laws are passed requiring enormous outlays of tax money to deal with such pseudo-threats as carbon dioxide emissions, which are in fact a natural part of the respiration system of plants, animals, and oceans. It offers a close-up of the rigors of daily lifein a police state. A Chinese lawyer befriended by Johnson tries to buck the bureaucracy on behalfof villagers victimized by the high-handed Communist officials.

It is an excellent warning to any people, including Americans, not to allow bureaucrats to get the upper hand. And then there is Intellectuals Harper by Paul Johnson from It reminds us of how many of those great intellectuals admired by the left — Rousseau, Marx, Bertrand Russell, etc. Not much political relevance, but a hell of a colorful read. Here you will find the ideas that inspired Thomas Jefferson when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Three of our Founding Fathers — Hamilton, Madison, and Jay — explain the principles underlying our nation.

These remain classics of political theory and opinion journalism. Read the ideas that, to this day, compete with ours. This book is as educational as it is entertaining. The history of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads and how they united the continental U. This fascinating front story is the setting for the backstories that include the Civil War, slavery, American Indians, Chinese and Irish immigrants, numerous scandals, etc. A wonderful piece of Americana. This is a very long book, but is an exciting history of the 20th century and how the ideas of Marx, Lenin, Einstein, Darwin, and Freud took the status quo and turned it upside down.

You will learn plenty here that will help explain plenty more. Friedrich uses that locale to inform readers about politics, economics, the arts, science, psychology, disease, sex, debauchery, and much more in Germany and Europe. The true story of Moe Berg, a professional baseball player who also was an atomic spy for the U. Berg was a fascinating character who seemed to have emerged from a movie script. Thomas Wood. This is a true story and reads like spy fiction.


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It would make a fine motion picture. It also is an excellent tale of the good that just one individual can do. A totally engrossing true story of the most-decorated U. A wonderful and quick read with great photos on Frank Sinatra and what a gentleman can learn today from his personal style. Again, not much in the way of politics, but lots of fun and games involving recreational drug use in the late s.

This is a very funny book that shows how governments can screw up foreign countries. A civic-minded New York attorney shows how lawsuits and excessive regulation are crippling American life. Norton by Sebastian Junger.


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The harrowing true story of a simple U. This is an excellent cautionary tale on how not to fight a war. See the movie starring Josh Hartnett. Perfect people were not always so presumptuous. William Alfred Hinds wrote a book in entitled American Communities , which was a study of contemporary attempts at creating communist utopias in the United States.

Hinds was himself a member of the Oneida colony and edited the Oneida newspaper, the Circular. He tells the story of the Shakers — yes, the communities that were celibate and survived for years adopting children and inspiring others to join them. All allowed members and children born into the communities to leave at will and take with them any property they brought into the community. No Berlin walls around these communist communities. It was free from every form of compulsion and conservative of property, order and morality. Imagine if today Barack Obama or the better-and-smarter-than-you liberals you met in college went off with their fellow enthusiasts and their own money to create perfect societies without involving or annoying the rest of us.

Mackay wrote Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds in , documenting and trying to make some sense of mass hysterias such as the South Sea investment bubble that began in and the Tulipmania of and that saw the price of a tulip approach the price of a house, and tragic mass movements such as the witch mania that led to the torture and murder of thousands of witches not only by mobs but by governments and churches and not back in the Dark Ages but in the s and s and even into the s. An Egyptian woman reporter watching Bush White House experts traipse through the Middle East noticed that these experts did not speak Arabic or know the region, but did have one thing in common — they were from Texas.

Texas, she decided, ran the United States as Tikrit had until recently ruled Iraq. Chicago civic pride, fear of being thought a second city smelling of slaughterhouses, and drive to best Paris can be seen in the presidential campaign where Chicago took down first the ruling Clinton clan and then the Bush administration. For my money, the best modern biography of Johnson remains W. My son recently asked me to recommend a good book or two on the two great world wars of the 20th century. Norton , an elegant study which reminds us that the Allied victory in World War II was by no means a sure thing in the early years of the conflict.

Doubleday , an intriguing study of a well-worn subject but to which the author brings his customary insight. His book does much more than answer the specific question to which his title refers, but sheds interesting light on the nature of liberalism itself in the modern era and the reasons for its less than rational appeal to both Jews and non-Jews alike. James Piereson is president of the William E. Simon Foundation and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Too bad. Kilgore, a man reared and educated in small-town Indiana, at age 29 took a small, obscure, near-bankrupt financial paper in New York City and built it into the Wall Street Journal , which late this year became the largest — and some would say best-newspaper in America.

Richard J. It ought to be read in the executive suites as well as in newsrooms, and the wit, charm, and wisdom of Barney Kilgore will remind every newspaperman and newspaper reader of what and how it could be. Winston Churchill is rightly regarded as a man of action, a giant whose grit and gumption inspired the prosecution of the war that saved the world.

His frustration grew little short of despair as he watched Europe, as well as Britain, quail before the bully in the gathering storm of war. Leading her free, careless life from day to day, amid endless good-tempered parliamentary babble, she followed, wondering, along the downward path which led to all that she wished to avoid. She was continually reassured by [the editorials] of the most influential newspapers, with some honorable exceptions, and behaved as if all the world were as easy, uncalculating, and well-meaning as herself. Everyone has seen the movie.

Portis writes with flair, precision, and comic genius, with wit, humor, and perceptions as un-flinching and straightforward as Arkansas hickory. Here is what happened. The former was long overdue and sonically revelatory, but should have been accompanied by something more than scattered bits of previously unreleased studio chatter-like previously unreleased studio outtakes. This is John C. In all this, Winn moves us beyond the heretofore definitive books The Beatles Live!

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