Tuesday, March 22, 2005
U.S. ambassador to Turkey resigns, contemplates more mischief
U.S. Ambassador Eric Edelman plans to resign from the Foreign Service this summer for personal reasons, said Adam Ereli, a spokesman for the State Department. Ereli said the ambassador "is leaving Turkey on positive, friendly, cooperative terms," and the spokesman declined to comment on Turkish reports that the ambassador would take a position in the Pentagon.
During a trip to the country earlier this year, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reportedly instructed Edelman to do more to calm anti-Americanism in the Turkish media. [emphasis added]
If you read the Turkish press, you might easily speculate that Edelman's decision to resign was taken in an effort to "calm anti-Americanism in the Turkish media."
Here's what Ibrahim Karagul, a Turkish columnist, had to say about him—
.... Eric Edelman acts more like a colonial governor than an ambassador. Since his appointment as US ambassador to Turkey, Edelman’s actions have always caused discomfort among the public. His latest ‘suggestions’ on Sezer’s upcoming visit to Syria had the same impact.
Edelman is probably the least-liked and trusted American ambassador in Turkish history, and his reputation is not likely to recuperate. Edelman’s actions have exceeded his diplomatic mission. His ‘interest’ in nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the Turkish media and ethnic minorities make him go beyond his role as an ambassador. His presence here has never contributed to Turkish-American relations, and it never will. If we want to address the reasons for anti-Americanism, Edelman must be issue one. As long as Edelman stays in Turkey, the chill wind disturbing bilateral relations will last.
But before you conclude that the Bush administration has belatedly discovered the meaning of the word "diplomacy," consider what the Turkish newspaper Zaman has reported and about which the State Department will not comment—
It is noted that Edelman could be appointed as the Deputy Defense Secretary, the position recently vacated by Paul Wolfowitz after President Bush reassigned him to the head of the World Bank. According to diplomatic circles, if this is not the case, Edelman may be assigned as a replacement for Douglas Feith, the Undersecretary of Defense.
In line with the administration's policy of rewarding neocon failure, Edelman will be promoted, and that right soon. Zaman says he will stay on until July.
In a previous post I predicted the near-term departure of Donald Rumsfeld based on the nomination of Wolfowitz to the World Bank and mentioned the Newsweek speculation that Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Richard Armitage will be replacing Rumsfeld. Now take a look at this AP photo released on Friday. How odd that Edelman should be shown with Armitage! It's not that there wasn't a perfectly good photo of him solo. And thus our media prepare us for the next load of crap to appear on the public plate. By the time the appointment of the Armitage-Edelman team has been announced, you'll feel as if you attended the wedding.
The July effective date of Edelman's resignation suggests the timeline of the events to follow. I say Rummy will be out by summer.