"Pentagon insiders say Eric S. Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, has sought to stop the awarding of a new contract to Coughlin. Edelman served as ambassador to Turkey from 2003 to 2005."
Embattled Muslim aide to leave Pentagon job
Hesham Islam's 'resume didn't add up,' official says
Posted: February 11, 2008
11:07 am Eastern
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
In a stunning turn of events, a high-level Muslim military aide [Hesham Islam] blamed for costing an intelligence contractor [Maj. Stephen Coughlin] his job will step down from his own Pentagon post, WND has learned.... "He's [Islam] a Muslim brother," an FBI official told WND. "He's a bad actor...." [Steven] Emerson says Islam prescribed a steady diet of Muslim Brotherhood-connected outreach for his unwitting boss, deputy Gordon England.... As WND previously reported, FBI officials believe Islam is involved with the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and is helping its front groups run "influence operations" against the U.S. government....
Meanwhile, his rival, Maj. Stephen Coughlin, a leading authority on Islamic war doctrine, may stay in the Pentagon, moving from the office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the office of the secretary of defense. However, sources say a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey [Eric S. Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy] is trying to block his new contract.
Mr. Eric S. Edelman, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Ambassador Eric S. Edelman is the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
His last assignment was as Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey from July 2003 to June 2005. .... Mr. Edelman was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, Prague, Czech Republic, from June 1994 to June 1996.
From April 1993 to July 1993, he served as Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large and Special Advisor to the Secretary of State on the New Independent States. Mr. Edelman's areas of responsibility were defense, security and space issues.
Mr. Edelman served as Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Soviet and East European Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) from April 1990 to April 1993.
From April 1989 to March 1990, he was Special Assistant (European Affairs) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
Mr. Edelman served at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow 1987-89, where he was head of the external political section. He had responsibility for Soviet policies in the third world in the Office of Soviet Affairs at the Department of State from 1984 to 1986.
Previously, Mr. Edelman served as Special Assistant to Secretary of State George P. Shultz, 1982-84; a staff officer on the Secretariat Staff, 1982; a watch officer in the State.
As Hugh Fitzgerald points out below, this man is well-versed in Sovietology but seems to know nothing whatsoever about Islam, filtering his world-view through the lens of the Cold War, ignoring or not knowing the difference between that war and our current war against Islamic jihad.
Bush Bypasses Senate: Installs Eric S. Edelman as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
[T]he White House announced on Tuesday that Bush named Eric S. Edelman to be undersecretary of defense for policy, the chief policy adviser to the secretary of defense. Edelman replaces Douglas J. Feith, whose battles with Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., over the release of documents related to Iraq stalled Edelman's nomination.
Edelman is a career foreign service officer. He served as ambassador to Turkey from July 2003 to June 2005 and he was a national security assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney from February 2001 to June 2003....http://www.mindfully.org
As an ambassador he was less than successful.
Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey (July 2003-June 2005): Edelman served as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey after the second Iraq invasion, during which anti-American tensions within Turkey were high. According to Ibrahim Karagul, a columninst with the Turkish Weekly, "Edelman act(ed) more like a colonial governor than an ambassador... (He) is probably the least-liked and trusted American ambassador in Turkish history, and his reputation is not likely to recuperate."  [^ Karagul, Ibrahim (March 18, 2005). A Few Notes On President's Visit to Syria and Edelman. Turkish Weekly. Retrieved on 2007-07-26.] ...
More directly: "During his government career, Edelman has shuttled back and forth between the State Department and DOD. His latest assignment was as ambassador to Turkey, where he gained a reputation as a meddlesome critic of the Turkish government at a time when anti-Americanism began flaring up throughout the country."
What does he bring to the job?
Supporter of Turkish membership the European Union.
Claims: 'Terror in the Middle East will continue due to some political balances, poor economic conditions of large segments of the population and high rates of unemployment within the young population.''
And his understanding of jihad is completely missing. He seems to have no understanding of jihad. What is he doing in this job then? Study after study shows clearly to all that economics plays little or no part in the jihadi motivation, that it is jihad ideology based on and rooted in Islamic orthodoxy that propels jihad. Our govenment is losing this war against jihad because it continues to follow the Cold War line of thinking in terms of economics and geopoitical strategizing at the expense of looking to the people and understanding them as they are not as the bureaucrats assume they are. Incomprehensible as it is to the bureaucrats, it's not the money: it's the jihad.
Pentagon insiders say Eric S. Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, has sought to stop the awarding of a new contract to Coughlin.
In a comment at Jihadwatch:
Embedded in the report is a disquieting fact:
"[S]ources say a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey is trying to block his [Coughlin's] new contract"
"Pentagon insiders say Eric S. Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, has sought to stop the awarding of a new contract to Coughlin."
Who is this Edelman?
"Edelman served as ambassador to Turkey from 2003 to 2005."
Excerpts from an interview in 2004 with Edelman show his neo-Wilsonian "we-must-use-the-good-Muslims-
Clearly, the absence of freedom, the absence of hope, the absence of economic development are the breeding ground of terrorism. So the degree to which we, along with the other G-8 countries, the other partner countries, but most of all the countries from the region are able to address those issues and help countries move forward on a path of reform, both political and economic, that gives hope to people and more opportunity to diminish the pool from which terrorists recruit the disheartened and the hopeless.
From the U.S. point of view, the Broader Middle East Initiative is an effort to build a supportive international structure for the calls for reform that have issued from the broader Middle East region.
The focus is to see what can be done to support democratization, the spread of literacy, better regional financing flows, entrepreneurship, and investment opportunities in the region to deal with both the economic and political reform requirements of the region
And Edelman in that same interview supports the admission of Turkey into the EU.Posted by: cantor at February 11, 2008 3:36 PM
"Clearly, the absence of freedom, the absence of hope, the absence of economic development are the breeding ground of terrorism."
-- from a posting above, quoting Eric Edelman, who apparently does not like the work of, and would like to block the re-appoint of, Stephen Coughlin
Eric Edelman is one more person -- his background is in Soviet studies -- who has learned all he has learned about Islam from his encounter with Turkey, and not so much Turkey as with secularist Turks, in a still-semi-Kemalist Turkey. In this respect, he is like others, such as Perle and Feith, who were before becoming enmeshed in the Iraq misadeventure, great believers in the permanence of Kemalism, and of secular Turkey, and some even served as agents of the Turkish government. Another example of the phenomenon, though his case is more complicated, is that of Bernard Lewis.
Edelman firmly believes, allows himself to believe, cannot but believe, that "[c]learly, the absence of freedom, the absence of hope, the absence of economic development are the breeding ground of terrorism." This is the world of Muslims without Islam, Hamlet without the Prince. He feels, along with George Bush, that if we cure that "absence of freedom" by transplanting that "freedom" (most crudely defined as vote-counting at election time) to "ordinary moms and dads" in the Middle East, and if we bring them "prosperity" and so end that "absence of economic development," and both of those, and so much more, will reverse that "absence of hope" that, the eric-edelmans of this world must believe, have to believe, deeply truly sincerely cannot do other than believe, is the "breeding ground of terrorism."
He's got it wrong. The breeding-ground of terrorism is any state, or people, or society, or community, where Islam, unmediated or undiluted by time or space or other conceivable identities, molds the minds of men, and they take it seriously. They may be as spectacularly rich as Bin Laden (or at least his family), or from as notable a background as Ayman al-Zawahiri. The terrorists and would-be are likely, studies have shown, to be far better educated and better off than the average Muslim.
But that is not all that Eric Edelman gets wrong. He doesn't seem to comprehend the intellectual world, the moral world, of Islam -- and that world can only be conveyed, or rather cannot conceivably be conveyed without, a knowledge of what Islam is all about, what Muslims read in their canonical texts, what they have repeated day in and day out (no, not among the secularists of Turkey, no, but that experience, and not merely in Turkey but in Turkey as the cosseted American ambassador, was as poor a guide for Edelman was was Paul Wolfowitz's experience as the cosseted American ambassador in Jakarta, meeting the most secular locals, and being told what his local interlocutors were sure he would be pleased to here ("yes, we really are looking forward to establishing relations with Israel"), and learning little about Islam, and certainly not learning about it from his charming Muslims-in-exile friends, who were not about to say "you know, the best way for you to deal with Iraq is to allow the ethnic and sectarian fissures to work their magic, and to have consequences beyond the borders of Iraq, because the best thing for you Infidels is to divide and demoralize the Camp of Islam" -- no, that is not what Paul Wolfowitz was told by Chalabi, Makiya, or his Arab non-Iraqi companion).
If indeed Edelman thinks it would be best for policy to be made, in dealing with the threat of Jihad, by not studying the texts and tenets, and not listening to those who have studied those texts and those tenets (and are definitely not part of the small army of apologists who have been camped out in the capitals of the West for the past several decades, nicely subsidized by Saudi Arabia and other sweetly disinterested parties), then perhaps his counsel of ignorance entitles him, too, to be shown the door.
There is a limit. And the limit on this kind of thing has been reached.Posted by: Hugh at February 11, 2008 3:57 PM
Edelman himself sums himself up thus:
Edelman: I think it would have been our preference that Pakistan stay on the course that it was on of having elections and moving towards a more firmly rooted constitutional form of government, rooted in the voice of the people as registered at the polls. And I think what we would like to see now is, as quickly as possible, for Pakistan to get back on that course, to hold the elections that were meant to be held in January, for President Musharraf to give some indication about his intentions in terms of taking off his uniform and returning Pakistan to civilian rule and making sure that this provisional constitutional order is an event of very short duration. Our preference would have been, quite frankly, that he not issue it at all.
RFE/RL: Is Washington confident that if we go through elections in Pakistan that the result will be as strong an ally in the war on terror as President Musharraf has been?
Edelman: Well, this is obviously one of those difficult problems in the world, where you have to balance a lot of competing interests.
Naipaul relates the story of a Pakistani peasant who sits in squalor and hates modernity: "His world had shrunk to a hut in a crumbling village. He was prepared for even that to crumble away further, once the faith was served." (Naipaul: p. 89.)
It is the utopian vision of the world as perfectible 'if only we throw enough money at the problem' that prevents our current leadership from understanding the nature of jihad. How much more money would have enticed bin Ladin to remain in the discos and flesh-pots of Beirut rather than going off in search of Jihad in Afgahanistan? How poor were the 19 psychotic jihadis who attacked us on 9/11? How much more welfare money will it take to encourage Muslim rioters across western Europe to quit burning and looting every night? How many immigrant student doctors will quit bombing England and Scotland if only they get... What? What will stop the jihadis? If we turn all hospital beds to face Mecca, stop eating in front of Muslims during Ramadan, rid the world of ceramic piggies on window sills, stop drinking alcohol at sidewalk cafes, become more "inclusive".... What will stop the jihadis?
Our problem with jihad is merely technical. Within a week we in the modern West could rid the world of the threat of Islam without a doubt. We could bomb them out of existence and destroy every vestige of them within a month by stopping our foreign aid to the point they simply starve to death. Our problem with jihad is not our problem with jihad: our problem with jihad is our problem with all primitives: we don't want to understand that they are not like us. We are the problem. Eric Edelman is the problem. He and his counterpart Left Death Hippies the Left dhimmi fascist utopians who have o regard for the otherness of others are the problem we face and that we must confront. Until e face ourselves and our disbelief in the authentic difference between our understanding of reality and that of our enemies, we will be our own worst enemies. Not infiltrators like the Muslim brotherhood's Hesham Islam, but his "unwitting boss, deputy Gordon England" and Eric Edelman and too many others who simply cannot grasp the reality of others as not us. Until we stop playing this silly magic trick on ourselves we will continuously be surprised by our self-delusion.