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Posts Tagged ‘Brussels’

This morning I climbed the stairs to my aviary to write about the mating rituals of birds and how they compare to a Chinese internet dating site, and then I heard about Brussels.

Instead of listening to conjecture and panic about terrorism, Bob and I set off to the Miller Center in Charlottesville to listen to a taping of American Forum TV, to see what an ex-diplomat and policy advisor to presidents had to bring to the table.

His name buzzed in my head. I knew this man. A long, long time ago, when I was a Rumson-Fair Haven School Board member, I was given the honor to write about him from my friend Bobbie VanAnda (Hi Bobbie!!). We were creating a “Hall of Fame,” a wall near the cafeteria which would permanently show our current students the places our alums had traveled, the numerous avenues to success they walked to get there.

I was assigned Eric S Edelman, an ex-diplomat to Finland. Here is my copy:

Thirty years after his graduation from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Eric Edelman was sworn in at the State Department as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland. Amidst friends and family on July 20, 1998, Mr. Edelman said that he hoped his parents would finally be convinced he did the right thing by not going to law school. On August 27, 1998, he presented his credentials to President Martti Ahtisaari in Helsinki.  http://www.rumsonfairhaven.org/about/hall-of-fame/2001-inductees/

I vaguely remember a phone call, and some research back in the day when the internet wasn’t easily available. I loved writing biographies. Many times I would write a “split-page” bio for the newspaper; digging out the qualities and eccentricities of someone who may not have been a celebrity, but may have been infamous nonetheless.

Edelman retired from the US Foreign Service in 2009, and is currently the Hertog Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. That’s a mouthful right?

Today he really didn’t say much about terrorism. It seems he is part of a Republican group that would like to deny Donald Trump the nomination. I know this type of Republican, very Christie Todd Whitman. Someone who is thoughtful, conservative and reasonable; they are a dying breed.

Edelman spent his time, unfortunately, delivering a critique of our President, saying that Obama has an “…ideological aversion to American power.” And that in his two terms in office, Obama tended to prioritize relations with our adversaries, and not with our allies. There was a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking, even though it’s Tuesday. He is a bit hawkish, wishing we had been more aggressive in Syria from the start. Saying that our policy, or lack thereof,  has allowed “…a major region (the Mideast) to descend into disorder.”

Edelman’s interview will be on our PBS stations this weekend. http://millercenter.org/americanforum

Bob thought he drank the Kool-Aid of the GOP, I thought he was more of a Kissinger-era policy wonk. But I did connect with him afterwards, he told us he was a Democrat in the beginning. He said his parents sold their Fair Haven home in 1980, and that he’s never been back. I wonder if they moved to Florida. He said he’s not on any social media sites, which makes getting national security clearance so much easier!

I wonder if he can succeed at keeping the Donald out of the White House. These are serious times. Good Luck Mr Edelman, and Godspeed. Here is a picture of RFH High School.

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