Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Richard Holbrooke, RIP

I note today the passing of diplomat Richard Holbrooke.

Looking over his biography with even but a cursetory eye one is impressed by the length, depth and breadth of the man's service to his country. And he was an old-style Democrat, one who believed in America and American power and the ability of this nation to do good in the world.

His greatest accomplishment--one that affected my life profoundly--was his work, with German diplomat Karl Bild, to end the war in Bosnia in 1995, bringing together the leaders of the three factions to a dumpy compound in Dayton, Ohio, and twisting their arms into a deal that would allow the war, and its genocide, to finally end.

Not a bad accomplishment, that.

In his last years he worked tirelessly to advance American interests in the Iraqi and Afghan theaters, a task that likely deprived him of a decade or more of life.

Rest in peace, Mr. Holbrooke.

Addendum: Apparently I'm not the only one who feels this way. Max Boot at Commentary makes the same observation. Money graf:
He was a liberal but a tough-minded one — one of the last prominent hawks in the Democratic Party. He was, in short, a “neo-liberal,” which isn’t so far removed from a “neo-conservative,” a label that I teased him with and that he naturally resisted. The country as a whole will miss him, and so in particular will the Democratic Party, which could use more of his bracing realism in its counsels.

Truly a giant leaves us. (And the average moral stature of those left behind become even more hobbit-like....)


  1. R.I.P (Rot in Perpetuity, more like) Holbrooke. What a nasty bit of work you were! Not before time did God finally smite you. You claimed to save lives when, in fact, you are responsible for the deaths and suf

    fering of countless people around the world. http://www.counterpunch.org/frank12152010.html

    Making himself rich on the suffering of others was Richard Holbrooke's biggest accomplishment.


Keep it clean for gene.