Skip to main content

Holbrooke Dies

Richard Holbrooke, the diplomat sent out by various presidents to sow harmony and accord in nettlesome places such as Bosnia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, died from a tear in his aorta, literally a broken heart. Before passing on to that great peace conference in the sky, Mr. Holbrooke had a brief contretemps with his surgeon, who told him it was important that he relax before the operation.

Holbrooke: “I can’t relax. I’m worried about Afghanistan and Pakistan."

According to a report in the Washington Post, Holbrooke’s last words were: “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan,” not quite as revealing as the reputed last words of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – “More mask” – but close.

In a dusty New York Times article, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was given the job in the Obama administration that Mr. Holbrooke wanted, characterized the late peacemaker’s diplomacy as “the kind of robust, persistent, determined diplomacy the president intends to pursue.” Reminded of his sometime overbearing qualities, Mrs. Clinton responded in mock surprise, “Gee, I’d never heard that he could be any of those things before" and, turning serious, added “Occasionally he has to be, you know, brought down to earth and reined in.”

A cartoon by Bob Englehart of the Hartford Courant shows Mr. Holbrooke advancing on a starry night in which an exploding star heralds “Peace on Earth.”

To be sure, Holbrooke, at the tail end of his career, was handed a tough card. Brief eras of peace on earth historically have followed conclusive wars. Successful diplomacy is aided by successful wars. Successful wars are most often hampered by inept diplomacy. It was much easier for the Prime Minister of Britain to negotiate with the Germans after the successful prosecution of World War II; negotiations with Hitler’s regime before the conclusion of the war were not, as Prime Minister Chamberlain discovered, a road to peace.

Possibly Holbrooke realized the limits of diplomacy during wartime; if so, the realization could only have added to his frustration, now mercifully over.

God loves the peacemakers, we are told. Those who believe in the Christian message will have the courage to think that Mr.Holbrooke, no longer brought down to earth, has been raised up and is, at last, at peace.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Blumenthal Burisma Connection

Steve Hilton, a Fox News commentator who over the weekend had connected some Burisma corruption dots, had this to say about Connecticut U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal’s association with the tangled knot of corruption in Ukraine: “We cross-referenced the Senate co-sponsors of Ed Markey's Ukraine gas bill with the list of Democrats whom Burisma lobbyist, David Leiter, routinely gave money to and found another one -- one of the most sanctimonious of them all, actually -- Sen. Richard Blumenthal."

Dave Walker, Turning Around The Misery Index

Dave Walker, who is running for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican Party ticket, is recognized by most credible political observers as perhaps the most over qualified candidate for Lieutenant Governor in state history.
He is a member of the Accounting Hall of Fame and for ten years was the Comptroller General of the United States. When Mr. Walker talks about budgets, financing and pension viability, people listen.
Mr. Walker is also attuned to fine nuances in political campaigning. He is not running for governor, he says, because he had moved to Connecticut only four years ago and wishes to respect the political pecking order. Very few people in the state think that, were he governor, Mr. Walker would know less about the finance side of government than his budget chief.

Murphy Stumbles

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy has been roughly cuffed by some news outlets, but not by Vox, which published on April 16 a worshipful article on Connecticut’s Junior Senator, “The Senator of State: How Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, a rising Democratic star, would run the world.”
On April 15, The Federalist mentioned Murphy in an article entitled “Sen. Chris Murphy: China And The World Health Organization Did Nothing Wrong. The lede was a blow to Murphy’s solar plexus: “Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy exonerated China of any wrongdoing over the global pandemic stemming from the novel Wuhan coronavirus on Tuesday.
“’The reason that we’re in the crisis that we are today is not because of anything that China did, is not because of anything the WHO [World Health Organization] did,’ said Murphy during a prime-time interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.”