Quote of the Day

"You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan."—US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and well-respected diplomat Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, uttering his last words before he was taken into emergency surgery for a torn aorta, during which he died.

Holbrooke spent his entire adult life serving this country, starting with a tour in Vietnam, a war he later helped end. In a long career of public service, his tenure was marked with precious few controversies, and I always found him an interesting character, given his work in high finance and his humanitarian endeavors, a combination that always strikes me as somehow incompatible.

The thing I always thought about Richard Holbrooke was that he seemed wickedly smart, the kind of smart you want on your side.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says of her "friend, colleague, and confidant":
America has lost one of its fiercest champions and most dedicated public servants. Richard Holbrooke served the country he loved for nearly half a century, representing the United States in far-flung war-zones and high-level peace talks, always with distinctive brilliance and unmatched determination. He was one of a kind -- a true statesman -- and that makes his passing all the more painful.

From his early days in Vietnam to his historic role bringing peace to the Balkans to his last mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard helped shape our history, manage our perilous present, and secure our future. He was the consummate diplomat, able to stare down dictators and stand up for America's interests and values even under the most difficult circumstances. He served at every level of the Foreign Service and beyond, helping mentor generations of talented officers and future ambassadors. Few people have ever left a larger mark on the State Department or our country. From Southeast Asia to post-Cold War Europe and around the globe, people have a better chance of a peaceful future because of Richard’s lifetime of service.

I had the privilege to know Richard for many years and to call him a friend, colleague and confidante. As Secretary of State, I have counted on his advice and relied on his leadership. This is a sad day for me, for the State Department and for the United States of America.
My sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

[Note: If there are less flattering things to be said about Holbrooke, they have been excluded because I am unaware of them, not as the result of any deliberate intent to whitewash his life. Please feel welcome to comment on the entirety of his work and life in this thread.]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus