Richard Holbrooke has died after complications of 21 hour surgery to repair a torn aorta. He has served under every Democratic president since JFK. The Washington Post reports:
…that Holbrooke’s last wordscame just before the 21-hour operation. As Holbrooke was sedated for surgery, his final words were to his Pakistani surgeon, family members said: “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.”
Those are powerful words coming from a man who has brokered many difference peace accords between countries.
Calling Holbrooke “a true giant of American foreign policy,” Obama paid homage to the veteran diplomat as “a truly unique figure who will be remembered for his tireless diplomacy, love of country, and pursuit of peace.” Holbrooke deserves credit for much of the progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the president said.
Others from the administration spoke equally highly of Holbrooke:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Holbrooke one of America’s “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,” Clinton said.
Richard Holbrooke’s shoes will be difficult if not impossible to fill. He has been called ‘ Raging Bull and ‘The Bull Dozer.’ He was known as effective and feisty. His death certainly makes peace in the middle east a little more difficult to achieve.