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Richard Holbrooke died recently (I am surprised it wasn't posted here) from a tear in his abdominal aorta with two attempts at emergency surgical repair. This news and some obits and plaudits can be found online in the MSM. Here is this piece, offered up for further reflection:

America's Special Envoy: What the Establishment Media Won’t Tell You About Richard Holbrooke

by Max Kantar

Global Research, December 15, 2010

In the American press, the death of U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke has been universally hailed as an immense tragedy for the people of the United States and the world at large. TIME magazine described the longtime Democratic Party advisor and foreign diplomat as “tactically brilliant and capable of the finest strategic judgment” while also “possessing high principles and real, deep compassion.”1 New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof—well known for his ultra-dovish politics and passion for humanitarianism—praised Holbrooke as “a man of heart” who served as an “inspiration” to us all.2 The Washington Post joined in the chorus of admiration, warmly painting Holbrooke as a “towering, one-of-a-kind presence” who “move[d] with equal confidence through Upper East Side cocktail parties, the halls of the White House and the slums of Pakistan.”3
One by one, each newspaper and major television network lionized Holbrooke as a man of peace, great intelligence, compassion, and foresight. Humorous anecdotes and interpersonal stories were shared, serving to humanize him as a family man and great personality. Media outlets and intellectuals doted on Holbrooke’s supposed achievements surrounding the establishment of the 1995 Dayton Accords—praise that is dubious at best.4
What they left out is that Richard Holbrooke was as Special Envoy, in a many regards, a war criminal; an exporter of misery and suffering to millions of people.

Over the course of nearly five decades, Holbrooke supported and took part in—often playing quite substantial roles—some of the most horrifying crimes of the latter half of the twentieth century. For six years in the 1960s he worked to advance the brutal U.S. pacification of South Vietnam. In addition to serving as an aide to multiple U.S. ambassadors in the Saigon embassy, Holbrooke worked as a USAID operative in the Mekong Delta. USAID programs provided training for South Vietnamese police, intelligence agents, and death squads to help these U.S.-directed forces ruthlessly terrorize and slaughter hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese peasants in an effort to stop the population from supporting Ho Chi Min and the National Liberation Front (also known as the “Viet Cong”).

USAID also played a significant role in facilitating CIA involvement in “Operation Phoenix”—the infamous program of mass torture and political murder which claimed several tens of thousands of victims. In all, the U.S. and its surrogate forces in Vietnam ended up killing upwards of three to four million human beings throughout the war, including many children. Holbrooke also helped implement this campaign by serving as a high level advisor to then-President Lyndon Johnson. .

In the late 1970s, Holbrooke served as President Jimmy Carter’s Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. The unprovoked Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor, beginning in 1975, was largely a U.S. project designed to maintain traditional U.S. political and economic interests in the region. The U.S. provided Indonesia with upwards of 90 percent of their military hardware and, until 1999, successfully blocked all international efforts in the United Nations to bring about an Indonesian withdrawal from East Timor.

Holbrooke served as the top Carter administration official responsible for U.S. policy in Indonesia and East Timor. On the military end, Holbrooke authorized crucial arms shipments to Indonesia which allowed the invading forces to attack largely undefended, civilian targets. As part of the political campaign to conceal these genocidal atrocities, Holbrooke testified before Congress in 1979, lying to the American people about the mass starvation the U.S.-backed Indonesian forces were imposing on the East Timorese general public. According to sources from the UN, Amnesty International, and the Catholic Church, some 200,000 East Timorese were killed, with hundreds of thousands more tortured and rendered homeless in what amounted to, proportionally, one of the most comprehensive genocides since the Nazi Holocaust.5
Holbrooke also served as a major Carter administration apologist for the hideous crimes of the U.S. favorite in The Philippines, Dictator Ferdinand Marcos. His hatred for popular movements, grassroots struggles, and democracy was not limited, however, to Vietnam, East Timor, and The Philippines. Holbrooke successfully convinced Carter to authorize South Korean troops under effective U.S. control to crush a pro-democracy uprising in Kwangju, South Korea, resulting in the killing of hundreds of young activists.6[URL=""]
As an advisor to President Bill Clinton, Holbrooke supported and often spoke out in defense of the U.S.-sponsored ethnic cleansing and brutalization program of Turkish Kurds. Tens of thousands of Kurds were killed, thousands of villages were razed, countless women raped, and millions rendered homeless, largely as a result of U.S. diplomatic and military support. Unsurprisingly, Holbrooke also took a hard line against the Palestinian struggle for freedom from Israel’s foreign military occupation, voicing support for America’s policy of financing Israeli crimes while also urging the UN Security Council to abstain from criticizing Israel.
In more recent years, Holbrooke is known for being a prominent and powerful Democratic Party supporter of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq—an invasion and occupation which has thus far resulted in the killing of over 1,000,000 people and the torture, mutilation, brutalization, and devastation of many more millions of Iraqis.7

At the time of his death, Holbrooke was serving as the Obama administration’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In this capacity, he led the push for Obama’s military surge in Afghanistan which has been closely accompanied by a drastic increase in death and destruction. House raids by U.S. Special Forces, aerial bombings, and increased fighting with insurgents has made life for the Pashtun population a living nightmare, according to leading independent journalists in Afghanistan, such as Anand Gopal. In addition to crimes and humiliations committed by NATO troops, Gopal writes, the daily atrocities committed by U.S.-backed Afghan forces and paramilitary death squads continue to increase support for the Taliban-led insurgency while fostering hatred for the United States.8 In Pakistan, Holbrooke has overseen an unprecedented increase in remote-controlled drone bombings in the tribal regions. Thousands of Pakistanis have been killed by these strikes and it is widely believed that civilians are bearing the brunt of the bloodshed.9
Falsifying history is one of the most important functions of the establishment media. Whenever a statesman or lap-dog intellectual dies,10 it is important that the documentary record is suppressed in favor of telling comforting narratives that perpetuate the harmful myths of the dominant political culture.

Max Kantar is a Michigan-based independent writer and human rights activist. He can be reached at
1 Massimo Calabresi, “Richard Holbrooke: Archetype of American Diplomacy,” TIME, December 14, 2010,,8599,2036851,00.html (December 14, 2010).
2 Nicholas Kristof, “Richard Holbrooke, RIP,” New York Times, December 14, 2010, Opinion Pages, (accessed December 14, 2010).
3 Ranjiv Chandrasekaran, “Richard Holbrooke Dies: Veteran U.S. diplomat brokered Dayton peace accords,” Washington Post, December 13, 2010.
4 Edward Herman, “Inhumanitarian Intervention,” Z Magazine, May 2007, (accessed December 14, 2010).
5 On Holbrooke’s role in the East Timor genocide, see, for example, Sunil Sharma, “200,000 Skeletons in Richard Holbrooke’s closet,” Dissident Voice, March 22, 1999, (accessed December 14, 2010); Joshua Frank, “Obama’s Necon: The Curious Case of Richard Holbrooke,” Counterpunch, January 27, 2009, (accessed December 14, 2010). For more on blocking international efforts to stop the genocide, see Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A Dangerous Place (Boston: Little Brown, 1978), 247-53.
6 Tim Shorrock, “Kwangju Declassified: Holbrooke’s Legacy,” May 31, 2010, (accessed December 14, 2010).
7 For sources on the death toll in Iraq, see, for example, Patrick McElwee, “A Million Iraqi Dead?,” Extra! January/February 2008, (accessed December 14, 2010).
8 Anand Gopal, “The Battle for Afghanistan: Militancy and Conflict in Kandahar,” New America Foundation, November 2010, (accessed December 14, 2010).
9 For sources and analysis on U.S. drones and civilian casualties, see Max Kantar, “International Law: The First Casualty of the Drone War,” Global Policy Forum, May 30, 2009, (accessed December 14, 2010). For a more recent report, see “US criticized in Pakistan Drone Report,” BBC News, December 9, 2010, (accessed December 14, 2010).
10 Another prime example is the media coverage of the death of longtime racist, William F. Buckley. For an excellent analysis, see Steven Rendall, “William F. Buckley: Rest in Praise,” Extra!, May/June 2008, (accessed December 15, 2010).


and this:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Agents of war and corruption do at some point finally die

[Image: threesome.jpg]

Richard Holbrooke and a couple of his friends share laughs in the 'good old days.'

From Vietnam to Afghanistan to Wall Street and AIG, Holbrooke played the game of war and financial corruption very well. He made the zionists, bankers and the war machine very happy.

In repeating the accolades ad nauseam, the media will fail to mention his blood stained hands. The spin meisters even came up with some famous last words lies to tell the world - "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan."

A more accurate description of Holbrooke's 'accomplishments' for the crime empire can be read here and here if you're interested.

So rest in peace Richard, Lord knows there was little of that during your tenure. And may your 'friends' join you soon.
Posted by kenny's sideshow at 9:32 AM
"The Obama administration said Tuesday that the reported last words of veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke, its point person on Afghanistan and Pakistan who passed away this week, were meant as humor....."
Richard Holbrooke RIP

Posted on December 13, 2010 by Tim Shorrock
One of America’s most experienced diplomats, Richard Holbrooke, passed away today after suffering heart problems over the weekend. Tonight the cable news shows are devoting much time to his career, focusing primarily on his early years as a foreign service officer in Vietnam and his famous role as chief negotiator of the Bosnian Peace Accords.
I understand that Holbrooke’s family, friends and colleagues around the world are mourning his death, and I join them in honoring his life and service to his country. However, I have written extensively, and mostly negatively, about Holbrooke over the past 30 years, and I would be remiss if I did not offer my thoughts on his legacy, focusing on his tenure and actions as President Carter’s chief Asian diplomat from 1977 to 1981.
These paragraphs are lifted from a 2008 article for The Progressive, where I analyzed Holbrooke’s central role in Carter’s Cold War-driven policies to support Indonesia’s vicious war against East Timor independence fighters and back the South Korean military after one of its generals seized power in a bloody coup in May 1980. Neither episode, and neither country, is mentioned in the Washington Post’s extensive obituary which appeared only a few hours ago.
Incidentally, while I was reporting this piece (I was living near Reno, Nevada, at the time) I was told that Holbrooke grew to regret some of his decisions in Asia. I hope so.
From Hawks Behind the Dove: Who Makes Obama’s Foreign Policy? The Progressive, July 2008.

One person to watch is Richard Holbrooke. Bill Clinton’s U.N. ambassador, Holbrooke saddled up with Hillary. But ever since he left the Carter Administration, he has been widely viewed within the Democratic Party as a Secretary of State in-waiting, and he himself has strenuously campaigned for the job. If he is elected in November, President Obama would come under enormous pressure from both the Clinton camp and his Democratic supporters—including John Kerry, who relied on Holbrooke during the 2004 campaign—to make him Secretary of State.
Holbrooke, however, carries a lot of baggage—some of it pretty unsightly. He was a State Department official in Vietnam during the 1960s, and under President Carter served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs. During those years, he helped provide key assistance to U.S.-backed dictators in South Korea, the Philippines, and Indonesia. His constant refrain was the preservation of U.S. national security interests in the region. After Park Chung Hee, the South Korean dictator, was shot to death in 1979 after eighteen years of increasingly brutal rule, for example, Holbrooke exploded in anger when Christian dissidents protested the continuation of martial law. Their actions, he complained in declassified documents I obtained in 1996, were making it difficult for the United States to avoid “another Iran” in that country.
And like Brzezinski, Holbrooke lent enormous assistance to Suharto’s military to put down the Timorese resistance. Among the weapons systems sold to Suharto with U.S. support were A-10 Broncos that were used to strafe Timorese villages. “If you look at the statistics, from 1976 to 1978 we massively increased our assistance that made the occupation and quelling of the [East Timor] rebellion possible,” Edmund McWilliams, a longtime U.S. diplomat who served in Indonesia during the Clinton Administration, told me. “To my mind, that was when the great bloodletting took place, and it was all done during the watch of Richard Holbrooke and Jimmy Carter, the human rights President.”
Holbrooke also was hawkish on Iraq and has had harsh words for Iran, comparing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Hitler.
Many liberals, including those in the Obama camp, seem to believe that Holbrooke has changed his spots and would make an excellent choice as America’s top diplomat. Last February, Samantha Power, a professor at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and a former Obama adviser, spoke at a foreign policy forum in Reno, Nevada. I was in the audience, and asked her if Holbrooke would have a place in an Obama Administration.
Power, who won a Pulitzer for her book on genocide, was still working as Obama’s top foreign policy adviser at that point. She replied that, in her opinion, Holbrooke “had evolved” from the 1970s, and regretted some of his actions during that period, particularly in the Philippines, where he backed Ferdinand Marcos (she didn’t mention Korea or Indonesia). Despite his position as a senior adviser to Clinton, Power added, Holbrooke would be welcome in an Obama cabinet. “We won’t exclude people working for Hillary Clinton,” she said. “Ours will be a broad tent.” (Note: She was right – Holbrooke eventually became a key player in the administration’s Afghanistan policies).
It couldn't happen to a nicer man. Good riddance. We will be picking up the dead bodies of his actions for generations. May he rot in hell. The sycophantic outpouring on his death has made me quite ill.

David Swanson's Blog
December 14, 2010

Richard Holbrooke's Deathbed Conversion

For all the talk of strategic counterinsurgency that oozes out of Washington, and all the manuals explaining that 80% of our investment in a nation-building operation should be civilian, we've been investing about 3% of our efforts in Afghanistan into a civilian project the leader of which has described it as a way to support the military. That leader was, until he died yesterday, Richard Holbrooke.

Asked at a U.S. Senate hearing earlier this year what in the world he was doing and toward what end in Afghanistan, Holbrooke repeatedly failed to produce an answer. That could explain his deathbed conversion and his final words to his surgeon: "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." As if his doctor could do what he refused to play any role in.
Before any more makers of war break their own hearts and beg for forgiveness, they should follow the examples of people like Ann Wright and Matthew Hoh and get out of this dirty business themselves while they have some life left in them.

This short excerpt from War Is A Lie is relevant here:

When, in 1995, Croatia had slaughtered or “ethnically cleansed” Serbs with Washington’s blessing, driving 150,000 people from their homes, we weren’t supposed to notice, much less drop bombs to prevent it. The bombing was saved for Milosevic, who — we were told in 1999 — refused to negotiate peace and therefore had to be bombed. We were not told that the United States was insisting on an agreement that no nation in the world would voluntarily agree to, one giving NATO complete freedom to occupy all of Yugoslavia with absolute immunity from laws for all of its personnel.

In the June 14, 1999, issue of The Nation, George Kenney, a former State Department Yugoslavia desk officer, reported:

“An unimpeachable press source who regularly travels with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told this [writer] that, swearing reporters to deep-background confi dentiality at the Rambouillet talks, a senior State Department official had bragged that the United States ‘deliberately set the bar higher than the Serbs could accept.’ The Serbs needed, according to the official, a little bombing to see reason.”

Jim Jatras, a foreign policy aide to Senate Republicans, reported in a May 18, 1999, speech at the Cato Institute in Washington that he had it “on good authority” that a “senior Administration official told media at Rambouillet, under embargo” the following: “We intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. They need some bombing, and that’s what they are going to get.”

In interviews with FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), both Kenney and Jatras asserted that these were actual quotes transcribed by reporters who spoke with a U.S. official.

Negotiating for the impossible, and falsely accusing the other side of noncooperation, is a handy way to launch a “defensive” war. Behind that scheme in 1999 was special U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke.
And here's something Sam Husseini wrote in December 2008:

Shortly before the bombing of Yugoslavia began in late March 1999, Richard Holbrooke met with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. By his own account, Holbrooke delivered the final ultimatum to Milosevic -- that if Yugoslavia didn't agree to the Rambouillet text, NATO would begin bombing.

The Rambouillet text called for a defacto occupation of Yugoslavia. On major U.S. media, after the bombing of Yugoslavia began, Holbrooke claimed that what was called for in the Rambouillet text, despite Serbian protests, "isn't an occupation". Several weeks later, when confronted by a journalist familiar with the Rambouillet text, Holbrooke claimed: "I never said that". This was a lie, it was also a tacit admission that the Rambouillet text did call for an occupation (why else would Holbrooke deny saying it when he had?) So the U.S. demanded that Yugoslavia submit to occupation or be bombed -- and Holbrooke lied about this crucial fact when questioned about the cause of the war.

Here are the specifics:The Rambouillet text of Feb. 23, 1999, a month before NATO began bombing, contained provisions that provided for NATO to basically occupy the entire Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), not just Kosovo. Excerpts from Appendix (B) (I attempted to draw attention to this at the time when I became aware of it.):
7. NATO personnel shall be immune from any form of arrest, investigation, or detention by the authorities in the FRY.
8. NATO personnel shall enjoy... free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY including associated airspace and territorial waters.
11. NATO is granted the use of airports, roads, rails and ports without payment...
15. [NATO shall have] the right to use all of the electromagnetic spectrum...
On April 6, 1999, about two weeks after the bombing began, Holbrooke appeared on the Charlie Rose show and was asked about what started the war. (Video is here, approximate times in the interview are provided):
[3:45] "The 81 pages of the Rambouillet agreement, which the Serbs rejected, contain all the elements of a really solid interim solution. ... Although Rambouillet itself was rejected, the principles embodied in the Rambouillet agreement make a hell of a lot of sense. ..."
[13:00] "The [Yugoslavian government] decision was to trigger the bombing of their own country instead of accepting this very reasonable political offer." ...
[14:00] Asked how to explain the actions of the Serbs, Holbrooke claims the Serbs said: "The choice you've given us is to have our sacred soil violated by an invading force. I said this isn't an invasion, it isn't an occupation, it's an international peacekeeping force that will save the Serb minority in Kosovo. ..."
[15:00] "We walked the last mile for peace."
[17:00] "The bombing must continue and must intensify until the Yugoslav leadership realizes they have to change their positions."
On April 23, 1999, journalist Jeremy Scahill of Democracy Now questioned Richard Holbrooke as he was leaving the Overseas Press Club's 60th anniversary dinner:

Holbrooke: "One question."
Jeremy Scahill: "You've said, since you gave the ultimatum to President Milosevic, that the Rambouillet accords do not call for the occupation of Yugoslavia. In --"
Holbrooke: "I never said that. That's the end of that. You got the wrong person and the wrong quote. That's your question."
Scahill: "Do the Rambouillet accords ... Are the the Rambouillet accords a call for the occupation of Yugoslavia -- how do you reconcile that with Appendix B?"
Holbrooke: "I was not at Rambouillet. You'll have to address it to the people --"
Scahill: "You delivered the ultimatum, you're familiar with with the text --"
Holbrooke: "I did not discuss that detail with him. That's your question."
Scahill: "You haven't answered the question though."
Holbrooke: "I have answered the question. Good night." (See the April 23, 1999 Democracy Now, especially beginning at 29:00.)
It's tempting for many to think that the current Bush administration and the 2003 invasion of Iraq are totally unique. They're not, the methods of the U.S. government lying its way into a war are long standing and many of the culprits are still very much part of the political structure.
Magda Hassan Wrote:It couldn't happen to a nicer man. Good riddance. We will be picking up the dead bodies of his actions for generations. May he rot in hell. The sycophantic outpouring on his death has made me quite ill.

Yup. Looks like Holbrooke's KLA cadre couldn't traffick another human's aorta to Washington quickly enough to save his war criminal corpse.

Probably because all the diplomatic pouches were full of Class A narcotics and telephone numbers of trafficked sex slaves.
Jan Klimkowski Wrote:
Magda Hassan Wrote:It couldn't happen to a nicer man. Good riddance. We will be picking up the dead bodies of his actions for generations. May he rot in hell. The sycophantic outpouring on his death has made me quite ill.

Yup. Looks like Holbrooke's KLA cadre couldn't traffick another human's aorta to Washington quickly enough to save his war criminal corpse.

Probably because all the diplomatic pouches were full of Class A narcotics and telephone numbers of trafficked sex slaves.
I'm quite sure that was true too. Too bad for Holbrooke, hey? My heart is breaking.....:dancing:

And something from Diane Johnstone. Always worth a read.
Quote:Holbrooke or Milosevic: Who is the Greater Murderer?

It is usually considered good form to avoid sharp criticism of someone who has just died. But Richard Holbrooke himself set a striking example of the breach of such etiquette. On learning of the death in prison of Slobodan Milosevic, Holbrooke did not hesitate to describe him as a "monster" comparable to Hitler and Stalin.
This was rank ingratitude, considering that Holbrooke owed his greatest career success – the 1995 Dayton Accords that ended the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina – almost entirely to Milosevic. This was made quite clear in his memoir To End a War (Random House, 1998).
But Holbrooke’s greatest skill, made possible by media complicity, was to dress up reality in a costume favorable to himself.
The Dayton Peace Accords were presented as a heroic victory for peace extracted by the brilliant Holbrooke from a reluctant Milosevic, who had to be "bombed to the negotiating table" by the United States. In reality, the U.S. government was fully aware that Milosevic was eager for peace in Bosnia to free Serbia from crippling economic sanctions. It was the Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic who wanted to keep the war going, with U.S. military help.
In reality, the U.S. bombed the Serbs in order to get Izetbegovic to the negotiating table. And the agreement reached in the autumn of 1995 was not very different from the agreement reached in March 1992 by the three ethnic groups under European Community auspices, which could have prevented the entire civil war, if it had not been sabotaged by Izetbegovic, who withdrew his agreement with the encouragement of the then U.S. ambassador Warren Zimmermann. In short, far from being the great peacemaker in the Balkans, the United States first encouraged the Muslim side to fight for its goal of a centralized Bosnia, and then sponsored a weakened federated Bosnia – after nearly four years of bloodshed which left the populations bereft and embittered.
The real purpose of all this, as Holbrooke made quite clear in To End a War, was to demonstrate that Europeans could not manage their own vital affairs and that the United States remained the "indispensable nation". His book also made it clear that the Muslim leaders were irritatingly reluctant to end war short of total victory, and that only the readiness of Milosevic to make concessions saved the Dayton talks from failure -- allowing Holbrooke to be proclaimed a hero.
The functional role of the Holbrooke’s diplomacy was to prove that diplomacy, as carried out by Europeans, was bound to fail. His victory was a defeat for diplomacy. The spectacle of bombing plus Dayton was designed to show that only the threat or application of U.S. military might could end conflicts.
Milosevic had hoped that his concessions would lead to peace and reconciliation with the United States. As it happened, his only reward for handing Holbrooke the victory of his career was to have his country bombed by NATO in 1999 in order to wrest from Serbia the province of Kosovo and prepare Milosevic’s own fall from office. Holbrooke played a prominent role in this scenario, suddently posing shoeless in a tent in the summer of 1998 for a photo op seated among armed Albanian secessionists which up to then had been characterized by the State Department as "terrorists", and shortly thereafter announcing to Milosevic that Serbia would be bombed unless he withdrew security forces from the province, in effect giving it to the ex-terrorists transformed by the Holbrooke blessing into freedom fighters.
In his long career from Vietnam to Afghanistan, Holbrooke was active on many fronts. In 1977, after Indonesia invaded East Timor and set about massacring the people of that former Portuguese colony, Holbrooke was dispatched by the United States supposedly to promote "human rights" but in reality to help arm the Suharto dictatorship against the East Timorese. Sometimes the government is armed against rebels, sometimes rebels are armed against the government, but despite appearances of contradiction, what is consistent throughout is the cynical exploitation and exacerbation of tragic local conflicts to extend U.S. imperial power throughout the world.
Holbrooke and Milosevic were born in the same year, 1941. When Milosevic died in 2006, Holbrooke gave a long statement to the BBC without a single syllable of human kindness. "This man wrecked the Balkans," said Holbrooke.
"He was a war criminal who caused four wars, over 300,000 deaths, 2.5million homeless. Sometimes monsters make the biggest impacts on history - Hitler and Stalin - and such is the case with this gentleman."
Holbrooke presented himself as goodness dealing with evil for a worthy cause. When negotiating with Milosevic, "you're conscious of the fact that you're sitting across the table from a monster whose role in history will be terrible and who has caused so many deaths."
Who was the monster? Nobody, including at the Hague tribunal where he died for lack of medical treatment, has ever actually proved that Milosevic was responsible for the tragic deaths in the wars of Yugoslav disintegration. But Holbrooke was never put on trial for all the deaths in Vietnam, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and, yes, former Yugoslavia, which resulted at least in part from the U.S. policies he carried out.
From his self-proclaimed moral heights, Holbrooke judged the Serbian leader as an opportunist without political convictions, neither communist nor nationalist, but simply "an opportunist who sought power and wealth for himself."
In reality, there has never been any proof that Milosevic sought or obtained wealth for himself, whereas Holbrooke was, among many other things, a vice chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston, managing director of Lehman Brothers, vice chairman of the private equity firm Perseus LLC, and a member of the board of directors of AIG, the American International Group, at a time when, according to Wikipedia, "the firm engaged in wildly speculative credit default insurance schemes that may cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions to prevent AIG from bringing down the entire financial system."
Milosevic was on trial for years without ever being to present his defense before he died under troubling circumstances. Holbrooke found that outcome perfectly satisfying: "I knew as soon as he reached The Hague that he'd never see daylight again and I think that justice was served in a weird way because he died in his cell, and that was the right thing to do."
There are many other instances of lies and deceptions in Holbrooke’s manipulation of Balkan woes, as well as his totally cynical exploitation of the tragedies of Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. But still, his importance should not be overstated. Moral monsters do not always make a great impact on history, when they are merely the vain instruments of a bureaucratic military machine running amok.
Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions.She can be reached at
Magda Hassan Wrote:I'm quite sure that was true too. Too bad for Holbrooke, hey? My heart is breaking.....:dancing:

So is his...
Well, that was pretty nausea-inducing - watching Obama praise the great American Richard Holbrooke whilst the likes of the Clintons and Kofi Annan cheered from the stage.

Still, Holbrooke and his narco-trafficking, false flag, buddies such as the KLA made a lot of people very rich..