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What is Richard Holbrooke's legacy?

10:45 UK time, Tuesday, 14 December 2010

One of the United States' most experienced and respected international diplomats, Richard Holbrooke, has died at the age of 69. But how will Mr Holbrooke be remembered?

Mr Holbrooke was most recently known for his work in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he was President Obama's special envoy.

A career diplomat and a life-long Democrat, Mr Holbrooke will be best remembered for his role brokering the Dayton Peace Accord in 1995, which ended the Bosnian war.

Mr Obama called the 69-year-old, who was known for bringing warring leaders to the negotiating table, a "true giant of American foreign policy".

What will be his enduring legacy? What impact did he have on international peace and security? How will his passing affect the Obama administration?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Having seen Holbrookes failures since the Carter Administration, I can not see how his legacy will be anything but that of a failed liberal.

    I offer condolences to his family on his passing but the world stage lost nothing.

    Liberal policies have been failures since inception and will continue to do so.

  • Comment number 3.

    Holbrooke is part of the dying 60's era liberal. His passing means nothing toa philosophy that offered nothing but appeasement and a childish belief in "we are all brothers".

    His failed policies have accomplished nothing so he will not be missed on the world stage.

    Condolences to his family.

  • Comment number 4.

    Lessthantolerant wrote:

    Having seen Holbrookes failures since the Carter Administration, I can not see how his legacy will be anything but that of a failed liberal.

    I offer condolences to his family on his passing but the world stage lost nothing.

    Liberal policies have been failures since inception and will continue to do so.


    A very apt nick.

    The man is dead. If you have nothing good to say about hime then keep quiet. And while you are at it, go find a dictionary and look up the word "respect".

  • Comment number 5.

    This is about as relevant as asking people in New York what is Robin Cooks legacy, the vast majority of people in the UK will have never heard of him and are not interested in him, sorry but that’s the facts.

  • Comment number 6.

    A sad loss - my condolences to his Family...

    This man was the PRIME mover in ENDING the war in Bosnia by ACTING with determination - while the UK, France & Europe initially dithered endlessly for Dogmatic reasons. Hopefully, there will be more with the same decisiveness who will follow in his mould. We sorely need them.

    R.I.P

  • Comment number 7.

    A good solid career diplomat who showed consistent sound judgement and common sense. Often more so than the Administrations he served.

  • Comment number 8.

    "5. At 11:55am on 14 Dec 2010, Alan Baker wrote:
    This is about as relevant as asking people in New York what is Robin Cooks legacy, the vast majority of people in the UK will have never heard of him and are not interested in him, sorry but that’s the facts."
    ------------------------
    IN REPLY:

    Hi! Alan - Actually, MOST UK citizens WILL have heard about the war in Bosnia. They just may not recall this man's role in it.
    On the other hand you may be too young to remember that war?
    Tez...

  • Comment number 9.

    Too early to say, many of the problems he dealt with in the past have left unresolved issues and he assisted in perpetuating new ones. All that can be said is he pursued US interests as determinedly as any other political appointee.

  • Comment number 10.

    Sorry Tez, I remember the Korean and Vietnam wars as well, I meant no disrespect and I am sure it’s a sad loss to those who knew him but the fact remains if you ask then normal person in the street in any UK town or city very few would have heard of him.

    I do know full well who Richard Holbrooke’s was but as for the War in Bosnia I think that the end of that had more to do with NATOs massive bombing campaign which forced the Serb backed forces and others to the negotiating table rather than RHs diplomacy.

  • Comment number 11.

    I've no wish to be disrespectfull but I think you'd have to be pretty heavily involved in US politics to have even heard of this chap.

    All the BBC are doing with this HYS is to give a chance to critics of US foreign policy in general to mouth off.

  • Comment number 12.

    was the usa asked there feelings and thoughts when,lets say,JOHN SMITH died suddenly of an heart attack?enough said..

  • Comment number 13.

    My Auntie died the other week.

  • Comment number 14.

    2 "I offer condolences to his family on his passing but the world stage lost nothing."

    Sounds like you've written your own obituary. Except maybe change 'stage' to 'has'. Reads better.

  • Comment number 15.

    There goes another failure !! Like Korea and Viet Nam, this adventure in Iraq and Afghanistan will fail. Waste of human lives. What have the Yanks won? Nothing !!

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    I agree substantially with AndyC555 at #11.

    Searching the BBC for Mr Holbrooke reveals a number of obituaries, a mention in 2005, and also a couple in the nineties. I am sure he is a loss to his family and offer my condolences.

    What is this BBC? Is filling up HYS with US items a part of an agreement to get their funding for BBC Films or something?

  • Comment number 18.

    Richard who ?.....Never heard of him !

  • Comment number 19.

    Don`t know him, why should I ever Have heard of this diplomat or any others for that matter, ar`nt they the back room people behind closed doors brokering agreements and peace deals well into the small hours, working out the best way forward in minute details, so that sides, whom previously would have torn the hair out of each others heads, given half the chance can actually work and coexist together. And too, so that big boys can be seen on the, (Oh! and their is some flash photography in these scenes) world media, as if it was they who personally did all the work themselves, with the usual smiles, handshakes and pats on the back, and that obligatory photoshoot all thrown in.
    Any diplomat, especially Richard Holbrooke, and I have since done my homework on this man, has to be a giant among mortals. To have achieved so much in his lifetime, with so little known about him, makes him the greater person, and long may his work continue by his associates behind those closed doors. Next time I see those handshakes and agreements being exchanged by world leaders, I shall think more on the work behind the scenes that produced them. Condolences to his family and friends, lets have more people like on the world stage, or should I be saying, behind it.

  • Comment number 20.

    Mr Obama called the 69-year-old, who was known for bringing warring leaders to the negotiating table, a "true giant of American foreign policy".

    American foreign policy is the root cause of so many of the world's problems!! So calling someone a giant of said policy is not such an acolade!

  • Comment number 21.

    Holbrooke's legacy?????.....he tactically endorsed the Indonesian slaughter in East Timor, he reinvented himself as a liberal humantarian during the Balkan wars....In fact his actual conduct in the latter was driven by a desire to break a possible Serbian hegemony in Post communist Yugoslavia...He did not bring the fighting to an end in Bosnia...in some respects the US adminstration he was part of prolonged the war for over 12-18 months longer than it should have done....he was part of the US mindset that told the Muslims to keep holding out for a better agreement and hold out they did with all its tragic consequences...In Kosovo he tried to persuade Milosevic to endorse a lopsided pro Albanian peace accord...that Slobodan rejected...when Milosevic died Holbrooke said he was responsible for 300,000 deaths and all the Balkan wars....not much nuance there......Where did that many people or even half that total die in the 90's.....

  • Comment number 22.

    Wait a minute, this gentleman was involved in or around Vietnam, Iraq, Bosnia, Afghanistan and several other far & distant places with dozens of so many wrongs and a lot less corrects. In his spare time he tinkered with the likes of Lehman Bro's and other companies with some military links. Certainly just a summary of his life! But the word 'tinkered', speaks volumes! Certainly if you were important enough for him to speak to you then for sure he'd be there, can't help thinking that he perhaps was following specific agenda's. So does he deserve world wide appreciation, along similar lines to aid workers, medical volunteers, etc etc. DOUBTFUL!

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    Well, he gave the Serbs a damn good beating. He even managed to ethnically cleanse most of Kosovo.

    He was the ultimate troll.

    *sombre music*

  • Comment number 25.

    Maybe I am a bit behind the times but I always thought that BBC stood for British Broadcasting Corporation.

    So why do we have one HYS on an Italian PM and another on an American diplomat that no one has ever heard of?

    Can we not debate something relevant to Britain?

  • Comment number 26.

    A seasoned, astute diplomat who was brilliant and straightforward. He knew how to pull his punches even when he had diffifult adversaries like the ex-Serbian President, Mr Milosevich, and the the current Afghan President, Mr Karzai. American diplomacy has certainly lost an extremely capable tactician. He was a humane and extremely intelligent diplomat: finding someone of the same stature and depth will be extremely difficult! The diplomatic fraternity has lost a giant!

  • Comment number 27.

    Who? 2

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    The withdrawal of EMA, a payment of £35 a week to help the poorest stay in education, now ended by this coalition of the right(stuffed with multi-millionares and Trustafarians), while Osborne writes off billions in unpaid company taxes. What does that say about this unelected governments priorities?
    Now that's worth discussing.

  • Comment number 30.

    America needs a thousand more Richard Holbrookes. He was one tough s.o.b. in a negotiation. He would have made a great Secretary of State were his health better. It's eerie that he would die a day before the 15th anniversary of the Dayton Accords. Go with God Ambassador. Our country and world will miss you.

  • Comment number 31.

    What is Richard Holbrooke's legacy?
    Richard Holbrooke's legacy is the American legacy. He was a man totally loyal to the thinking of whatever administration he served.
    His nickname was "The Bulldozer": get in his way, get in the way of the Americans and he would find a "diplomatic" way to dump you under.
    While Obama, in his first few administration days, was trying to calm the waters of international relations with promises of cooperation and respect for all nations, his new envoy to South Asia landed like a thunder bolt:
    Officials in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India quaked.
    Here come the "the Bulldozer"!
    Holbrooke was plain-spoken. In recent months, it was he who declared that the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a longtime American ally, had failed. In opinion columns, he wrote about "massive, officially sanctioned corruption," along with drugs, as the country's most severe problem.
    Holbrooke called for vigorous action to deal with extremist sanctuaries in Pakistan. He charged that Pakistan has the power to destabilize its neighbor Afghanistan and concluded: "and it already has."
    It was Holbrooke who nicknamed Ali Hassan Majid, Saddam Hussein's cousin, who became notorious for ordering poison gas attacks on Iraqi Kurds: "Chemical Ali."
    Pakistan didn't know what to make of Holbrooke's appointment - friend, foe, or bulldozer?
    A career diplomat and a life-long Democrat, Mr Holbrooke will be best remembered for his role in brokering the Dayton Peace Accord in 1995, which ended the Bosnian war.
    Mr Obama called the 69-year-old, who was known for bringing warring leaders to the negotiating table, a "true giant of American foreign policy".
    How will his passing affect the Obama administration?
    How does one replace a bulldozer that knows only loyalty to the man who operates the machinery?

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    That question would best be answered by one of his legatees.

  • Comment number 34.

    A tireless, peace loving diplomat, who cared about his fellow man and did all the right things to better the lot of his fellow man. Are you listening Mr Assange??

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    im sure more important people who happen not to be american have died recently. you seem to be running from real issues that we the readers would rather be discussing. sort it out please.

  • Comment number 38.

    Who? (Am I on the British website?)

  • Comment number 39.

    "1. At 11:35am on 14 Dec 2010, scotty1694 wrote:
    who?"

    "27. At 1:37pm on 14 Dec 2010, Runckle wrote:
    Who? 2"

    Who? 3D

  • Comment number 40.

    W Fletcher #20, states that American policy is the root cause of most of the world's problems today - back up there, fletch!! The root cause of most of the world's problems today is, of course, the colonial legacy, the re-drawing of borders, the rape and pillage of natural resources and exploitation of native populations around the world all carried out by the former 'great' European powers led, way out in front, by a mile, by the Brits, of course - who then lost their bottle, threw in the towel - i.e. granted independence - and withdrew, leaving mop up detail to the US tax payer - who resents (and I can vouch for this)every single penny spent outside the US.

    So now how about Richard Holbrooke- well what could anyone possibly tell you experts on the subject??? He was American, so obviously in the wrong no matter what he did, according to you people.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Ahh haa - is this is the new 'Keyboard Kettling' strategy to steer us HYSers from REAL topics concerning OUR country. Happy I got that sussed out. Next ...

  • Comment number 43.

    Never heard of the guy but from the little bit I've heard about his "diplomacy" on the news channels, I have the impression that he was a Bully who used his position to browbeat other countries into following dictates from the USA.
    Maybe I am wrong and it is just more Biased slant on reporting from the media.
    When is this forum going to address issues that are of concern to the British Public. Student riots, water cannon,the negative reporting on anything proposed by the new government by the leftie talking heads on most media outlets???.
    I have relatives in the USA who have offered me assylum when the civil war breaks out in the UK, so I'm all right Jack.

  • Comment number 44.

    Andy 555 - Isn't HYS giving the critics of the US a chance to sound off (as per usual, on a subject of which they know nothing) the idea behind this topic??? Isn't it the idea behind every US-themed topic?? Better than discussing the terrible mess you guys are in over there - your student riots, your much gloated over, but nonetheless failing health care system, the fact that a drop of snow brings your entire country to a grinding halt.

    Oh wait, there's always the SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP - typified at present by the sale of Grosvenor HOuse to the Qataris, and the removal of the US Embassy to - wait for it, Nine Elms, in an enterprise district. You've been down graded, guys. And The Prez sending back your bust of Churchill the minute he got into the Oval Office says it all, doesn't it??? I mean he didn't even relegate it to the corridor outside - he sent it back - LOL!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    I wish I knew what to say....I guess peace comes after lots of
    bombs....

  • Comment number 46.

    #36 - Kevin Orr - If Richard H was a lying conniving war monger like all American diplomats - he learned his trade at the feet of the masters - you Brits - whose reputation world wide stinks to high heaven of betrayal and the good old double cross. You are not known as Perfidious Albion for no reason.

    BTW - this post is just to let you know that you don't get it all your own way on these MBs, even if it is the BBC - Boobies Broadcasting Corp!!!

  • Comment number 47.

    Not his own man, a troubleshooter for his bosses, the US Presidents. Hence, not a larger than life character.

  • Comment number 48.

    scotty1694 wrote:

    this is a HYS hijack!

    new topic!


    Is the government right to get rid of Education Maintenance Allowance?

    i feel it is totally out of order! EMA is there to help only the poorest students get to college, bus,train dinner and so forth, how the government can do this is beyond me?

    whats YOUR opinion?

    Scotty, I have friends who are from the poorest section of society.
    They have 5 kids ages 6,7,16,18,20 and he earns minimum wage working for an agency. ( YES, he WORKS so he's not a deadbeat scrounger).
    he has a newer car than me, a better and more comprehensive range of electrical goods than me, and a sky TV package beyond my means,
    The EMA allowance was given to the reipient kids as "pocket money" and not even put towards the cost of their continueing education.
    With his wages, and the benifits the family recieve from the state, their monthly income is about £300 more than I earn a month before tax.
    So dont whinge to me about the POOR downtrodden students being thrown into poverty and penury by the cut in EMA.
    Studnts managed without it before NULab introduced it to try and Buy votes, and they will manage without it when its removed.

  • Comment number 49.

    Who?

    And more importantly, who cares?

  • Comment number 50.

    Re. the people who have never heard of him and feel able to comment on his legacy - If you have nothing informed to say, just SHUT THE HELL UP.

    Holbrooke was a powerful figure on the world stage for many years, and his behind the scenes straight-talk left all parties (including his own) in no doubt what the issues were and how he intended to get them solved.
    He was a man who knew how to call a spade a shovel when he had to, as I have no doubt at all that the Wiki-papers will be tempted to show.

    The world needs clear-thinking, straight-talking, globally-respected negotiators like Holbrooke.

    He will be sorely missed.

  • Comment number 51.

    49. At 3:41pm on 14 Dec 2010, U8860545 wrote:
    Who?

    And more importantly, who cares?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    People whose horizons stretch beyond the shores of the UK ?

  • Comment number 52.

    What is Richard Holbrooke's legacy?
    Billions of dollars probably.

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    AndyC555 wrote @ 11: I've no wish to be disrespectfull but I think you'd have to be pretty heavily involved in US politics to have even heard of this chap.....
    ..................
    Andy,
    you of all people have got to be joking. He appeared very frequently on BBC News items over many years - as well you know.
    Geoff

  • Comment number 56.

    51. At 3:57pm on 14 Dec 2010, Mr Cholmondley-Warner wrote:
    People whose horizons stretch beyond the shores of the UK ?

    -------

    Why should I care what happens in that backward country they call the USA? BBC is funded by the British taxpayer, so our news should come first. Irrelevant news over nobodies like this would be better suited in your inferior news networks like Fox news where they'd go all emo saying 'he served his COUNTRY good/bad' (as per usual, country trumps individuals there), or given a small page section in the US section here.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    46. At 3:25pm on 14 Dec 2010, LALondoner wrote:
    "#36 - Kevin Orr - If Richard H was a lying conniving war monger like all American diplomats - he learned his trade at the feet of the masters - you Brits - whose reputation world wide stinks to high heaven of betrayal and the good old double cross. You are not known as Perfidious Albion for no reason."

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Totally agree, and Tony Blair is the best example I can think of as a lying, conniving warmonger. Believe me, I am no fan of the "Great Britain" and its vile history.
    But "2 wrongs don't make a right", as they say

  • Comment number 59.

    44. At 3:21pm on 14 Dec 2010, LALondoner wrote:
    Andy 555 - Isn't HYS giving the critics of the US a chance to sound off (as per usual, on a subject of which they know nothing) the idea behind this topic??? Isn't it the idea behind every US-themed topic?? Better than discussing the terrible mess you guys are in over there - your student riots, your much gloated over, but nonetheless failing health care system, the fact that a drop of snow brings your entire country to a grinding halt.
    Oh wait, there's always the SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP - typified at present by the sale of Grosvenor HOuse to the Qataris, and the removal of the US Embassy to - wait for it, Nine Elms, in an enterprise district. You've been down graded, guys. And The Prez sending back your bust of Churchill the minute he got into the Oval Office says it all, doesn't it??? I mean he didn't even relegate it to the corridor outside - he sent it back - LOL!!!
    ______________________________________________________
    You are right! But at least if one of our kids are ill we take them to hospital and they are treated. Not like the young girl in the Micheal Moore documentary "Sicko", the poor seven year old is left to die in a hospital carpark because her family's health insurance wasn't fully paid up. Also at the last football world cup the question was going round "who would you support if the USA and Germany were in the final?" NOBODY said USA. You are an embarresment, only starting wars with third world countries in a vain attempt to dig yourself out of the embarrasement of getting your arses kicked big time by the North Vietnamese Peasent Army!
    When do you think your "TACTICAL" withdrawl from Afgahnistan will happen? LOL!

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    "
    42. At 3:18pm on 14 Dec 2010, Susan wrote:

    Ahh haa - is this is the new 'Keyboard Kettling' strategy to steer us HYSers from REAL topics concerning OUR country. Happy I got that sussed out. Next ...
    "

    Like rising inflation for instance, which is likely to rise even higher next year.

  • Comment number 62.

    3. At 11:48am on 14 Dec 2010, Lessthantolerant wrote:
    Holbrooke is part of the dying 60's era liberal. His passing means nothing toa philosophy that offered nothing but appeasement and a childish belief in "we are all brothers".

    His failed policies have accomplished nothing so he will not be missed on the world stage.

    Condolences to his family.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Meaningless drivel.

    It might be handy if instead of puerile smearing a man for when he was born you actually learned something about hism.

    Holbrook had his successes but openly picking sides in civil wars is never a good policy as Spain etc showed

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    24. At 1:22pm on 14 Dec 2010, potatolord wrote:
    Well, he gave the Serbs a damn good beating. He even managed to ethnically cleanse most of Kosovo.

    He was the ultimate troll.

    *sombre music*
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes his desire to consolidate German ambitions in the Balkans will lead to future conflicts. It always has in the past.

  • Comment number 65.

    BBC moderator who didn't post my post No.60, FEEL ASHAMED!

  • Comment number 66.

    40. At 3:12pm on 14 Dec 2010, LALondoner wrote:
    W Fletcher #20, states that American policy is the root cause of most of the world's problems today - back up there, fletch!! The root cause of most of the world's problems today is, of course, the colonial legacy, the re-drawing of borders, the rape and pillage of natural resources and exploitation of native populations around the world all carried out by the former 'great' European powers led, way out in front, by a mile, by the Brits, of course - who then lost their bottle, threw in the towel - i.e. granted independence - and withdrew, leaving mop up detail to the US tax payer - who resents (and I can vouch for this)every single penny spent outside the US.

    So now how about Richard Holbrooke- well what could anyone possibly tell you experts on the subject??? He was American, so obviously in the wrong no matter what he did, according to you people.

    .......

    errrrrrrr a few clues, Vietnam. Korea, Northern Ireland - by funding the IRA, Iraq - now removed a buffer from Iran, Afghanistan, Latin America, support for Israel.............ring any bells?

  • Comment number 67.

    "
    66. At 4:49pm on 14 Dec 2010, W Fletcher wrote:

    40. At 3:12pm on 14 Dec 2010, LALondoner wrote:
    W Fletcher #20, states that American policy is the root cause of most of the world's problems today - back up there, fletch!! The root cause of most of the world's problems today is, of course, the colonial legacy, the re-drawing of borders, the rape and pillage of natural resources and exploitation of native populations around the world all carried out by the former 'great' European powers led, way out in front, by a mile, by the Brits, of course - who then lost their bottle, threw in the towel - i.e. granted independence - and withdrew, leaving mop up detail to the US tax payer - who resents (and I can vouch for this)every single penny spent outside the US.

    So now how about Richard Holbrooke- well what could anyone possibly tell you experts on the subject??? He was American, so obviously in the wrong no matter what he did, according to you people.

    .......

    errrrrrrr a few clues, Vietnam. Korea, Northern Ireland - by funding the IRA, Iraq - now removed a buffer from Iran, Afghanistan, Latin America, support for Israel.............ring any bells?
    "

    What about alien technologies?

  • Comment number 68.

    Why are we being invited to discuss some American, when we have far, far more urgent and important stuff to talk about - like how we are going to get rid of the Westminster Club, together with the UK establishment.

  • Comment number 69.

    What is Richard Holbrooke's legacy?
    Who cares, Wikileaks, Wikileaks!

  • Comment number 70.

    Richard Holbrooke was a very good diplomat but I'm afraid the effects of his work are the same as the effects of the USA on world peace as he naturally always acted in the USA's interests. The USA has always weakened world peace and security and continues to do so.

    How will his passing affect the Obama administration? I believe I heard on the Radio 4 news bulletin this morning that his death will leave "a conspicuous hole at the heart of American politics". Whoever chose those words in view of how he died should be sacked immediately.

  • Comment number 71.

    Some HYS respondants from the UK have actually heard of Richard Holbrook.
    Many though, seem happy to use this opportunity to boast of their ignorance.Not only are they proud of not knowing or caring who Holbrook was, they are also keen to proclaim that very ignorance as something to be commended.It is a sad fashion that has grown more prevalent over the years.I have come across many ignorant individuals who revel in their ignorance and are agressive in defending their right remain so.
    "Don't know, don't care." is uttered and written, as if all knowledge and conversation is to be made redundant and wither away by the force of such a statement.Ignorance it seems, is somehow blissfull and makes the ignorant somehow blessed.

  • Comment number 72.

    matt-stone and scotty1694 are two repeat offenders on these threads. Treat them with the apathy their attempts at trolling deserve by referring them to the moderators and moving on.

  • Comment number 73.

    I vaguely remember him stating the Iraq war would be over in 5 or 6 days after "shock and awe" because, due to the destruction of water plants/electricity/any means of a normal day to day existence, it would wreck the locals ability to put up any resistance.

    He was partially correct in the sense it destroyed the infrastructure/every means of normalcy for the locals..as for the resistance, well, no more to say. everyone knows how that turned out.

    Im sure overall he was just doing his job, so personal digs on anything he did/said, or was advised to do/say are quite pointless...he was, after all, just a cog.

  • Comment number 74.

    Managing Director of Lehman Bros from 1985 to 1993.

  • Comment number 75.

    "71. At 5:32pm on 14 Dec 2010, novalidopinion wrote:
    Some HYS respondants from the UK have actually heard of Richard Holbrook.
    Many though, seem happy to use this opportunity to boast of their ignorance.Not only are they proud of not knowing or caring who Holbrook was, they are also keen to proclaim that very ignorance as something to be commended."

    I'm not sure people saying they don't know who he was are asking to be commended, perhaps surprised that they are expected to know. Not sure where you're from but could you put us to shame and real off from memory the current Foreign Ministers for all the EU countries? Or all the G20 Major Economy countries?

    And if you're from the US and try and say that we all ought to know all your Government Ministers but you don't need to know ours because the US is more important.....well...that might go some small way to explain anti-American feeling. And I'm not in any way anti-American.

  • Comment number 76.

    When being interviewed on an American news talk show earlier this year on the topic of the eternally hopeless Israeli-Palestinian conflict Holbrooke began his response with this unseemly opening: "Israel is our dear, dear, friend and ally" with paused emphasis on the "dear". Said with visible emotion as well. I was disgusted. Then and there I considered the man just another stooge of AIPAC like president Obama and Secretary Clinton whose backtracking and incoherent mumblings on the Palestinian issue expose their slavish cowardly subservience to the Israeli lobby. Abandon all hope ye who count on the US to be impartial.

  • Comment number 77.

    "
    72. At 6:01pm on 14 Dec 2010, Chief Laughs-at-Trolls wrote:

    matt-stone and scotty1694 are two repeat offenders on these threads. Treat them with the apathy their attempts at trolling deserve by referring them to the moderators and moving on.
    "

    Why? Because, you don't agree with them?

  • Comment number 78.

    This is Mr Holbrooke's legacy! █████ ██ █ ████ everything ███ █████ is█████ ████ ████ fine ████ ███ █ ██████ love. █████ ███████ ███ your █████ ████ government.

  • Comment number 79.

    29. At 1:52pm on 14 Dec 2010, LeftieAgitator wrote:

    The withdrawal of EMA, a payment of £35 a week to help the poorest stay in education, now ended by this coalition of the right(stuffed with multi-millionares and Trustafarians), while Osborne writes off billions in unpaid company taxes. What does that say about this unelected governments priorities?
    Now that's worth discussing.
    _____________________________________________________
    Squarely nail head! the on hits This the

  • Comment number 80.

    74. At 6:40pm on 14 Dec 2010, Anthony wrote:

    Managing Director of Lehman Bros from 1985 to 1993.
    ______________________________________
    ...and a director of AIG up until billions of tax payers' dollars had to be pumped into it to save it from precipitating a meltdown of the whole financial system!

  • Comment number 81.

    ColadadelCid wrote:

    When being interviewed on an American news talk show earlier this year on the topic of the eternally hopeless Israeli-Palestinian conflict Holbrooke began his response with this unseemly opening: "Israel is our dear, dear, friend and ally" with paused emphasis on the "dear". Said with visible emotion as well. I was disgusted.

    ===========

    It's probably time the European left wing, the Islamists and American white supremacist movement understood that Israel and America are allies and dear friends. There's isn't a single Israeli or American which cares one jot if a left wing European is "disgusted" and cares even less if an angry Islamist in Bradford rants and raves about it.

    Time for you to accept the fact that America prefers liberal democracies to Islamic theocratic terrorist regimes.

  • Comment number 82.

    moreram wrote:
    blahy blah blah

    ==============

    He helped to save Muslims in Bosnia. One would have thought you'd be happy about that moreram, given your post history.

    Maybe he shouldn't have bothered?

  • Comment number 83.

    But how will Mr Holbrooke be remembered?


    Probably better to ask someone whos read all the wilkileaks information

  • Comment number 84.

    82. At 7:34pm on 14 Dec 2010, Charles The Hammer wrote:
    moreram wrote:
    blahy blah blah

    ==============

    He helped to save Muslims in Bosnia. One would have thought you'd be happy about that moreram, given your post history.

    Maybe he shouldn't have bothered?
    ___________________________________________________________
    True, though it isn't the fact they were Muslims, first and foremost they were people.

  • Comment number 85.

    Who ?? a presidents puppet ; condolences to family though

  • Comment number 86.

    81. At 7:32pm on 14 Dec 2010, Charles The Hammer wrote:
    "It's probably time the European left wing, the Islamists and American white supremacist movement understood that Israel and America are allies and dear friends. There's isn't a single Israeli or American which cares one jot if a left wing European is "disgusted" and cares even less if an angry Islamist in Bradford rants and raves about it.

    Time for you to accept the fact that America prefers liberal democracies to Islamic theocratic terrorist regimes"
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    America and Israel don't appear to have preferences WHO they blow to bits, although they would probably swing in favour of people with dark coloured skin, given the choice.
    In America's case ESPECIALLY if they have oil

  • Comment number 87.

    76. At 7:06pm on 14 Dec 2010, ColadadelCid wrote:

    When being interviewed on an American news talk show earlier this year on the topic of the eternally hopeless Israeli-Palestinian conflict Holbrooke began his response with this unseemly opening: "Israel is our dear, dear, friend and ally" with paused emphasis on the "dear". Said with visible emotion as well. I was disgusted. Then and there I considered the man just another stooge of AIPAC like president Obama and Secretary Clinton whose backtracking and incoherent mumblings on the Palestinian issue expose their slavish cowardly subservience to the Israeli lobby. Abandon all hope ye who count on the US to be impartial.


    ---------

    What's wrong with what Holbrooke said? Why can't he consider Israel a dear friend and ally? What did you want him to say instead? "Death to Israel?"

  • Comment number 88.

    But how will Mr Holbrooke be remembered?

    Mr who? Oh yeah, a foreign diplomat we've never heard of! I guess for me it'll be 'out of sight, out of mind' then.

    Does the BBC really think we all give a hoot about everything American?

  • Comment number 89.

    I am really gutted. Who was he ?

  • Comment number 90.

    A man who tirelessly worked towards peaceful settlements in various conflicts. Unfortunately the conflict in Pakistan and Afghanistan took a toll on his health. It would be very difficult to fill the big shoe print that he has left. Hopefully the next person can take some lessons from Holbrooke's tireless work and achievements and improve on it.

  • Comment number 91.

    Nobody cares.

    Close this thread and start a new one about something relevant and important.

  • Comment number 92.

    25. At 1:24pm on 14 Dec 2010, pzero wrote:
    Maybe I am a bit behind the times but I always thought that BBC stood for British Broadcasting Corporation.

    So why do we have one HYS on an Italian PM and another on an American diplomat that no one has ever heard of?

    Can we not debate something relevant to Britain?

    -------------------------------------------------

    You mean, perchance, like the quite bizarre goings on in the Julian Assange hearing? Or the closing of 152 courts? Or the closing of our internationally-renowned Forensic Science Service? Or perhaps the rise in inflation to 3.3% when most folk are facing pay freezes or cuts? Who would be interested in commenting on any of that? Nothing to see here - move along.....

    Now - Mr Holbrooke. He did a decent job in Bosnia - kudos. He was trusted by those he dealt with as a straight-talker. Again, kudos. Condolences to his family. Beyond that I can't imagine most people could have much to say

  • Comment number 93.

    87. At 8:41pm on 14 Dec 2010, herecomesthemirrorman wrote:
    76. At 7:06pm on 14 Dec 2010, ColadadelCid wrote:

    When being interviewed on an American news talk show earlier this year on the topic of the eternally hopeless Israeli-Palestinian conflict Holbrooke began his response with this unseemly opening: "Israel is our dear, dear, friend and ally" with paused emphasis on the "dear". Said with visible emotion as well. I was disgusted. Then and there I considered the man just another stooge of AIPAC like president Obama and Secretary Clinton whose backtracking and incoherent mumblings on the Palestinian issue expose their slavish cowardly subservience to the Israeli lobby. Abandon all hope ye who count on the US to be impartial.


    ---------

    "What's wrong with what Holbrooke said? Why can't he consider Israel a dear friend and ally? What did you want him to say instead? "Death to Israel?"
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    No, he should have said "Well done Israel. You're nearly as good as us at massacring civilians"

  • Comment number 94.

    No one wanted to save Muslims in Bosnia ...

    the Massacres happened under the eyes of the UN troops no one did anything and it was recorded.

    the ONLY thing that turned the table upside down were the Mujahideen of Afghanistan joining the Bosnian , and they began to retake all the Serbs areas that they took from Bosnia especially mountains and so

    the west and USA feared an Islamic state in the heart of Europe. so they said to the serbs stop. the serbs as usual arrogant refused ...

    the only choice was to bomb them and end it.

    it wasnt saving the Muslims. b4 the Mujahideen joined no one cared at all they were watching but it turned against them. they didnt expect it at all.

    so stop ur rubbish about we saved the Muslims... u only were afraid of Islamic non secular state in the heart of europe.

    this is the TRUTH.

  • Comment number 95.

    61. At 4:33pm on 14 Dec 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    "...Like rising inflation for instance, which is likely to rise even higher next year..."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Inflation isn't rising if you include property (prices), often people's biggest single expenditure and arguably one of the few things actually worth buying. We don't do that because for years it would have provided a basis for employees to claim commensurate wage increases.

    My understanding is that a simple truth like that is typical of some of those illuminated by the late Mr. Holbooke.

  • Comment number 96.

    One really solid diplomat - he was one of those people that got on with the job while everyone else just tried to get political capital.

    And for all those people trying to count his failures - true diplomacy is not summed up in successes and failures, it is all about keeping the dialogue going what ever happens.

    That is what those fools at wikileaks dont understand - people like Holdbrooke stand miles above them.

  • Comment number 97.

    #55 Geoff Ward wrote: “[Mr Holbrooke] appeared very frequently on BBC News items over many years“

    Is that a polite way of saying we can expect HYS obituary items on anyone who appeared more than once on BBC News?

    Well that takes care of BBC HYS items for the next one million years then.

    Meanwhile in the real world inflation is rising sharply, way above Government forecasts, and HYS cannot be bothered. So much for knowing what its public like to talk about. Have to agree with Sue - it is "keyboard kettling". Maybe Mr Holbrooke knew about that too.

  • Comment number 98.

    At 12:26pm on 14 Dec 2010, AndyC555 wrote:
    I've no wish to be disrespectfull but I think you'd have to be pretty heavily involved in US politics to have even heard of this chap.

    All the BBC are doing with this HYS is to give a chance to critics of US foreign policy in general to mouth off.

    Well there's plenty of ammunition to use isn't there?

    I would just like to ask why the BBC isn't using it's time and our money to debate the problems of our country and the wider world, and not another American nobody who has travelled the world lecturing the people of the planet on what they should be doing to support the US and it's corporations to become even richer, and to justify what Israel is doing even in the face of International outrage and UN formal denouncements.
    Once again we in the UK are subjected to another deluge of pro US vomit. I would like to know when the BBC are told by our Coalition Masters to pay our licence fee in dollars.

  • Comment number 99.

    75. At 6:51pm on 14 Dec 2010, AndyC555 wrote:

    "71. At 5:32pm on 14 Dec 2010, novalidopinion wrote:
    Some HYS respondants from the UK have actually heard of Richard Holbrook.
    Many though, seem happy to use this opportunity to boast of their ignorance.Not only are they proud of not knowing or caring who Holbrook was, they are also keen to proclaim that very ignorance as something to be commended."

    I'm not sure people saying they don't know who he was are asking to be commended, perhaps surprised that they are expected to know. Not sure where you're from but could you put us to shame and real off from memory the current Foreign Ministers for all the EU countries? Or all the G20 Major Economy countries?

    And if you're from the US and try and say that we all ought to know all your Government Ministers but you don't need to know ours because the US is more important.....well...that might go some small way to explain anti-American feeling. And I'm not in any way anti-American.


    Thank you for flattering me with a response AndyC555, I didn't expect to get one at all but you surprised me.
    I am also embarrassed by my own ignorance in mis-spelling Mr Holbrooke's name in my first post.It serves me right for attacking the ignorance of others.

    I am immediately humbled by your challenge to name the EU Foreign Ministers and the full list of G20 nations off the top of my head.Have to admit,you have got me there. I'd have to look it up.
    In fact, with the internet it is easy to get that information, as it is on any subject we find ourselves ignorant of.
    That was reallly the rather pointless point of my post, that if you don't know about something, you can find out before wading in and betraying your ignorance of the substance of a debate.
    Those posters who start by declaring that they don't actually know what they are talking about, do tend to strain their own credibility.

    In answer to your query concerning my nationality, I am British, English, indiginous and all that.
    I was very interested in the proposition that you made on the relative importance of US and UK Foreign Policy spokesmen.
    My first taste of geo-political awareness and our place in the scheme of things, came when Eden got a sharp wrap across the knuckles from Uncle Sam for going into Suez.
    After I showed curiosity about that I was told all about the massive economic stranglehold the US had over Great Britain, as it was then known.

    It was obvious to me, even as a kid, that our big muscular buddy, who saved us from Hitler, was calling the shots politically and culturally in every sphere.
    All my waking life, this country has been dominated by American foreign policy, American politics, American film and music, American enterprise and consumer culture.
    Yes, they are considerably more important than our Diplomats, we have consistently bent over backwards for 60 years, to make sure that they know that we know our place.

    I think some anti-American feeling is justfied but we only have ourselves to blame for being so willingly supine and sycophantic.
    Having said that, it takes guts to resist, look how Harold Wilson and Britain suffered for refusing military committment in Vietnam.

    Which brings us back to Mr.Richard Holbrooke, deceased. Killed, I think, by the stress of his poisoned challice of office in Afghanistan.
    He was US diplomacy personified.
    With all due respect, a sometimes considerate and rational intellect with sincere motives but ultimately a bully, driven by an unrealistic, passionate optimism and unquestioning faith that the American way is the right way.
    I think he knew it was falling apart..

    Thank you for the challenge, Andy.I will enjoy doing that research.

  • Comment number 100.

    Judging from the many comments I have now gleaned from the various news channels, Mr Holbrooke was a bit of a bully. The BBC thoughtfully wheeled out one of our pickled minor diplomats now a Lord (obviously) to talk about events that happened nearly twenty years ago where, it would seem, Mr Holbrooke metaphorically banged heads together in the Balkans. Call me old fashioned but wasn't the whole Balkan saga an exercise in reckless brinkmanship?

    So excuse me while I still question the validity of this item. Even the BBC's own compendium of archive material has little to say about him, changed inevitably, by news of his death and the torrent of obituaries.

    And my main point is this. A man has died and that, at the very least, means private words of sympathy for those close to him, but he will no longer be influencing or shaping events anywhere on the planet so what is he doing as part of HYS? Or is the BBC deliberately obfuscating and frustrating those who want HYS to be a forum of public opinion on matters to do with the UK?

 

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