Richard Holbrooke died today and the praise for the man gushes into the media. Just so we don’t get too giddy, I’d like to throw a little cold water on his eulogy.
Remember who it was who oversaw an increase in weapons delivery to the Brutal Suharto when he was committing genocide on East Timor? Yup, Holbrooke.
He explained why he thought it was ok to have part of the blood of 200,000 East Timorese on his hands during the 2000 presidential campaign:
“The situation in East Timor is one of the number of very important concerns of the United States in Indonesia. Indonesia, with a population of 150 million people, is the fifth largest nation in the world, is a moderate member of the Non-Aligned Movement, is an important oil producer – which plays a moderate role within OPEC – and occupies a strategic position astride the sea lanes between the Pacific and Indian Oceans … We highly value our cooperative relationship with Indonesia.”
Who was it that lied about the Rambouillet accords after he issued the ultimatum to Milosevic in 1999 which called for the defacto occupation of Yugoslavia? Yup, Holbrooke.
Who was part of the team that gave the green light to Milosevic that led to the massacre at Srebrenica? Yup, Holbrooke.
Who has been a big fan of drone attacks in Pakistan with all of it’s “collateral damage” and murders? Yup, Holbrooke.
Anyway, one cannot keep a straight face and say that Holbrooke has been a peacemaker and diplomat extraordinaire.