Earlier I posted about a report that quoted Richard Holbrooke's last words to his Paksitani doctor:
The Washington Post reports that his last words to his Pakistani doctor were: “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.”
However, per Amanda Terkel, the Obama administration is playing that report down, saying that it was meant as humor:
"At one point, the medical team said, 'You've got to relax,'" State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters on Tuesday, relaying what he said he had heard from people who were in the room with Holbrooke at George Washington University Hospital. "And Richard said, 'I can't relax, I'm worried about Afghanistan and Pakistan.' After some additional exchanges, the medical team finally said, 'Tell you what, we'll try to fix this challenge while you're undergoing surgery.' And [Holbrooke] said, 'Yeah, see if you can take care of that,' including ending the war."
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley added that Holbrooke always liked getting the last word.
I'm sorry they were his last.
H/t: Jeremy Scahill
Richard Holbrooke is getting criticized and lauded since he passed away. I laud him wholeheartedly for the last sentence in this post:
Richard Holbrooke posed tough criticisms internally of US policy in Afghanistan, and expressed a strong desire for ending the war in his final days in the hospital. During his tenure as President Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, he challenged US military projections for the Afghan security forces, and became a forceful advocate for civilian rule and cleaner government in the region.
But despite his reputation as a heavyweight in US diplomacy going back to the Vietnam war, Mr. Holbrooke struggled with a cacophony of voices dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan. [...]
Mr. Woodward writes that Holbrooke did not develop a connection with Obama and did not have the respect of some of the brain trust, who would stop note-taking when he talked. [...]
The Washington Post reports that his last words to his Pakistani doctor were: "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan."
ABC News has learned that Richard Holbrooke has died.
Richard C. Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2009 and a diplomatic troubleshooter in Asia, Europe and the Middle East who worked for every Democratic president since the late 1960s, died on Monday evening at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C.
He was 69 and lived in Manhattan.
His death was confirmed by an Obama administration official.
Mr. Holbrooke was taken to the hospital on Friday afternoon after becoming ill while meeting with Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton in her Washington office. Doctors found a tear to his aorta, and he underwent a 21-hour operation that ended early Saturday. Mr. Holbrooke had additional surgery on Sunday and had remained in very critical condition until his death.
Sending out good thoughts, he always seemed like one of the better ones.
Washington (CNN) - Richard Holbrooke, the well-known U.S. diplomat, was in critical condition at George Washington Hospital on Saturday after undergoing surgery to repair a tear in his aorta, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a statement.
Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, is in the intensive care unit at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, according to a hospital official who asked not to be identified.
Holbrooke, 69, has spent the last two years traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and seeking support from allies to help promote economic development and stabilize the neighboring countries that have been plagued by terrorism.
Holbrooke felt ill while working today on the seventh floor of the State Department headquarters, where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s office is located, said Philip J. Crowley, the department spokesman.
We wish him a speedy recovery.
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke is in Germany seeking additional international troops to assist in Afghanistan, reports Deutche Welle, but his spin isn't very encouraging.
Said Holbrooke: "The whole thing was uncoordinated and did not get us very far. The upshot is that in the ninth year of the war we are starting from scratch."
I feel an "oy" coming on.
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