Who is this guy? Why do an editorial cartoon about him?
Richard Holbrooke may not be a household name, but it isn’t for lack of the man’s effectiveness. He was one of the most consequential American diplomats of the last fifty years, a titan of a man who was well-known and respected in international and domestic power circles, and who goes to his final resting place with mammoth accomplishments to his credit.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the Balkan Peninsula alone owe their lives to his tireless efforts in brokering the Dayton Peace Accords, using the power of his own words and personality to face down Slobodan Milosevic, after bullets failed to do the same thing.
He accepted a thankless task⎯trying to unravel the Gordian Knot of Afghan and Pakistani politics to find a sane way out for all involved⎯and died, tragically, with the task unfinished.
Richard Holbrooke didn’t tweet his fans every day, he didn’t have his own reality show, and he didn’t rouse crowds to a fever pitch with pop slogans. All that attention-getting would have been antithetical to his goals.
Instead, he did the real grunt work, toiling away in the brambles for the furtherance of his country’s interests, and even more nobly, for those of the world in general. We should always remember his name.