Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holbrooke’s Last Words: "End the War."

Of course, just banter, just meaningless banter. That's what people throughout history have thought about death bed confessions. Just meaningless banter. What the White House says in their press conferences however, that is the real Veritas, the real meaningful and truthful speech of our time...

From The Toronto Star

WASHINGTON—It is a testament to the gravitas of Richard Holbrooke that so many in Washington seized upon his last words Tuesday, poring over the meaning of the veteran diplomat’s deathbed entreaty to “stop this war in Afghanistan.”

Had the hard-nosed Holbrooke reached a new understanding of the futility of military engagement in his final hour? Did negotiation now rank as the uppermost priority toward ending America’s longest-ever war? If so, had Holbrooke taken that message to the White House before passing away?

But as the day unfolded, the heft of Holbrooke’s last words was tamped down by witnesses to the exchange. The Washington Post, which initially cited family members describing the “stop this war” comment, followed up with a fuller account of the conversation, indicating that the words amounted to little more than painful banter.

As he awaited surgery Friday after being rushed to the emergency room at George Washington University Hospital, Holbrooke was urged to relax by the attending physician, Dr. Jehan El-Bayoumi, according to an aide in the room.

Holbrooke, in severe pain, answered jokingly that it was hard to relax because he had to worry about the difficult situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The physician said she would do the worrying on his behalf, to which Holbrooke responded, “end the war,” the unnamed aide told the Washington Post.

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