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The Balkan Chameleon
Electric Politics ^ | March 30, 2009 | George Kenney

Posted on 04/07/2009 6:17:42 AM PDT by Ravnagora

I first laid eyes on Richard Holbrooke (he won't remember) on Monday evening, September 21, 1992. Some ridiculously wealthy Manhattan socialite had thrown a party for Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, then the new cause du jour, and some boutique human rights group — a bogus one, I realized in retrospect, now defunct, though its chieftain has since moved to greener pastures and is still active — had decided that I might be useful and had flown me up for the soirée. As it was, nobody was interested in me, I had a drink or two, ate some peanuts, and went back to DC. But it was amazing to watch Holbrooke in action, brown-nosing furiously, trying to pronounce Izzy's name, clambering up on the human rights soapbox. Later in December of that year Holbrooke and I crossed paths again, in Sarajevo, though neither of us was aware of the other's presence.

Subsequently, however, as Holbrooke became a central player in the Bosnia fiasco I became all too well aware of him, and have virtually nothing positive to say. Perhaps he helped in a small way to end the war at Dayton in 1995 (though the parties were fairly well exhausted at that point and a settlement, absent outside interference, would have been reached without Holbrooke) but one must remember that he helped in a very big way to keep the civil war going for three years through covert and overt support for the Bosnian Muslim side.

Nor was Holbrooke what one might call an "objective observer." In his memoir To End a War (1999, Modern Library), he trumpets the shame of the West doing nothing while "350,000" Muslims were killed, a preposterous figure taken from thin air. Throughout the conflict the mainstream media exaggerated Muslim deaths but never by so much. Once, for example, Reuters had bumped its boilerplate number from 250,000 to 300,000; I called one of their London editors to ask where this had come from — I knew their Sarajevo man, Kurt Schork (killed in Sierra Leone in 2000), and knew it hadn't come from him — and after a bit of to-and-fro I was told by Reuters London that the higher figure was a "typographical error" and they went back to what everyone else used. Which I hasten to repeat, was also wrong. Only years after the war did several European demographers come up with an authoritative estimate of slightly under 100,000 killed, total from all sides. An estimate slightly above the upper bounds of an estimate I had made in 1995 in the New York Times Magazine (90,000), but that was before the fighting was over and, besides, it's another story. So Holbrooke had exaggerated Muslim deaths by about a factor of five. Making himself appear all the more heroic. Par for the course.

Nobody should be fooled into thinking Holbrooke has strong diplomatic skills. He hasn't. What he has is a boundless talent for self-promotion and a drive that won't quit. If a President, any President, were serious about diplomacy, anywhere, Holbrooke would be last person to pick. That Mr. Obama has put Richard Holbrooke in charge of the Great Game (American Millennial version) should be taken as a very serious indicator that nobody has any idea what to do.

More worrying still is, as Holbrooke articulated it so crudely yesterday, the administration's belief that they are fighting people in Afghanistan who pose a direct threat to us. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, there's nothing about Afghanistan that is of the slightest importance to U.S. national security except for the fact that Afghanistan borders Pakistan and that events in the former may well further destabilize the latter. Our only interest in the region is Pakistan's nuclear weapons and, to a slightly lesser extent, India's. We don't want them to have a nuclear war and we don't want them to proliferate.

An intelligent foreign policy approach to Afghanistan would recognize our priorities up front and work for de-nuclearization of the region — which would almost certainly require comprehensive and radical nuclear arms reductions by all the nuclear states, including Israel — and economic development in Pakistan, to start. Obscuring those priorities does nobody any good, with the possible exception of extreme self-promoters, like Richard Holbrooke, who care mainly or, when the chips are down, only about themselves.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; balkans; bosnia; dickgephardt; e4d; efd; endowment4democracy; fundraisers; georgekenney; georgesoros; gephardt; hedgefund; holbrooke; kla; mccain; mccainkla; mccaintruthfile; obama; opensocietyinstitute; osi; pakistan; perseus; perseusllc; reaganadmin; richardholbrooke

1 posted on 04/07/2009 6:17:42 AM PDT by Ravnagora
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To: Ravnagora

Holbrooke enabler of islamic terrorists.

2 posted on 04/07/2009 6:38:33 AM PDT by gitmogrunt (Respect Islam? ..Impossible.......Genocidal Islam respects no one.)
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To: Ravnagora; joan; Smartass; zagor-te-nej; Lion in Winter; Honorary Serb; jb6; Incorrigible; DTA; ...

Richard Holbrooke: Jihadist enabler.

3 posted on 04/07/2009 6:56:07 AM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: Ravnagora

More light shed on the disastrous shenanigans from the idiocy of Holbrooke, Now, he heads efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, God help us all.

4 posted on 04/07/2009 8:41:16 AM PDT by montyspython (Love that chicken from Popeye's)
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To: Ravnagora
A Snapshot of Richard Holbrooke:

At President Bill Clinton's urging, Holbrooke left his job as an investment banker for Credit Suisse First Boston to become a special envoy to the Balkans in the late 1990s. His role in this case, however, didn't involve negotiating peace as much as it did threatening annihilation. In March 1999, Holbrooke went to Belgrade to deliver an ultimatum to Serb leader Slabodan Milosevic before the NATO bombing campaign. When Milosevic was not compliant with U.S. demands, NATO bombed Belgrade and other targets in Yugoslavia for the next three months on a daily basis. More than 38,000 sorties were flown. Between 1,200 to 5,700 civilian died as a result of the bombings, according to NATO and Yugoslav estimates.

Evidently, smart bombs aren't that smart. On day ten of the NATO campaign, for example, missiles aimed at the ministries of internal affairs caused fire damage to a nearby gynecological-obstetrical clinic and a mental hospital, according to the city of Belgrade's website. On April 23, 1999, another missile strike destroyed the studios and offices of Serbian television, killing 14 civilians. NATO justified that bombing because the TV station broadcast propaganda. NATO also destroyed the Chinese embassy, killing three journalists. NATO said that attack was an accident. Only state-owned factories were targeted, which led some critics of NATO to suspect that the bombing campaign was partly carried out to pave the way for "free-market" reconstruction by foreign companies.

Last year, Holbrooke supported Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, but switched to Obama in August. At the time, he was vice chairman of Perseus LLC, a hedge fund that is partnered with billionaire George Soros, a Democratic contributor and founder of the Open Society Institute. Soros' foundation helps support "free market" business in developing countries.

In many respects, the Open Society Institute's goals are similar to those of the U.S. government-funded Endowment for Democracy to which Holbrooke also has been tied. The Endowment for Democracy was created during the Reagan administration. The endowment funds U.S. interests abroad by supporting political parties and individuals who favor U.S. foreign policy. In this regard, it is not significantly different than covert CIA programs that for decades influenced election results in post-war Europe, Latin America and Asia. The new chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy is former Missouri congressman Dick Gephardt. Obama has expressed intentions of increasing the funding to the program.

5 posted on 04/07/2009 8:48:28 AM PDT by Bokababe (Save Christian Kosovo!
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To: Bokababe

All the threads are coming together.

6 posted on 04/07/2009 9:02:12 AM PDT by montyspython (Love that chicken from Popeye's)
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To: Ravnagora

Let’s face it - this nation is now in the hands of its greatest enemies.

7 posted on 04/07/2009 10:14:15 AM PDT by eleni121 (Kosovo is SERBIA forever! no matter what NATO/Bush/Clinton/McCain/Obama demand)
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To: montyspython; rabscuttle385
"All the threads are coming together."

Yes, and his name is George Soros!

I can't help thinking that -- if for no other reason -- honest Republicans would have gotten behind those members of Congress who challenged the 1999 NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia on Constitutional grounds-- we wouldn't be where we are today in America. But instead, they got behind that bought-off piece of crap, McCain and then they even had the nerve to run that traitorous RINO for president. So here we are!

8 posted on 04/07/2009 10:20:08 AM PDT by Bokababe (Save Christian Kosovo!
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To: Bokababe

He has already bought the Obama administration.

9 posted on 04/07/2009 11:26:55 AM PDT by montyspython (Love that chicken from Popeye's)
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To: Bokababe; Dick Bachert; 50mm; stockpirate; Eaker; ducdriver; ChrisInAR; AvOrdVet; MaggieCarta; ...

But instead, they got behind that bought-off piece of crap, McCain and then they even had the nerve to run that traitorous RINO for president.

John McCain armed the KLA, Politika
John McCain armed Kosovo Islamic terrorists
McCain and the KLA connection
Group tied to al-Qaida backs McCain for prez

The Juan McCain Truth File.

"I have great respect for Al Gore."
—John McCain, October 2, 2008

FR Keywords: mccaintruthfile, mcqueeg, mcbama

Please tag all relevant threads with the aforementioned keywords.

This can be a very high-volume ping list at times.

To join the ping list:
FReepmail rabscuttle385 with the subject line add  mccaintruthfile.
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10 posted on 04/07/2009 11:41:15 AM PDT by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: montyspython
"He has already bought the Obama administration."

"Bought" it? Soros has helped fund it from the very beginning. Soros paid for selling America on Obama!

11 posted on 04/07/2009 11:50:55 AM PDT by Bokababe (Save Christian Kosovo!
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To: rabscuttle385

McSquipa strikes again.

12 posted on 04/07/2009 12:35:58 PM PDT by montyspython (Love that chicken from Popeye's)
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To: Ravnagora
>>>>>>So Holbrooke had exaggerated Muslim deaths by about a factor of five. <<<<<<

Out of 102 000 killed during Bosnian civil war approx. 50 000 were Muslims on two different sides. Halbrooke's Mujahedeens had around 40 000 dead, that means that he augmented their casualties tenfold.

Holbrooke is on record calling Serbs "murderous assholes". It is a perfect example of what is known in psychology as projection.

13 posted on 04/07/2009 6:46:10 PM PDT by DTA
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To: gitmogrunt

Young Marcus Tullius Cicero, then a student of law under old Scaevola, the eminent lawyer of his day, was just about to suffer his first great disillusionment with grasping government. Rome, by force of arms, guile and trickery, dominated the world. Its citizens had grown slick and fat, careless of their rights, and had fallen prey to the ruthless politicians who craved more and ever more power and riches.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
“For the traitor appears not a traitor – he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
– Marcus Tullius Cicero 42 B.C

14 posted on 04/08/2009 6:05:04 AM PDT by SQUID
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