We put this note out today to supporters of the Canadian Peace Alliance. Here’s hoping that Holbrooke’s apparent death bed admission will be a tipping point for public understanding that the war is unwinnable. (And also, not that he would have had this in mind, unjust and immoral.)

Richard Holbrooke, the top U.S. Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, died after emergency heart surgery at the age of 69. His last words, reported by family members and his surgeon before he underwent surgery were: “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan”.

These dying words were reported in his obituary in the Washington Post and on major U.S. networks and international news agencies. So why did big Canadian media outlets not even make mention of this in their reports on his death?

-The CBC National News, with Peter Mansbridge, did not refer to this at all. Nor did the CBC.ca online report.

-The Globe and Mail story reports on the Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan’s thoughts on how Holbrooke’s death might affect the “peace process,” and yet the story fails to mention the dying words.

The Canadian Peace Alliance believes this is an unacceptable omission.

Holbrooke, 69, had a long career as a US diplomat and an aggressive advocate of US foreign policy, from Vietnam to East Timor, Yugoslavia, Iraq and points beyond. The type of “peace” he was interested in throughout his career was “peace” that would still benefit US interests. Nevertheless, his reported last words indicate that he may well have reached the conclusion that the Afghan war was unwinnable.

If these were the real views of the top US civilian official in charge of the war effort in Afghanistan and Pakistan, how can the Canadian government possibly continue to justify Canada’s role in the war, which was recently extended another three years?

Visit the Canadian Peace Alliance Afghanistan page for more resources and information.

Derrick O'Keefe

Derrick O'Keefe

Derrick O'Keefe is a writer in Vancouver, B.C. He served as rabble.ca's editor from 2012 to 2013 and from 2008 to 2009.