Exclusive - David Holbrooke Extended Interview

November 16, 2015 - David Holbrooke 11/16/2015 Views: 2,407

David Holbrooke, director of the documentary "The Diplomat," examines his father Richard Holbrooke's role in foreign affairs as well as in their home. (7:42)

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>> Trevor: PLEASE WELCOMEDAVID HOLBROOKE!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)♪♪

OH!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEINGHERE.

I MUST APOLOGIZE FIRST ANDFOREMOST BECAUSE YOU WERE

SUPPOSED TO BE HERE, BUT THEN IHAD AN INCIDENT --

>> INCIDENT, THAT'S WHAT THEYCALL APPENDECTOMIES NOW?

>> Trevor: YES, AN INTERNALINCIDENT WHERE ONE PART OF YOUR

BODY DISAGREES WITH THE REST OFYOUR BODY, THEN, UNFORTUNATELY,

I DID NOT HAVE AN AMBASSADORLIKE YOUR FATHER TO SORT

EVERYTHING OUT AND I HAD TO --

>> YOU WOULDN'T HAVE WANTEDHIM SORTING ANY OF THAT OUT.

>> Trevor: I DON'T KNOW ABOUTTHAT.

HE WAS A FANTASTIC MAN.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING.

>> GLAD TO BE HERE.

>> Trevor: YOUR FATHER WASALMOST LIKE A POLITICAL FORREST

GUMP.

HE WAS EVERYWHERE THAT SOMETHINGHAPPENED.

>> SIMPLE AND KIND OF DUMB?

>> Trevor: NO!

DON'T YOU DARE SAY THAT!

>> THAT'S WHAT YOU SAID, FORRESTGUMP.

>> Trevor: THAT'S NOT WHAT ISEE WHEN I SEE FORREST GUMP.

I SEE A MAN IN THE RIGHT PLACESAT THE RIGHT TIME, MAKING AN

IMPACT.

HE WAS IN VIETNAM BEFORE ANDAFTER THE WAR.

HE WAS PART OF AFGHANISTAN,PAKISTAN, THERE AS A SPECIAL

REPRESENTATIVE AND BROKERED THEPEACE IN THE BALKANS.

>> 20 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK, THISMONTH.

>> Trevor: YEAH.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

SO, I MEAN, A LOT OF THIS, FORTHOSE WHO DON'T KNOW, WHY WAS

THAT YOUR FATHER'S GREATESTACHIEVEMENT?

>> HE ENDED A WAR.

200,000 PEOPLE KILLED.

2 MILLION PEOPLE DISPLACED.

IT HAD GONE ON FOR YEARS.

THE LONGEST SIEGE IN HISTORYHAPPENED IN SARAJEVO.

AND HE ENDED IT ALONG WITH THEUNITED STATES AND HIS TEAM, BUT

HE WAS THE ARCHITECT OF THAT.

IT WAS A WAR NOT BEING SOLVED BYEUROPE.

AT THE END OF THE COLD WAR THEYSAID, WE'LL TAKE CARE OF THINGS,

AND THEY DIDN'T.

AMERICANS HAD TO STEP IN ANDREALLY WITH HIS DIPLOMATIC

LEADERSHIP TO END THIS.

>> Trevor: TALKING ABOUTDIPLOMATS, I THOUGHT THEY WERE

JUST LIKE PEOPLE WHO THREW FANCYSHINDIGS IN OTHER COUNTRIES.

>> THERE IS A PARTYING ASPECT.

THEY'RE LIKE ROCK STARS.

>> Trevor: AND YOUR DAD WASSOMEWHAT OF A ROCK STAR.

I THINK ONE OF THE FUNNIESTTHINGS IN THE MOVIE, BILL

CLINTON SAYS YOUR DAD WAS PARTMICHAEL JORDAN, EXCELLENT AT

WHAT HE WAS DOING, AND THEN ALOT OF HIM DENNIS RODMAN IN THAT

HE WAS JUST WILING OUT IN THESTREETS.

THOUGH NOW DENNIS RODMAN HASBECOME A GREAT AMBASSADOR TO

NORTH KOREA.

>> RIGHT --

(LAUGHTER)

-- A FUTURE AMBASSADOR, PERHAPS.

>> Trevor: BUT WHAT IS THATTHAT MADE HIM SO GOOD AT BEING A

DIPLOMAT?

>> ONE, HIS WILLINGNESS TO GETTOUGH WITH SOMEBODY LIKE

SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC.

AND HIS ABILITY TO BE NICE ANDGET ALONG.

DIPLOMATS USE ALL SORTS OF TOOLSAND I CAN HE USED THEM AT THE

HIGHEST LEVEL.

THERE WAS A SCENE IN THE FILMWHERE HE WAS AMBASSADOR TO THE

U.N. AND HE THREW PARTIES, THATWERE STRATEGIC BUT COOL, TOO.

>> Trevor: YOU HAVE TO DECIDEWHO WILL SIT WHERE TO NOT SPARK

AN INCIDENT FROM A DINNER PARTY.

>> RIGHT.

AND HE LOVED THE PARTIES.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE ONES, HEINVITED ME TO THE N.B.A.,

HELD A PARTY OF INTERNATIONALSTARS.

AND I WAS THE SIX-FOOT-SIX SHORTGUY AMONG THOSE.

>> Trevor: IT WAS NICE FOR YOUTO LOOK UP TO SOMEBODY FOR A

CHANGE.

>> MY FATHER WAS DESCRIBED ASLARGER THAN LIFE.

HE WAS SIX-ONE.

I'M SIX-SIX, THE BIG ONE IN THEFAMILY.

BUT THAT REALLY WASN'T THE CASE.

>> Trevor: HE REALLY WASAMAZING.

ONE OF THE BIGGEST THINGS FOR MEWAS WATCHING THIS AND GOING

HE SEEMED REALLY OPPOSED TOWARS.

I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY THEYARE, BUT HE REALLY SEEMED TO

FIND A WAY TO GET AROUNDFIGHTING A WAR, AND IF YOU LOOK

AT THIS DAY AND AGE AND THESITUATIONS WE'RE DEALING WITH, I

KNOW YOU CAN'T SPEAK FOR HIM,BUT HOW DO YOU THINK HE WOULD BE

REACTING TO THIS WHOLE SITUATIONWITH SYRIA, WITH WHAT'S

HAPPENING IN THE MIDDLE EAST ANDHOW THE U.S. IS LOOKING TO GO

INTO THESE SPACES?

HOW DO YOU THINK HE WOULD REACT?

>> LET'S LOOK AT PARIS.

FIRST, HE WOULD SAY, LET'S FINDTHE PERPETRATORS, BUT THEN HE

WOULD SAY LET'S PUT DIPLOMACYOUT IN FRONT.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WORKED SOWELL IN BOSNIA WAS DIPLOMACY

BACKED BY FORCE.

IN THE FILM, DEXTER SAID IT WASABOUT AFGHANISTAN.

IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANDTHE BEGINNING OF THE OBAMA

ADMINISTRATION, IT WAS THEMILITARY RUNNING THINGS.

FOR MY FATHER, IT HAD TO BEDIPLOMACY FOLLOWED BY FORCE AND

THAT'S MORE IMPORTANT.

IT'S A MUCH MORE COMPLICATEDTHAN THE WORLD HE DIED IN FIVE

YEARS AGO.

ARAB SPRING, THEN SYRIA SIXWEKS LATER.

THIS IS AN INCREDIBLYCOMPLICATED THING.

YOU HAVE TO GET SOCIETY STABLESO YOU DON'T HAVE A CRAZY FLOW

OF REFUGEES COMING OUT THROUGHAFGHANISTAN THROUGH THE BALKANS

AND THROUGH OTHER COUNTRIES INTOEUROPE.

>> Trevor: AS A MAN LARGERTHAN LIFE ALL OVER THE WORLD,

FIRST-NAME BASIS IS WORLDLEADERS REALLY CREATING HISTORY,

ONE OF THE MOST TOUCHING PARTSOF THE FILM AND I DIDN'T KNOW

HOW TO DEAL WITH IT BECAUSE IT'SNOT GOOD NOR BAD IS SEEING YOU

COMING TO GRIPS WITH FINDING OUTABOUT YOUR FATHER FROM OTHER

PEOPLE WHICH IS STRANGE.

YOU SAID YOU LEARNED MORE ABOUTHIM FROM EAVESDROPPING THAN FROM

HIM TELLING IT TO YOU.

>> SURE, AND I THINK A LOT OFTHINGS I SAY IN THE FILM IS I

SET OUT TO UNDERSTAND HIM BETTERIN DEATH THAN LIFE.

THAT WAS A HARD THING.

HE WAS ALWAYS GONE.

IT'S THE NATURE OF THE WORK.

FATHERHOOD WASN'T NECESSARILYHIS STRONG SUIT.

BUT AS PEOPLE SAID TO ME, I'MSORRY HE WASN'T THERE FOR YOU

AND YOUR BROTHER AS A FATHER,BUT PEOPLE ARE ALIVE TODAY

BECAUSE OF THE WORK HE DID ANDTHAT'S A TRADE I'M WILLING TO

MAKE.

>> Trevor: THAT'S WHAT I'MWONDERED.

YOU HEAR THIS OFTEN REPEATED,PEOPLE TALK ABOUT AN ABSENTEE

FATHER AS YOU SPOKE ABOUT INYOUR FILM AND YOUR MOM DID, YOU

THINK DEADBEAT DAD, BUT THAT WASTHE FURTHEST THING FROM HIM.

>> NO, DIPLOMAT DAD.

>> Trevor: HE SIGNED THAT IN ACARD TO YOU, DIDN'T HE?

>> MY BROTHER, HE SIGNED A BOOK"AMBASSADOR DAD."

>> Trevor: TO YOUR BROTHER,AMBASSADOR DAD.

>> I WENT AROUND THE WORLDMAKING A FILM AND BECAME AN

ABSENTEE FATHER WHILE I WASMAKING THE FILM ABOUT MY

ABSENT FATHER -- THE NATURE OFTHE FILM.

I TRIED TO INCORPORATE MY KIDSINTO THE STORY, WHICH IS REALLY

IMPORTANT.

BOTTOM LINE IS YOU CAN'T HAVE ITALL.

YOU CAN'T DO IT ALL.

HE TRIED AS MUCH AS ANYBODY IKNOW.

YOU KNOW, IT IS MUCH MOREIMPORTANT TO ME THAT THERE IS

PEACE AND STABILITY IN THEBALKANS TODAY THAN HE WAS THERE

FOR MY BASKETBALL GAME.

I WASN'T A GREAT BASKETBALLPLAYER.

-- AS TALL AS I AM.

SO IT WAS A FAIR TRADE, BUT ITHINK THAT'S THE IMPORTANT

THING.

>> Trevor: WITH YOUR BROTHER,ONE THING I WATCHED WAS YOU GUYS

FIGHT?

>> YES.

>> Trevor: WHEN YOU HAVE ANAMBASSADOR DAD, DOES HE BROKER

TALKS?

HOW DOES THAT WORK?

>> DETANTE, YES. ONE SIDE WANTSTHIS--

NO, HE JUST MIXES IT UP.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE MEMORIES OFHIM IS WE WERE IN TELURIDE,

COLORADO, AND WE HAD THIS NERFHOOP.

THE THREE OF US WE WENT AT IT,BREATHING HARD, AND THAT WAS

THE THING, HE WAS THIS GUY ONTHE WORLD SCENE, BUTHE WAS A

TON OF FUN.

>> Trevor: HE'S A MAN LARGERTHAN LIFE AND LEFT HIS IMPACT, A

BEAUTIFUL STORY.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

YOU CAN WATCH "THE DIPLOMAT" ONON HBO, HBONOW, AND HBOGO.

DAVID HOLBROOKE, EVERYONE.