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Obama may grow into his Nobel speech

It is not Barack Obama’s fault that he won the Nobel peace prize before his time. It is not even his fault that he accepted the award when, in fact, he had done little to earn it. It was not his fault that when he cited Martin Luther King, who had won the prize in 1964, or Mahatma Gandhi, who never won the prize, or Aung Sang Suu Kyi, who won the prize in 1991 and yet remains under house arrest in the former Burma, he was making an inescapable and unfortunate comparison to himself: He is not yet one of them.

Obama’s Nobel prize acceptance speech had many good elements. He defended just wars, he acknowledged the presence of evil in the world, he defended humanitarian intervention, such as the one in the Balkans, and he rued the “disconnect between the efforts of those who serve and the ambivalence of the broader public.” This Obama defied the ridiculous caricature of his critics on the right: Here was no leftie peacenik.

But neither was this a man who could point to his own life as an example of almost anything. He has not, like King or Gandhi, spent a night in jail or risked his life in the service of his cause. He has not even, like Albert Schweitzer, whom he also cited, devoted his life to the poor and the sick. This Obama was an arriviste. The more he walks with giants, the smaller he seems.

It is symptomatic of our times that celebrity or fame gets taken for accomplishment. In this regard, we have put the cart before the horse.

Obama’ s time may come, but he is not yet a great man. He is merely a famous man -- a very famous man. He had no right to give this speech and the Nobel committee had no right to ask him. Someday, Obama may grow into the speech he gave. It was a good speech -- but like a young wine, served before its time.

By Richard Cohen  | December 10, 2009; 9:44 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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Next: Obama's brilliant Nobel speech

Comments

Obama is just a sign of the times, flash over substance. One and done Cohen, one and done.

Posted by: je121819 | December 10, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Obama is making a laughing stock out of the Nobel committee and humiliating the U.S. Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan are “just wars,” and America is not a “standard bearer in the conduct of war.” Even members of congress acknowledge that Iraq and Afghanistan are wars of choice. And Gitmo, torture and renditions are no standard for the conduct of warfare. The reasons for these wars are oil, an oil pipeline, and a geopolitical strategy to threaten Iran. These are destructive wars, that have killed and maimed millions of innocents and made millions refugees. They have also made a few very, very rich. These are the friends for whom Obama is waging these wars. The verneer is wearing off the “progressive” face of Mr. Obama–and underneath he is just another Bush warmonger and corporate shill. This Nobel Prize is an insult to all who have truly worked for peace—against people just like Obama.

Posted by: donnasaggia | December 10, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"But neither was this a man who could point to his own life as an example of almost anything." What? This would probably be offensive if it even made any sense.

Posted by: eyeswideopen2 | December 10, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Seems rather an unfocused, rushed analysis. Of course he did not deserve the prize, of course he is not "great" in a geopolitical sense -- but one need not be a martyr to lead a meaningful life. Cohen seems to posit that only those who aspire to be Mother Theresa or Albert Schweitzer or some such can qualify for a nobel. If being a transcendent figure is the sole criteria for greatness or personal legitimacy, the world is in trouble. I could care less if Obama becomes "great" by Cohen's artificial standards. The world has had enough martyrs. We need thoughtful leaders and people who will take personal and profesional risks to reduce suffering.

Posted by: RadicalGlove | December 10, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

obama will have to

study

grow and

mature

just to reach the presidential level of

mere incompetence

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 10, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Sure Cohen, we have a better chance of seeing the Messiah's college grades and papers!

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA-"ONE AND DONE"!

Posted by: cschotta1 | December 10, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was a Peace Prize, Mr. Cohen, not a Great Man Prize. The fact that Cohen thinks that its his job to decide what a Great Man is -- and that he takes up valuable newsprint space mulling it over as if he was the go-to-guy on that topic -- is actually symptomatic of our times.

Posted by: jrbarry63 | December 10, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, so too for folks of your ilk, it ".... is symptomatic of our times that celebrity or fame gets taken for accomplishment".

Posted by: nlbillss | December 10, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Obama's values are very similar that other race supremacy churches. It is 2009, so black supremacy is PC. In 1925 white supremacy was PC. (of course you believe Americans today are somehow superior and more enlightened than yesterday -- wrong, you've simply redirected your bigotry.)

see Trinity web site

THE BLACK VALUE SYSTEM

http://www.trinitychicago.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=114

Disavowal of the Pursuit of "Middleclassness."

Pledge Allegiance to All Black Leadership

Posted by: ram_xxx_ram | December 10, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Cohen is neither a great thinker nor a great columnist. Judging from his apparent age, it's unlikely he will ever be either. Obama, on the other hand, is the best president we've had in a long, long, long, long, long, long time. I'll take him any day over this insipid commentary.

Posted by: GeorgHerbet | December 10, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"It is not even his fault that he accepted the award when, in fact, he had done little to earn it."

"He had no right to give this speech and the Nobel committee had no right to ask him."

What? He had no right to give the speech but it was not his fault he accepted the peace prize?

It is his fault. He accepted an award that he acknowledged he should not have gotten. This should be seen as a mockery as much as Al Gore's Nobel Prize.

I hope that one day he accomplishes something that would be worthy of the Nobel, but he should receive the award at that time. This is a slap in the face to the people that deserve this honor for their actions before February 2009.

Posted by: HokiePokie | December 10, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"may", not "is". There is a difference.

Posted by: JWMeritt | December 10, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen you appionted you judge and jury in this regard? What are your experiences and accomplishments that so qualifes you to be God. You are a arrogent man and no doubt an honorable member of the country club media which is corporate own, diversity challenged,cabal of middle aged American men of europeon ancestry. To that end, try to embrace humility in your posture, for goodness sake sir.

Posted by: JoeCitizen1 | December 10, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The prize is just words, Obama's speech was just words, and Cohen's column is just words. Words about words about words. So what?

Posted by: cogito1 | December 10, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It's rather simple. The world at large is hungry for a shift in direction. More specifically, for the West, especially the US, to give respect where respect is due. For the longest time, US leadership spoke a good game but treated everyone, except for (quite literally) their closest western European cousins, with a belittling contempt. Obama, having first hand experience with that contempt, sees the wisdom of simply (fully) respecting others as a fellow human being. Many of the folks who say "one and done" are the same people Obama mentioned in his Nobel speech who he said feel their place of privileage under threat because of the normative effects of modernity. I can only imagine the paranoia and terror that must gripping the conservative psyche right now.

Posted by: TheWoolyWookie | December 10, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Additionally, Mr. Cohen, Becoming President of the United States as an American of african ancestry IS a tremendous acclomplishment in a country founded on the enslavement of people of african ancestry for centuries! Add to that a hundred years of legal segregation, lynchings, the black codes and other systematic efforts in our nations history designed to debase the & enjoin the ancestors of those slaves to fully be part of the American idea. How dare you be so arrogent and historically retarded not to recognize this.

As old as you are you should know this, you were born into a different America then what is contemporary America. Then how can you characterize this man as a mere famous person? You insult discerning citizens that expect insight and astute observation as opposed to blind envy. Shame on you Sir.

Posted by: JoeCitizen1 | December 10, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

A United States President who goes against his supporters and takes a huge personal political risk to send troops to Afghanistan and encourage other countries to do the same is moving toward earning that prize. If we do not stop the Taliban from raping and beating little girls for simply wanting to go to school, if we do not stop the Taliban from holding the population of Afghanistan hostage to the Taliban's violent extremist dictates, if we do not stop Afghanistan from returning to Taliban control and becoming a safe haven for Al-Qaida again, we cannot claim to be a peace-loving country. High point of the speech: " Evil does exist in the world. A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince Al-Qaida's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism — it is a recognition of history, the imperfections of man and the limits of reason."

Posted by: sam38 | December 10, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I like to know who the hell you think you are to decice if someone is a great man or not. You really need to check yourself...

Posted by: Rayden1234 | December 10, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, I must agree with you. Even thought I do want to defend Obama to the best of my abilities, it is too early in his career for him to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. However it is a wonderful speech he made. We should not be too critical of him, but of the committee for awarding him this prize. He just did what every recipient would do, accept with humility and humble. It is not easy being a President of an already screwed up world we live in. The war he is trying to clean up and finish without a back fire was not started by HIM!!! He is just doing his best by taking in advice from distinguished personnel and making a conscious decision. You can not please everyone.

Posted by: theLovelyE | December 10, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,

What world do you live in? The Nobel Committee had its reasons for awarding the prize to Obama. What right do you have to say that they didn't have the right to do what they did?

They conferred the award on Obama, as they have in the past no less, not as a lifetime achievement award, but as a catalyst for things to come. What grates you so about President Obama that you are overly critical of everything this president does or says? Your columns are generally negative regarding him.

I'm not suggesting that pundits shouldn't be skeptical, but your analysis today seems like sour grapes more than anything else.

Greatness is a subjective thing. No, Obama is no Ghandi. No, Obama is no Martin Luther King, Jr. And so what?

History will judge whether Obama is great or not. But the Noble Peace Prize is not given on that basis. And it seems, perhaps, you should consider the reasoning laid out by the Noble Committee itself, before rendering yourself the sole arbiter of what is or is not appropriate regarding their decision.

Posted by: ChrisNBama | December 10, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to what you may think, "great men" don't plan their lives to become "great men". Those that seek greatness will seldom, if ever, attain greatness. Most who attain greatness are seeking to do good for others and put the interests of others above their own self interests. Also, they generally don't judge others which makes it unlikely you will ever achieve "greatness".

Posted by: rclab | December 10, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a bigot.

His associations:

ACORN
Trinity
CBC
.
.
.

He defends:

Gates
Wright
.
.
.

He supports:

affirmative action
policital "correctness"
race preferernce, bias, discrimination
.
.
.

You have to put his history, words, and acitons in context, excuse it, justify it

Liberals say he's a racist but the good kind. He discriminates but the good kind. His bigotry is righteous bigotry.


To the Chinese-American student who gives up his place at university to a much less qualified person -- in the end -- what's the difference to him he's denied by reasons of white supremacy (yesterday) or liberal agenda (today)? He was still the wrong color then and today.

Posted by: ram_xxx_ram | December 10, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama was given this prize by a handful of leftists in Norway for what they wanted him to do and certainly not what he has done which is nothing constructive.The Nobel Peace prize will forever be tarnished by this blatant use of wishful politics and even now may be meaningless. Obama is a creation of a clever PR team and the drooling support of the main street media. There is nothing of substance behind this golden tongue.

Posted by: katie6 | December 10, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

President Obama merely revived an old adage with great rhetorical flourish..If you want peace, prepare for war. The Pax Romana was built upon a world power that could enforce its will throughout the Roman Empire. Rome had to maintain military control within the empire and be ready to deal with external enemies and insurrections. Those conquered and ruled over had a measure of freedom for local religions and customs as long as they kept in line, paid taxes and were obedient. There was always the underlying threat of crucifixion. beheading, and complete destruction. One conquered ruler said, "Solitudinem faciunt, vocant pacem.. They create desolation and call it peace. The world is too big today and the cost in money and blood too great to accomplish this even if we had the guts to break eggs to make an omelet. There can be no Pax Americana. War as an extension of diplomacy or the fruit of values and ideology is a reality.The justice of these wars is in the eyes of the one who wages them.

Posted by: Impudicus | December 10, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Obummer will 'grow into a great president' just about the time that H*ll freezes over. It is much more likely that he'll top the polls over which president has done the most damage to the USA and American citizens.

Posted by: segeny | December 10, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Spot on this time mr. Cohen.

Posted by: shangps | December 10, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It's not his fault that this author has such a narrow mind and cannot see the forest for the trees. After all, his life and his work has formed him to write quickly without much thought or depth and has not required too many deeply responsible decisions, subject to the critique of millions of people across the world.

As the Prime Minister of India said, "It is not the number of years lived but the life lived in the numbers given", or something to that effect.

Clearly, The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the leadership reflected in the foreign policy of this man, one based on all the principles defined in his address today.

Peace is a process, not an end result, like marriage, and the President brings integrity, character, intellect, thoughtfulness, knowledge, and personal responsibility with committment to this process. It takes a uniquely authentic person to accept this award with all of the realities and his speech does, indeed, reflect the authenticity of this man.

He does not need to "grow into" this speech; the speech reflects what he believes, what he has learned from history, and who he already is.

It will be a very long time, if ever, that this world will not be in some major conflict of sorts; it is the nature of today's modern world. In that respect, our President is a Peacemaker and we are fortunate to have him.

You have more years in your number but that is about it.

Posted by: nana4 | December 10, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Obama received two undeserved prizes within a year--the Nobel and the U.S. presidency. We can only "hope" that Obama grows into each of the prizes.

Posted by: judithod | December 10, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Not Yet a Great Man"

Perhaps! But there's one thing we know for sure.

He certainly is a tremendous improvement.

And he does have time on his side.

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | December 10, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Amongs the Merkels, the Sarkozies, Barack Obama stands tall. He is the leader. The pack may not always follow him, but it is clear that he is the leader. And it is not just because he is the President of the US. The last US President was leading the folks from UK, Australia and Burundi, Papua and New Guinea, ...

The strength of the personality that Mr. Obama has is undeniable and no one questions his intent.

Posted by: pattr1 | December 10, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The old White racist gives us more drivel. How vapid can you be? We are actually reading this pap.

Posted by: Annandale | December 10, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh sure--go right ahead--throw cold water instead of being proud to finally have such a man as President of the USA as to be honored in this way. I swear, I've never in my life seen so many negative, jealous, hateful and spiteful people in all my life. Barach Obama took on a powerful system (the corrupt GOP), dared to take on such a national economical problem that few, maybe none out there would know even how or where to begin, exhibited tremendous presence of mind, fairness when he could have struck back, humility when faced with overt disrespect from Congress, and still comes up with very thoughtful and mature decisions--no rashness about him in the least! But, as usual, our cowardly and uneducated media chooses, instead, to put him down no matter what the subject might be. I'm so sick of this kind of talk. I will never forgive conservatives for how they have acted before and since Obama was elected. And I'm horribly disappointed in those Democrats who have been anything but loyal. I, for one, am proud as I've never been for this President. And in spite of the bigotry and racism present in this nation today, Barach Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents ever!

Posted by: saf62 | December 10, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh sure--go right ahead--throw cold water instead of being proud to finally have such a man as President of the USA as to be honored in this way. I swear, I've never in my life seen so many negative, jealous, hateful people in my life. He took on a powerful system (the corrupt GOP), dared to take on such a national economical problem that few, maybe none out there would know even how or where to begin, exhibited tremendous presence of mind, fairness when he could have struck back, humility when faced with overt disrespect from Congress, and still comes up with very thoughtful and mature decisions--no rashness about him in the least! But, as usual, our cowardly and uneducated media chooses, instead, to put him down no matter what the subject might be. I'm so sick of this kind of talk. I will never forgive conservatives for how they have acted before and since Obama was elected. And I'm horribly disappointed in those Democrats who have been anything but loyal. I, for one, am proud as I've never been for this President. And in spite of the bigotry and racism present in this nation today, Barach Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents ever!

Posted by: saf62 | December 10, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Death, was the pseudonym in XIX c. press of Mr. Nobel, the inventor of dynamite and chemical explosives that made him extremely wealthy in the prussian and I World War. 
His only rival was Mr. Krupp, who made grease with nazi prisoners for his cannons. But Nobel was smarter. He set companies in all countries to sell weapons to each contendant. Uncle Fred also said about the Nobel Peace he instituted not to loose his very young activist lover: 'my factories will make peace earlier than all those congresses by inventing weapons that annihilate entire nations in a second'. 
Right now all the wannabe Nobels assemblied at CERN have switched a quark cannon that will shoot black holes to this planet, a Damocles Machine that menaces our very own survival, called in the peaceful newspeak of the new era, an instrument of research
You live in an Orwellian era in which all words are the antitruth of what they really mean. That is why Mr. Obama does deserves the prize, because he is the best, disguising truth, i suggest the next for CERN if we are still here LOL Power can cheat every human on Earth. What humans CANNOT CHEAT are the laws of the Universe.
‘We are a thin layer of mush on a rock speck in a corner of the Universe. Now, departing
from those facts, we can talk about man.’ Schopenhauer
If Obama wants to walk among 'giants' I suggest he stops the creation of mass bombs (M=E/c2) and the 'peaceful evolution' of black holes, here on Earth, just in case. That would be a 'change we believe in' for a change.

Posted by: luisancho | December 10, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

President Obama is wise enough to understand he can't please all of the people all of the time. It's clear he can't please some of the people any time, so your posturing is moot, Mr. Cohen. Did you not pay attention to his speech? That award honors our nation, and you dare mock. I think you're jealous.

Posted by: harrisjp2 | December 10, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Not only did Obama win the Nobel Peace Prize because he is black, but he accepted it and promptly defended his war in Afghanistan. He then snubbed the King of Norway.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | December 10, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

ram_xxx_ram wrote:

To the Chinese-American student who gives up his place at university to a much less qualified person -- in the end -- what's the difference to him he's denied by reasons of white supremacy (yesterday) or liberal agenda (today)? He was still the wrong color then and today.

Posted by: ram_xxx_ram

RESPONSE:

excellent point--a poignant illustration of the utter depravity of obama

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 10, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

We all know a wine served too early will never grow to its great label. You don't gather back spilled water. I think it is time to understand Obama is not here to change a thing. He is nice, a great speech-giver, but he has not raised beyond politics. He is all politics. And yes, the prize is not Obama's fault. But is a fault.

Posted by: JpAcosta | December 10, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

We get it you don't like Pres. Obama and you take every opportunity to critize him. The fact that you don't say Pres. Obama makes this point even clearer.

You obviously did not listen to why he was chosen by the Nobel Peace Prize committee or listen to his lecture.

Posted by: rlj1 | December 10, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

All those espousing - the Nobel Committee awarded BO the award for things to come???? Huh.....talk about dumbing down an award...maybe I too deserve the award...for things that I may or may not do? Stupid is as stupid does. There I deserve the award.

Posted by: short1 | December 10, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like you could have written this "review" of the speech a week ago, since you didn't care what he actually said. The Post continues to circle the drain with its full-on embrace of kneejerk neoconservatives, supposedly balanced by its sparse handful of much smarter, much more thoughtful centrists and progressives. The Post sets the bar much lower for voices from the right, like this one. Someday those will be the only ones who bother to read it.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | December 10, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

How often in our lives do we get to witness a man or woman grow into greatness? We should value this opportunity no matter how it turns out.

Mr. Obama is a visionary whose vision may not come true. He's a trailblazer for human rights in his own country. Even in failure he will have attempted something noble or at least notable.

It bothers me that so many are so personally invested in his failure and dismissive of him. We should celebrate that our country gave a chance to President Obama. If people are not convinced of his vision, so be it. To be so dismissive of a person's growth and reach is really small.

Posted by: arancia12 | December 10, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Barry says he defneds his country, but would I wonder... which country would that be?? Kenya or Indonesia?

Posted by: jonweiss1 | December 10, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

It'll never happen!

Posted by: GordonShumway | December 10, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Given the checkered history of the Peace Prize, awarded to both saints and villains, it's time to ignore it. Unlike the prizes for Chemistry, Physics and Medicine, the Peace Prize is a crock.

Posted by: Henry5 | December 10, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Since when is greatness anticipated? Could be because he's a leftist pig like most of the media. The guy is in well over his head and America made a terrible mistake giving him the WH last year. Truly one of the lowest points in American history. Here's to a swift kick in the you know what in 2012.

Posted by: DCer1 | December 10, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, I do not understand your analysis nor your inability to give the President any credit for anything. Your comments come across as jealousy or envy.

No, the President, as he so clearly stated, has not yet reached the level of accomplishment of Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela. What he is doing is tackling big issues: international terrorism, the meltdown of our financial system, health care reform, climate change, nuclear proliferation. The success of these initiatives is still to be determined.

You say that "the more he walks with giants, the smaller he seems." This is mean-spirited at best, and says much more about your stature and lack of vision than it does about President Obama's. I suggest you reread the President's speech -- it's depth and breadth, its realism and idealism -- and then compare it with your shallow, superficial analysis.

Posted by: pat3walters | December 10, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to mention Henry Kissenger and Le Doc Tho. They were awarded the prize for achieving peace in Vietman. We know how that turned. At least Le Doc Tho had the honesty not to accept the prize.

Posted by: browneri | December 10, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

You also forgot to mention Menachem Begin and Yassir Arafat, two known terrorists. Some company to keep! Who's proud to be a member of that club.

Posted by: Henry5 | December 10, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

pat3walters, very unconvincing post. Awards are given to accomplishments, not "to do lists."

Posted by: DCer1 | December 10, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you go back to Tel Aviv, where you belong, Richard.

Posted by: rbe1 | December 10, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen
I believe that Obama has what it takes to be a great man. He is honest, humble, insightful, rational & intelligent. I'm not so sure about you. You know we are all called to greatness no matter what our chosen role. Maybe you can grow into it.

Posted by: mathteacher | December 10, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Richard, you're becoming a testy old man.

Posted by: heldlam | December 10, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

pat3walters, very unconvincing post. Awards are given to accomplishments, not "to do lists."

Posted by: DCer1
_______________

Why do you get to decide why awards are given?

The Nobel Committee own the prize. They can award it to whomever they wish...or are you one of those socialists who think they have the right to dictate to others how they run their programs?

Posted by: arancia12 | December 10, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Since when is greatness anticipated? Could be because he's a leftist pig like most of the media.
_________________________

Hope you're banned from these boards for your incredible nastiness.

When did decency go out of style, sir? Can't you voice your opinion without being crude and childish?

I think we can all tell who the pig really is.

Posted by: arancia12 | December 10, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Awarding Obama the Nobel Prize was a slap in the face to the Chenny/Bush admistration.
Message well sent and well done Nobel committe.

Posted by: sr31 | December 10, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

It seems like many of my liberal colleagues forget the reason why we started a war in Afghanistan in the first place: September 11. We cannot let the slaughter of Americans go unpunished. Our war in Afghanistan is just, with a causus belli that is apparent to the entire world on September 12. We invaded Afghanistan to destroy the people who have harbored safe haven Al Queda terrorists, the men who committed an atrocity against our nation, and we should not stop until every last one of these men surrender or die to their cause.

There are some people whom we cannot reason or negotiate, whom we cannot trust or shake hands with. Al Queda is full of these people. Al Queda has adopted a mantle of radical islam, intolerant to other religion, to secular freedom, to the sanctity of human life. They have no ideals to uphold other than the strictest interpretation of the Sharia, and they will stop at nothing until they can intimidate the world to adopt their views. As such, we as a secular superpower must make sure such radicalism that dares strike at our nation be driven from this world.

Iraq was a war we never should have entered, there was no causus belli, and the end result of the invasion did not improve our nation's security. Afghanistan is a war we must sustain to not only drive out our enemies, but to send a message: Americans shall not be harmed by any terrorist organization or else the consequences of doing so will mean the end of your organization.

My liberal colleagues, war is never to be desired, and we should all commit to peace. Peace, however, is never purchased without blood and sacrifice. To have our nation attacked so savagely and instead of us striking fear and wreaking havoc on the very people who have done this, we negotiate, what negotiating powers do we have left on the world stage? We cannot hope for peace if the very people that attacked us still have powers that hold our nation hostage.

We must make sure that Afghanistan does not spiral into another failed state, another safe haven for terrorists to brood and plan and instigate profligate attacks on innocent civilians. The streets of Baghdad, Beirut, Turkey, Islamabad, Kabul, etc are strewn with the blood of innocents, dying to terrorists, all in the hands of Al Queda. Let us not confuse Al Queda with other nationalistic movements such as the IRA, the PLA, or even Hamas. Al Queda is not interested in the independence of a nation, not is it interested in the well being of any nation's citizens. It is a cancer, a cancer that dares strike against the US. We should drive this cancer into the very bowels of hell, to make sure no one else will suffer this malignancy.

Posted by: logicaldoubtofhumansanity | December 10, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I hope you realize that as Mr. Cohen is an editorial writer, he requires no license to express his opinion in the Post. Much the same way the Nobel committee has not obligation to the public to award the prize based on any criteria or accomplishment I am also of the opinion that President Obama has shown that he excels at motivating people, and is a visionary, but I don't know if he is yet a leader. I think he can be, and I think it will take courage to withstand the negative opinion that continuing our involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan will create in the future. Regardless of who started the wars, as our current Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, it is now Obama's responsibility to properly conduct them. If he can bring real change and restore domestic order to these nations or work out a compromise between Israel and Palestine then he will truly deserve this prize. But for what he has currently done and achieved, rather than articulated, I think it does a diservice to the hardships endured by people like Dr. King did in the past Mother Teresa and pales in comparison to what is taking place in Burma currently. The President has potential to be a great man and I feel his accopmlishments as president will rank among the greats. But through 2009, he has not yet lived to those heights. Fortunately, with America, and with Preisdent Obama, there is always hope.

Posted by: mCowans | December 10, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed how people who can't wrap their head around a DEMOCRAT President who somehow has made them feel threatened to the point they cannot speak of one thing positive.

First of all the Nobel Peace Prize Committee nominates in secret. Yes our President was nominated immediately after taking office but the actual VOTE took place just before it was announced. Granted there was no body of accomplishment but as the Committee noted the prize has been given many times in the past to someone who has given the world hope and inspired changes world wide. I'm not going to second guess the Committee, I don't really care about it, it's nice, whoever wins adds it to their resume and next year someone else gets the votes - get over it.

Here's the important part -- you don't turn it down. The Committee wanted to signal a whole bunch of things, how happy they are that W is gone, that people all over the world are inspired and it's impolite and wrong to say "no, sorry, some people won't like it, I don't deserve it, yes I know I will upset the civilized world but come see me in 10 years". It's like accepting a gift - you don't hand it back and say thanks for thinking of me but I didn't get you anything. And let's look at the Obama haters. I will bet you real money had he been able to say no that the haters would be screaming about someone so full of himself that he would turn down a world honor. Admit it OK? Just before you start your rant preface it with "OK, no matter what he did I'd be against it". I'm betting if POTUS HAD NOT been awarded the Peace prize and you knew he had been nominated THAT would also be held against him. That's what I don't get. I never liked W but I supported him until he insisted Iraq had to be invaded and he started torture. I protested him but I gave him the respect of his office which I believe he harmed for years to come. In this case the day after the election the haters dusted themselves off and have made it their career not to help their country but to tear it down.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | December 10, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Does Cohen realize that he has an Obama fetish? He can't seem to resist calling the president names in every column he writes. So now the life of the first minority U.S. President is a not "an example of almost anything"? And the more he talks of giants, the "smaller he seems"? Smaller to whom? To Cohen? What a jerk!

Posted by: bertram2 | December 10, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

If Obama fails to succeed in efforts like Middle East or Afghanistan peace, it won't be for lack of effort on his part, but from running out of time due to the previous inaction of others. If we had started negotiating with Iran 8 years ago, we might just now be reaching an agreement with them. Look at how long it took to reach the initial agreement with the Soviets on nuclear arms reduction; 5 years from the meeting with Johnson and Kosygin until the SALT I treaty was completed by Kissinger (1967 - 1972). Don't blame Obama for failure on this when others before him (both Bush and Clinton) have screwed around and used up precious time.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | December 10, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

His teleprompter deserved it more.

Posted by: fishcrow | December 10, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Giving any peace prize to a war president is the height of hypocrisy and morally wrong. Nearly all leaders throughout history have tried to justify their wars as "just wars."

Obama should have shown some minimal integrity and refused the prize as premature at best. The fact is words cannot gloss over the reality of American troops, once again, being involved in unnecessary wars. Reagan gave memorable speeches too, while squandering hundreds of billions on a nuclear arms race and supporting right-wing governments around the world.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 10, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I personally think,the President honored the Nobel Committee,by accepting the award and thereby living upto a protocol of giving an acceptance speech.We are all proud of your acheivements Mr.President,and let us live peacefully while the evil is transformed to become pure and good,and that is the challenge ahead, for all of us,so that future generations of human beings,will be proud of us,as ancestors,especially the Americans.

Posted by: s007bala | December 10, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

And then there was Henry Kissinger .... He was even worse wasn't he Mr. Cohen? He was up to his ears in the blood Vietnamese and Cambodian people. And I doubt he gave the money to charity.

Posted by: strohblumen | December 10, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Residents of the Washington bubble like Cohen can't begin to wrap their head around how transformative Obama has been on the world stage--specifically, how devastated the US reputation was after 8 years of torture chambers, illegal imprisonments, ill-conceived wars, police state tactics, and bellicose nonsense. Cohen can't acknowledge his (and all of official Washington's) complicity in the failures of Bush, so he can't acknowledge how the rest of the world feels about Obama.

Posted by: steveandshelley | December 10, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"Obama’ s time may come, but he is not yet a great man. He is merely a famous man -- a very famous man."
_______________________________________________________________

I think obama's time has already come.

Unfortunately for him, his true character and aims became apparent early -- the mask slipped.

His exposure makes this award a travesty.

obama's story will be how fame turned to infamy.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | December 10, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

the one category of useless people who have yet to contribute anything of value to society that is lower and of less consequence than politicians are the opinion writers who have no real world work experience to back up their spouting. sort of like the chicken hawks who promote war but have never fought it themselves or paid for it. Joining cohen in this category are the likes of george will, rachel maddow, bill kristol, keith oberman and charles krauthammer among others. whether on the right or the left these people are like oz, a big mouth behind their own ego but no skin in the game.

Posted by: fred17 | December 10, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse


The squalid little Cohen, columnist third class asks
snidely, with superior neocon hauteur who is Obama what he has done. His answer is 'nothing'!

HERE's what he is, and what he's done Cohen.
He is President of the United States. Elected by a great majority of the citizens thereof.

You, Cohen, and Israel firster neocons with whom you've been discredited, are
nothing much now, and not smart enough to see the hatred that approaches you.

He thinks he matters, leads opinion. He looks like the overbearing twit he is.


Posted by: whistling | December 10, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Another offensive article from Mr Cohen, who doesn't even see the irony in his continual citations of MLK and Ghandi (both assasinated, as the courageous Mr Obama could well have been while campaigning) or the complaint that he never spent a night in jail (if he had, he would not be president, or if he were president, Cohen would be complaining that he had spent a night in jail). There is just no winning with a weasel like Cohen.

Posted by: gposner | December 10, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Not only did Obama win the Nobel Prize before his time- he is president before his time. Thanks to his Tiger Woods-like pretensions to perfection, a nice voice and mastery of the teleprompter. He was elected with the assistance of the most ignorant and uninformed electorate in the history of the nation. Most of whom now stand with hands out and palms up- waiting for their reward.

Posted by: mhr614 | December 10, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Cohen - your article is right on target.

Posted by: dkoflynn01 | December 10, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse


Cohen says, oh well, the President isn't much, anyway

Gerson says he should've edited the speech.
(he who wrote GWBush's great manifests,)

Diehl says he should've hit Iran rhetorically.

Aren't they perfect? Ever seen a roster of
nothing losers mouthing off so importantly?
Entertaining, really, in a 'watching the neocons rant' way.

Posted by: whistling | December 10, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

We are almost through the first year.

I know, he does a very good job pretending to be Ronald Reagan.

Must be channeling.

Posted by: simonsays1 | December 10, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama, on receiving the Nobel "Peace" Prize, gave a defense of war and himself. It was a little depressing. There is nothing "idle" about people who actively work for peace. Working for peace, to see yourself in another, to regard their humanity as you do your own, is the bravest most courageous thing to do. And before and after war, the commitment to and consciousness of "peace" is what holds us all together.

Posted by: kmbd | December 10, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

blah,blah,blah. more carping from the ditto heads, palinistas, beckophiles and other assorted dolts still scandalized that a b-l-a-c-k man is lawfully residing in the w-h-i-t-e house. the funny thing is that recent poll showed that even the crackers think he is doing a better job than his benighted predecessor. the last time a good president was underestimated this badly, there was a civil war going on.

p.s.: i'm a conservative southern white male.

Posted by: jimfilyaw | December 10, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

What accomplishments of Cohen give him the right to dictate the rights of the Nobel Committee and Mr. Obama?

Not all Peace Prize winners have trod the path of people like Ghandi and MLK, who Cohen turns into standards in order that Obama will fall short. There was also Henry Kissinger, who once said of the residents of the US Strategic Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, "There are only 100,000 people there. Who gives a damn?"

Cohen, cheerleader for a war of choice, lacks the credibility to pass judgment on Peace Prize and the recipient.

Posted by: j2hess | December 10, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Republicans should stop beating around the bush (no pun intended) and be honest about why they hate President Obama.

Folks, man up or shut up :-)

Posted by: gipper01 | December 10, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Probably most people are insensitive to such subtleties, but this prize was given not just to Obama, but also to the United States citizens who elected him.

Posted by: kengelhart | December 10, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Little men criticise bigger men and bigger men tolerate little men. Little men criticise bigger men to feel bigger than bigger men. Bigger men don't criticise little men because they are better men. Mr. Chohen should try to be a better man.

Posted by: ohlsonrw | December 10, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

How wonderful that we've advanced to a point in civil society that the Peace Prize can be awarded to a sitting US president, who leads without having had to hang out in prison to make his point. He taught constitutional law. Bravo.

Posted by: cnezblvnaolcom | December 10, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Cohen - YOU ARE A HACK!

Haters - you are ignorant closet racists.

This white man of european descent is very proud of my President - President Obama!

The guy's got balls - go to the nobel peace prize award ceremony and talk up just war. Gat Dam I'm proud of him!

Keep it up Obama. Don't listen to the dinosaurs in the gop/tea party. They are mostly angry old racist selfish close minded geezers and will be gone soon enough.

Good God - compared to the last repub presidents including both Bush 1 and Bush 2 - THIS MAN OBAMA HAS THE STRENGTH OF 10 PRESIDENTS - PLUS 2!

Posted by: lsbeardsley | December 10, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cohen, try to have a fresh point when you sit down to write. Don't just trot out some slop because you have boat payment due. Second, just by reading the hateful posts to your worthless article, you can tell that Obama is constantly risking his life for his cause.

WP, stop paying for this tripe.

Posted by: hojowright | December 10, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Ah Mr. Cohen,

You and the other arrogant White males have finnaly gotten your comeuppance. It appears that the guy with the darker skin has far more depth and understanding of the world than any of you self-important jerks will ever have. I guess it's hard to take when a guy comes out of nowhere and shows YOU how things are done. You have made a mess of America with your greed and arrogance. Not to worry, Mr. Obama will put America back in her rightful place as the leader of the world.

You need to look in the mirror and realize you aren't fit to judge Obama. He is WAY over your head!!!!

Posted by: Julescator | December 10, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Everything is easily understood if you add the word "bizarre" (like in Superman bizarre world). We are just talking of a "Bizarre 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ".

Posted by: alvarovel | December 10, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Cohen, I used to like your writings, but more important the aplomb which it was displayed even when you were being disagreeable. Now, Sir, you've become a certifiable jerk. It was not Obama's fault his name was placed in contention within a short time of becoming president and neither was it his fault that he was nominated several months into his term. But you Sir have shown since Jan 20 a disturbing "short hair" whenever this man speaks. Please check the listing of Nobels' and you will find many so-called "not so worthy" recipients who were cited just for the change they initiated. Who else on this planet has the ability to keep the peace and world's attention in that pursuit?

Posted by: october30 | December 10, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the deadline was too unforgiving. Maybe he wrote 90% of the piece before Obama delivered the speech. Maybe Cohen is an absolute idiot. Yep, that's it, Cohen is an idiot.

Posted by: russellglee | December 10, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

According to some on this page, Mr. Cohen does not have the right to do what he has always done--critique the news.Apparently, even though Cohen has always been a liberl The Obama machine is in overdrive, putting out the usual drivel that the man is a racist because he dares to criticize a President who is black. Note that anti-Semitic rage from the left.

Posted by: grantpaten | December 10, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

According to some on this page, Mr. Cohen does not have the right to do what he has always done--critique the news.Apparently, even though Cohen has always been a liberl The Obama machine is in overdrive, putting out the usual drivel that the man is a racist because he dares to criticize a President who is black. Note that anti-Semitic rage from the left.

Posted by: grantpaten | December 10, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

what a small man you are!

Posted by: Jose5 | December 10, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Cohen,
I could not have said better myself. This prize was ahead of itself...however, I liked the speech. Obama did a great job and he has told the Norwegians not in so many words that their political move hasn't gone unnoticed and that in spite of that he will still act when needed.

Posted by: huntyrella | December 10, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

i am reminded by Cohen's article of my long ago years in college when I would not study much for a serious next-day test while my classmates were deep in study in preparation.
Somehow, seems I was actually LISTENING in class as it turns out, I got the best grade. Boy, were they mad. Could not believe that someone who didn't stay up all night studying actually got the best grade in class.
They accused me of "not performing". They accused me of "getting something I didn't deserve" because I simply came into class, listened, retained, and regurgitated to the professor the answers to the questions that were asked.
I didn't feel like I had done anything wrong. I didn't feel like I didn't deserve my grade because I gave the right answers to the questions seemingly without effort.
But, they did. And, so too with Obama. The "right answers" to the Peace of the World ought NOT be achieved effortlessly. Ought NOT to be achieved through giving HOPE to all those people around this world who felt SO dis-enfranchised by America's loss of prestige and leadership through an implementation of a policy of unremitting aggression that despair was suddenly upon them.
The whole world had admired America, through it's whole history, the whole world hoped to become as successful economically and in many other ways as America.
Then, came the Bush and Cheney Administration and the world saw us as we had NEVER been before in modern times.
This award to Obama is as much about restoring America to her former glory as it is about this man as an individual.
Think about it: here America elected an administration, twice, who took the whole world into two wars and presided over an economic catastrophe and then, we reversed ourselves, we said, "NO MORE". We said, CHANGE.
This Nobel prize is really about America herself. OUr ability to correct ourselves through our democracy. Our ability to renew ourselves.

Posted by: cms1 | December 10, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as a 'just war'. War will always mean that innocent people get killed on behalf of power brokers.

Nor is there any such thing as pure evil. Evil is entirely dependent on perspective. From Al Qaeda's point of view, America is evil, from America's point of view, Al Qaeda is evil.

Obama justified war, but failed completely to explain the fundamental causes of war: poverty and injustice, and you don't cure these with guns and bombs.

I am so disappointed in Obama. He sounds more and more like Bush every day. What a shame. Truely, what a shame.

Posted by: francinelast | December 10, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

What you imply is that a poor speech or one of less caliber would better fit (your opinion of) his lack of gravitas. That he should shrink to the occasion? Reach for his shoe laces. How petty.

Posted by: JSeis | December 10, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

What makes it all the more sickening, is that although he sounds more like Bush every day, the American Taliban (teaparty conservatives) still hate him, so he's losing on both sides.

Posted by: francinelast | December 10, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

francinelast, you are wrong. There IS such a thing as evil. And, there is such a thing as "pure evil". This is NOT a matter of perspective. Evil takes place when one is committed to the destruction of all in the name of one's OWN belief system. It IS real and it DOES exist.
When "perspective" is limited to one's own belief system and the destruction of all others is justified in the name of one's OWN belief, evil prevails.
To suggest that fighting a unilateral dedication to the destruction of all those who won't go along with you is simply a matter of "perspective" is a philosophical fallacy.
Fanatical Islam cannot get away with this in the minds of all rational people. We are NOT going to go along with the notion that we should all be murdered because we do not agree with the extremist expression of Islam.
That is the "perspective" they offer us: go along with Sharia Law all over this world or be murdered.
Only in the West, in European and American sensibilities, can "perspective" be allowed room to flourish.
Why? Because those who disagree are NOT murdered instantaeously and immediately.

Posted by: cms1 | December 10, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

But he's already a great president!

Posted by: dudh | December 10, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it...this guy is a shallow joke. he didnt even get the acts right today. Reagan didnt care about improving relations wth the soviet Union. He wanted to destroy them, which he did. Obama is a not too bright community organizer. Nothing more.

Posted by: DaMan2 | December 10, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Just Castrate It!

This creepy sex maniac dirtbag gave STDs to his wife, another gold digger.

Tiger Woods hired pricey prostitutes from madam

Ho, Tiger!
Married golf great Tiger Woods hired high-priced prostitutes several times from a well-known Hollywood madam, that woman has told The Post.
Michelle Braun said she sent at least four escorts on pay-for-sex dates with the randy Woods a total of “six times” from late 2006 and 2007, charging him a total of $60,000.
“The most was for a girl in Manhattan” — whose name is Loredana, Braun said. “He paid $15,000 for her.”


Some of those trysts involved Woods hiring two prostitutes for one encounter, according to Braun, who said Woods would call her on the phone to order up the female company.
“He liked girl-on-girl,” Braun said. “He had sex with them together.”
One of those women identified by Braun as an escort she dispatched to the links legend — porn star Holly Sampson — has already copped to having sex with Woods, although she claims their affair occurred before his 2004 marriage to Elin Nordegren.
PHOTOS: TIGER'S MISTRESSES | RACHEL UCHITEL | JOSLYN JAMES | JAIMEE GRUBBS | JAMIE JUNGERS | ELIN NORDGREN | CORI RIST
Sampson’s lawyer last night said he had no knowledge of Sampson working for Braun, and said he has not had the opportunity to discuss that claim with Sampson.
Braun said another woman who has spilled the beans about being Woods’ mistress — Jamie Jungers — worked for her as an escort, but that Braun never sent her on paid dates with Woods.
However, Braun said that “when I met Jamie ins 2005 she had already been seeing him for” a while.
Braun also said that Jungers told her that “he was giving her money to hang out with him, and have sex.”
Braun said that her escorts whom she sent to have sex with Tiger reported “that he was just wild and a lot of fun.”
“And that he was tough to keep up with — days a time, with just being a booze and sex bender,” Braun said.
Braun for years had a stable of lovely ladies that she supplied to sports starts, tycoons and other horny, rich men who could cough up a $10,000 minimum payment for a “date.
Last month, she was sentenced to three years’ probation and six months of house detention after pleading guilty to money laundering and transporting a woman across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.
The madam said she was “not at all” surprised to hear about the extent of Woods’ catting around, which has been revealed to include affairs with 10 women or more.
“ All of my client saw far more girls than have been talked about with Tiger,” she said.


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/tiger_hired_worth_of_prostitutes_RiILkPLMI4e1IEA9ODtbpI#ixzz0ZLEqGbEn

Posted by: mawt | December 10, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"Cohen is neither a great thinker nor a great columnist. Judging from his apparent age, it's unlikely he will ever be either. Obama, on the other hand, is the best president we've had in a long, long, long, long, long, long time. I'll take him any day over this insipid commentary.

Posted by: GeorgHerbet | December 10, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse"

Laughable, GeorgHerbet. Speaking for myself, I stopped writing things at the level of the above excerpted piece probably around 2nd grade. Perhaps 2nd grade was not such a "long, long, long, long, long, long" time ago for you if you haven't stopped writing at this grade school level in trying to make your points?

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | December 10, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

You couldn't be more wrong if you tried. Maybe you think getting elected to the presidency of the United States as a black man is ho hum, but most of us don't. If you think replacing the anti-intellectual torturing Bush with Obama isn't reason for the rest of this planet to get down on their knees and thank whatever God they pray to you couldn't be more wrong. I'm sorry you and the other blithers (birthers, wingnuts, Palinites, Tea party people) are so hateful you can't see the forest through the trees. Whether you like or not Barrack Obama is a great man and will go down in history as one. This is very unlike GW who will go down as Dubya the Torturer.

Posted by: boblund1 | December 10, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

This poor man who took over a government in total collapse, having the burden of the rest of the world having hope.
Yes the rest of world was delirious to see the end of armchair warriors Bush, Bolden, and Cheney.
But under every stone is Rupert Murdock, the great manipulator of tabloid news and tabloid television.
Why does this man who is worth billions spend his fortune manipulating the proletariat?.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | December 10, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

It is clear that Mr. Cohen is a product of today's media world. A world in which things that occur are worthless unless they can be captured for YouTube, Twitter, and other of our inane distraction tools. The new question for today should be if a tree falls in the forrest in no one made note on Facebook did it really happen?

Mr. Obama had every right to accept the award and the Nobel Committee surely had every right to extend. What Mr. Cohen intended to say is that thus far he hasn't yet realized Mr. Obama's greatest.

Maybe it is because it has not fully revealed itself to the world, or maybe it simply because Mr. Cohen's eyes are closed. But the Nobel Committee saw greatness in the making, millions of people around the world see greatness being revealed in Mr. Obama and many more sense that something great is happening and amazing changes are in the work.

Your problem Mr. Cohen might not be that Mr. Obama hasn't accomplished greatness it might just be that you only know how to look backwards to find it. We will give you a few years.

In mean time why not just say you don't understand.

Posted by: Brigadere | December 10, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cohen: You have demonstrated your lack of credentials to serve as a responsible commentator. Your assessment of the Obama speech is totally lacking in serious analysis and understanding. For some reason, you have chosen a continually biased view of this man and are unable to consider any of his actions objectively. Aside for m the serious intellectual weight of his remarks, Mr Obama stood up for the continuing role this country has played in seeking peace and protecting the rights of people throughout the world. He has done more in 10 months than his predecessor did in 8 years. If you want to pretend to be a serious commentator on world events, then seek to exercise your brain, not just your mouth.

Posted by: petermmkaplan | December 10, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

HEY LIBS,
DON'T FORGET TO BLOW OUT THE CANDLES ON THE OBAMA ALTER YOU GUYS WORSHIP. THOSE WITH A SINGLE DIGIT IQ ARE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW THE HISTOY OF THE NOBEL COMITTEE AND THAT THE AWARD TO BARRACK OBAMA WAS MEANT AS A SLAP IN THE FACE TO GEORGE BUSH. WE KNOW THE PRESIDENT WAS EMBARASSED. OK WE CAN ALL MOVE ON NOW.

Posted by: Cobra2 | December 10, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cohen,

As you continue to gnash your teeth about a reality you cannot accept, President Obama earned the Nobel Prize ad nauseam, he stopped torturing for Israel and will NOT invade or attack Iran for Israel, nor sustain Israel's apartheid policies----these are major accomplishments, you zionist shill.

Posted by: cisconwa | December 10, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA: "THERE ARE SO MANY MORE DESERVING INDIVIDUALS. I JUST CAN'T THINK OF ANY AT THE MOMENT."

AN EMPTY PRIZE FOR AN EMPTY SUIT.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | December 10, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Obama did not mention the English Taliban, the same who started Iran down the road to distruction, and will not leave, even now.

That's the AngloChristians, for you.

Posted by: Farnaz1Mansouri1 | December 10, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama suggests that there is a time to turn plowshares into swords.

But a man of peace would not, then, hesitate to take on issues with a toughness if it was required.

MLK spoke against the war in Vietnam.

My guess is that Obama would have hedged his bets.

Obama has had several opportunities in the last few months to talk tough, even when it was uncomfortable and difficult to do so.

He could have talked tough to Iran following its disputed election. He could have talked tough to Afghanistan, following its disputed election. And he could have talked tough to Honduras, after its coup d'etat.

But he remained silent on each occassion.

If he was going to accept this prize for peace, he should have done so in silence. At least then he would have been consistent.

Posted by: drossi2 | December 10, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I can't decide if Cohen's critique is more like "Old man yells at cloud..."....or......"Bah!Humbug!"...

Posted by: TruthHurts2 | December 11, 2009 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Ya. First black president = nothing since we know it was an Affirmative Action hire. Bush on the other hand was a freakin accomplished Genius.

Work on nukes (far more than just about anyone else) is nothing since we know those namby pamby nobodies around the world wouldn't mess with us because we have such big balls. Well some of us. Some of us have to find replacements for them.

Posted by: JayGR | December 11, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

The speech is good yet Obama needs to grow into his role? Is this a joke on your readers or what? How is the idea that that the world can be divided by us into neat little good and evil pieces and then base our foriegn policy off this any different than what Bush came up with? How is this a good speech? The idea of just war is being crammed down our throats without any explanation of our ability to fight a conventional war against a non state actor that has no use for national borders. Your arguement simply misreads the flaws in Obama and claims that he simply hasn't been arrested like Mandrla therefore.... Therefore what? Ridiculous...

Posted by: novealphtang | December 11, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The speech is good yet Obama needs to grow into his role? Is this a joke on your readers or what? How is the idea that that the world can be divided by us into neat little good and evil pieces and then base our foriegn policy off this any different than what Bush came up with? How is this a good speech? The idea of just war is being crammed down our throats without any explanation of our ability to fight a conventional war against a non state actor that has no use for national borders. Your arguement simply misreads the flaws in Obama and claims that he simply hasn't been arrested and jailed like Mandela therefore.... Therefore what? Ridiculous...

Posted by: novealphtang | December 11, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Cohen hasn't got the "right" to author this column? He can't "judge" Obama's speech or his presidency? Sheesh, people it's an opinion column. His right to evaluate Obama is just as real as your right to espouse misguided and ignorant pronouncements on Cohen's character. Grow up.

In addition, several commenters have pointed out that Obama CAN point to a major life-accomplishment making him worthy of the prize: becoming the first black president of the U.S. But he did not make himself president. Those people who went to the polls to vote for him made him president. So why not give THEM the peace prize? If this is really about what Obama stands for--overcoming longstanding prejudices, demonstrating change in society, etc--then those who put the man into office are the ones to award, not the man himself.

But let's be honest--they don't deserve it either.

Posted by: footballgal87 | December 11, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

If this President fails to achieve much in the world of foreign policy, war, peace, etc, it will not be due to his efforts or to his "perceived" flaws.

It will be because of his opponents and people like this author, who have tried to demean, discredit, delegitimize, demonize, the office of the Presidency, the legitimate free election of him, and everything he does in very public and ugly ways since Jan 21.

From the choice of condiments on his hamburger to an instructive, learned, and thoughtful lecture on war and peace in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, the comments and the behaviors of his opponents have been disgraceful and shameful, and they dilute themselves in their volume and intensity and YOU are the ones that need to grow.

It must be a hard pill to swallow that a man with this stature, character, intelligence, education, integrity, and world appeal is the one to clean up the collossal mess of his predecessors and the fact that he is younger than you and happens to be of mixed race must make it even more difficult. Get over it and start enjoying what he is able to do for your country and be grateful that he is the right man at the right time for the right job.

Posted by: nana4 | December 12, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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