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Obama's brilliant Nobel speech

President Obama made the smart decision to confront the dual conundrums of his Nobel Peace prize head-on at the start of his stirring address accepting the award. First, there was the uncomfortable fact that the president hasn’t actually done much, if anything, to deserve the award other than win an election and make nice speeches. Second, there was the even more uncomfortable fact that the winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize is not only, as he said, “the commander in chief of a nation in the midst of two wars,” but one who just decided to deploy tens of thousands more troops.

In this situation, you could try to elide the problems, though they are awfully big elephants to ignore. Or you could -- switching metaphors here -- try to make rhetorical lemonade from factual lemons. Obama and his speechwriters chose the latter course. I thought it worked brilliantly.

Obama dispatched the first issue -- whether he merited the award -- by pleading guilty to being unworthy, at least by contrast.

Compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize -- Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela -- my accomplishments are slight,” he said. “And then there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened of cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women -- some known, some obscure to all but those they help -- to be far more deserving of this honor than I.

Hard to take issue with that.

The second problem, as the president acknowledged, was not so amenable to sweeping away with a few words of gracious humility. The paradox of the war president and the peace prize consumed the remainder of Obama’s speech as he sought to knit together those opposites. His fundamental point was that a president, or any head of state, can be inspired by the non-violent philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. but cannot be shackled by them.

The “hard truth,” the president said, is “that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations -- acting individually or in concert -- will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”

As “someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King’s life’s work,” Obama said, “I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there is nothing weak -- nothing passive -- nothing naïve -- in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.”

Except, he went on to admit in the next breath, there is:

[As] a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’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.

In the course of his short career, Obama has hit rhetorical home runs when it mattered most: the 2004 convention keynote, the speech on race in the midst of the Jeremiah Wright controversy. This was rhetoric married with a serious, comprehensive worldview -- a speech not by a newcomer to the national scene or a candidate under fire, but by a president who seemed, more than ever, to have grown into the job.

By Ruth Marcus  | December 10, 2009; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan are “just wars,” and America is not a “standard bearer in the conduct of war.” Many 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 slick thugs just like Obama.

Posted by: donnasaggia | December 10, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"I thought it worked brilliantly."

Of course you did Ruth. I would expect you to think nothing else. Your job, as a WAPO columnist, is to carry the water for BHO. You're doing a fine job. Good doggie, here's your treat. See you in a couple days for more of the same. Yawn...

Posted by: wadeb123 | December 10, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

How would Obama know that "negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms" when the US has never tried dialogue? We talked to bin Laden when we wanted his help to thwart the Soviets. We gave military support to the Taliban in the early 1980s to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. We helped the Pakistani intelligence bring in radical Muslims from around the world to fight against the Soviets--bin Laden was one of the key players in organizing training camps for those foreign Muslim volunteers. He was on our side then, and we talked plenty!

In 1997 the Taliban and Unocal had meetings in Texas to negotiate arrangements for CentGas to build a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. The talks failed--but we talked.

In 2001, Bush and Cheney again talked to the Taliban, for months, to negotiate running a Caspian Sea oil pipeline through Afghanistan. Talks began in February and continued right on until only one MONTH before New York City's World Trade Center towers were demolished.

So, in fact, Mr Obama, we have a history of talking and negotiating with both the Taliban and bin Laden. Obama's bloody war is no "just war." Obama's conduct in warfare, including torture, renditions, and Gitmo, are no standards for others to follow. Obama is a cynical fraud who turns day into night with a twisted tongue. Hopefully the American people will wake up by 2012, if not sooner.

Posted by: donnasaggia | December 10, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The World laughs at the GOP !

Recall - the World waarned US not - NOT OT INVADE IRAQ!

THE DUMB DOWN GOP - well they just know it all!

Does anyone wonder why Murdoch asked the President of the United States to Dumb it Down!

Recall- WSJ/Murdoch: Dumb it Down Mr. President!

The USA does not even rank within the top 25 countries in the world for education!

40% of public cannot identify 3 branches of gvt- Civically illiterate says Lou Frey R-FL!

Justice Sandra O'Connor stated Americans need CIVICS K-12! If not more!

The world warned us not to invade Iraq- What did we do?

We renamed French Fries and invaded Iraq.

The fact that most Americans do not own a passport- cannot read a map- FAIL in Geography is not a secret.

We suck at Science and Math too!

WSJ/Murdoch: Dumb it Down Mr. President!

We got a bunch of AMERICANS to entertain!

Posted by: sasha2008 | December 10, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Conflating the debavcle of the unjust lie based war of aggression in Iraq and the war against the jihadis who attacked the US and the world using Afgahnistan as a base has ben stoclk in trade for conservatives for some time now. Our brilliant and visionary president has been working hard to remind people that these were two very different and unrelated wars, and that the previous occupant of the WH lied to the world, mislead the world, in his attempt to make them into the same thing.

Posted by: John1263 | December 10, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Since when did the Washington Post start putting cheerleaders in journalist positions?

Posted by: shangps | December 10, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

it is kinda a funny, sadly so, that when a "popular" president is engaged in two wars, econonic debacles, 10% unemployement, that we not only accept it but we rationalize it so that we pay little attention to the details (anyone actually read the health care bill?). But when an "unpopular" president is still president, then they are just "evil" deserving of our collective scorn.

politics and those that rely on it, SUCK!!!

Posted by: jrzshor | December 10, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama could have refused the Nobel and spared all the apologetic, defensive speech.

Have the "I's" in the speech been counted yet?

Posted by: judithod | December 10, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The man does have his strengths: Speeches and photo-ops.

Posted by: jahs4fun | December 10, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Obama gives good speeches. But what would have achieved world headlines was that if after his speech he would have turned to the head of the Nobel Committee and said:

"I ask you to hold this award and this check until I have actually earned them. I appreciate the honor and accept it humbly. I hope that before the end of my first term in Office I can come back with the accomplishments that will have actually earned me this award. I will spend the next years striving to do that and to fullfill the aspirations for which it was awarded to me, for the good of my county and the people of the world."

Posted by: peterdc | December 10, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post is a mouthpiece for this administration and will continue to do so until they see the election results and then they will articulately call us uninformed for getting rid of a man of the people. Ruth and he ilk are all over this paper and it plain to see there is little actual discussion, just unwavering support.

Posted by: RepubRedskin | December 10, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Talk about dumbing down such a honorable what exactly did he do again - Ruth??? It's embarrassing to watch how you try and justify it....and oh Ruth - negotiations will not prevent Iran from trying to acquire the bomb....but - hey - Can't we all just get along.

Posted by: short1 | December 10, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

the rightwing hypocrites now blather on about how wrong war is! What a laugh. These people only a year ago were still bashing anyone who questioned Iraq or Afghanistan as 'unpatriotic'.
So, I guess this makes all the rightwing blowhards unpatriotic now.
The fact that these hypocrites also called everyone who did not agree with Bush names, accused them of being Nazis,ect. and kept screeching about how you are suppose to respect the president, ect. ect.
I guess all those names they hurled for 8 years have boomaranged right back to them as they have shown nothing but, disrespect and hate for this president.
And before some rightwing goof tries their usual 'well, the left did this so I can too' childishness let me say that while I did not, and will not support the Iraq war, I did think Afghanistan was the war we had the right to go in and fight.
And while I did not approve of Bush and his policies, I also respected the fact that he was the president and backed him up right after 9-11.
I have yet to see anything from the right but, childishness, obstruction, hate and racism.
You'd think that a bunch of white babyboomers, now in their 60s, would grow up.

Posted by: vwcat | December 10, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree more. The speech was powerful, eloquent and full of "inconvenient truths." He reminded the world that Gandhi's non-violence would not have defeated Hitler -- something Gandhi himself admitted. It took courage to speak to those contradictions that have always been with us. It also took humility to admit that many don't find him deserving, and that he couldn't argue with them on that.

People need to focus less on the imperfect man who gave the speech, and more on the speech itself, what it lays out for the world -- for friends and enemies alike. There is a message both for the powerful and the powerless, once worth hearing and thinking on.

Posted by: corbinb | December 10, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I wish more people would focus on the speech by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee Chairman. It was brillant and laid out exactly why Pres. Obama is the recipient. However, that would take too much work and not enable the columnist the opportunity to pretend to praise yet critize Pres. Obama.

Posted by: rlj1 | December 10, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Wow, where did all the hateful cynics come from?

So Afghanistan is a war of choice about oil? We should try negotiating with al Qaeda? The Post is just an Obama cheerleader? I guess reality took a day off today.

Posted by: simpleton1 | December 10, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Since when did the Washington Post start putting cheerleaders in journalist positions?

Posted by: shangps | December 10, 2009 11:08 AM"

Your complaint is not valid at all. Marcus is an opinion writer. This is no different than Charles Krauthammer's weekly Obama-bashing piece that he's entitled to.

Did you complain when Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly were brown nosing Bush? Believe it or not, the WaPo opinion section is heavily conservative - but I guess you'll wail away at anyone who doesn't share the same opinion as you.

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

I have seen comments that presume to advise President Obama with speech examples that do not measure up, and that presume to advise Nobel Peace Prize officials about which effects on peace warrant the prize. Amazing! President Obama's speeches and the Nobel Peace Prize are important parts of how we learn and grow more than they are ways to elicit our advice.

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

Pres. Obama inherited a "LOSE LOSE" situation from the Chickenbush & Dithering Dick.

Posted by: 76yourfriend | December 10, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

To: donnasaggia | December 10, 2009 10:52 AM:

You undermined your argument, and supported Obama's, when you stated:

"In 2001, Bush and Cheney again talked to the Taliban, for months, to negotiate running a Caspian Sea oil pipeline through Afghanistan. Talks began in February and continued right on until only one MONTH before New York City's World Trade Center towers were demolished."

Exactly Obama's point, donnasaggia. We were talking to them and look what they did, no less in close proximity to the dialogue.

Posted by: ExpatAsia | December 10, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Reality: There is nothing to object to in BHO's speech or RM's analysis except that Ruth gets a little too ga-ga. Those on the left who find fault with the speech simply didn't understand that while Obama might continue to pretend that the surge in Iraq, which he opposed, did not succeed, he cannot fail to deal realistically with the dangerous situation in Pakistan/Afghanistan. Those on the right should give the President credit for his realism on this subject if not on domestic issues.

Posted by: Roytex | December 10, 2009 12:44 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 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"...a speech not by a newcomer to the national scene or a candidate under fire, but by a president who seemed, more than ever, to have grown into the job."

No. Seriously?

Not. Even. Close.

Posted by: AWWNats | December 10, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Good for Obama and good for America. Everyone is trusting us again and the Tea Party can go suck tea.

Posted by: Rax359 | December 10, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"Give some people an inch and they'll take a mile" much? ... What else could He have said?

Posted by: deepthroat21 | December 10, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

But he is so worthy of the honor--that's the thing. And the most important thing to remember is that he has brought the USA back into the realm of a respectable nation in the eyes of other nations. That, along with the fact he has brought us back from the brink of a huge depression--those things means he DOES DESERVE THIS PRIZE!! Those who chose him certainly think he does. All Americans should be proud and not just the Democrats.

Posted by: saf62 | December 10, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is a modern day version of the television evangelist, nothing more.

Posted by: OscarD | December 10, 2009 1:50 PM | 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 contender. 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 assembled 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 anti-truth of what they really mean. i suggest the next for CERN if we are still here LOL Rhetoric can cheat every human on Earth. What we CANNOT CHEAT are the laws of the Universe.
If Obama really wants to stop nuclear proliferation I suggest he stops the creation of mass bombs (M=E/c2) and the 'peaceful evolution' of black holes, here on Earth. That would be a 'change we believe in' ... see why earth is at danger at

Posted by: luisancho | December 10, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I usually pick on Obama for the wide variety of justified reasons we all know, but I also admit the speech was pretty good. This is, of course, not a surprise - he routinely gives a good speech. It's wedding that fancy prose to accomplishments where the jury is still out -- way, way, on-a-rocketship-to-Mars out.

The underlying issue isn't so much that Obama didn't deserve the award now if ever (and most rational people now agree on this) -- it is that the Prize Committee itself knew this and gave him the award pre-emptively in an effort to constrain his actions by handcuffing him to a "Nobel Peace Prize" standard. It's fairly rare for a foreign body to try to so directly and blatantly script American foreign policy, and Obama did a pretty good job of warding off at least any overt signs that he was bowing to their whims.

Posted by: zippyspeed | December 10, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

saf62. Thank you.

Posted by: bigben1986 | December 10, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Since when did the Washington Post start putting cheerleaders in journalist positions?

Posted by: shangps | December 10, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The only Cheerleader I have seen is S.PaLin in her wacky written by some one else article.


Posted by: Issa1 | December 10, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

While I disagree with him on a number of issues and policies, I am of the opinion that President Obama is a patriotic American dedicated to doing what he believes to be in the best interest of our Country. It’s too early to tell, but Obama has the possibility of being a great President.

As an American, I am proud that he received the Nobel Peace prize. This is not only an honor for Obama but an honor for America as well.

In his courageous acceptance speech, which I believe will be historic, Obama made the case for our Country’s desire for peace while highlighting the sacrifices that America has made in war and peace over the years. He argued that war is unfortunately at times necessary. It was a great speech. richard allbritton, Miami, Florida,

Posted by: rigel1 | December 10, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

My goodness! A lot of posters responding to this article could benefit from some anger management.

Posted by: repmisc | December 10, 2009 3:17 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 3:36 PM | Report abuse

This was nothing more than another dog and pony show, where Obama made all sorts of apologies for past wrongs, laid claim to things that have never happened, and used rhetorical smoke and mirrors to justify an award he should have refused. He appeared arrogant, and above it all, as usual. 2012 can't come soon enough, and this guy and his traveling salvation show will be out.

Posted by: jemvbcarmagh06 | December 10, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I love how, when Obama gets in a tight spot, he pulls out one of these speeches that paints a grandiose pictures, a broad and inspiring narrative. Then he inserts himself into it. And then everyone forgets the "bad" thing that he might have done -- like associate with a racist Pastor or increase the killing when he originally sold himself as a man of peace.

He's the most fantastic speaker ever. And he's done an incredible thing-- he's made Democrats believe that we must make war. Obama is truly a great salesman.

Posted by: toshiro1 | December 10, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

logicaldoubtofhumansanity, thank you for your thoughtful comment, and more to the point, your ACCURATE comment.
It is my hope that all Americans will take the time to inform themselves about jihadists, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and refuse to limit themselves by newspaper and television headlines.
If they do that, they will discover that this situation is WAY serious and is NOT a matter to be determined by one's domestic political antipathy towards anyone who may be our President.
To be limited in one's opinion by domestic political preferances is to give our true enemies the weapon they really need: American disunity and willful ignorance.
The worldwide prestige afforded America by our President having been selected by the Nobel Committee is enormous and WE NEED all the international prestige and power we can marshal at this point in time.
It is NOT an imaginary scenario to consider that jihadists are consistently moving into a position to gain control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
Our President and our national security apparatus and our military minds know this.
It is only the American public who is unsure of the potential for catastrophe. But, not all of us. Thank you again, logicaldoubtofhumansanity. (what a great tag!)

Posted by: cms1 | December 10, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Ignorance is still ....BLISS? Is this a response by white males....we are still number 1 ? Parents and teachers, grandmothers and grandfathers and public library librarians all need to help educate our younger people. Up with hope and down with ignorance.

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | December 10, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the Republicans and conservatives in the US are entirely blind and stupid.
They seem to be doing everything possible to discredit themselves and force the US public to choose between the 'complete whacko's' and the reasonable centre. Who will win? I think it is blindingly obvious. Roll on 2012 and America might even get a government that is beholden to the citizen rather than the corporation.
PS - I am talking to the sensible people on this board - not the slime mould conservatives. I don't give a stuff what they think about anything. You can easily tell when they are lying - they have their mouth open and flapping.

Posted by: jamesmmoylan | December 10, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Obama was very good at that speech. He went there as a President and he was very successful. I note that the same speech could have easily been delivered by Bush. He shown that way that America was not amenable to the games the Europeans play of giving prizes in order to dictate policy to America.
He was the leader the world needs. And I congratulate him for that.

Posted by: huntyrella | December 10, 2009 7:38 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 8:06 PM | Report abuse

McNair this creepy dirtbag idiot.

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.
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:

Posted by: mawt | December 10, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

"This was rhetoric married with a serious, comprehensive worldview -- a speech not by a newcomer to the national scene or a candidate under fire, but by a president who seemed, more than ever, to have grown into the job."

HOLY SMOKES...Are you serious? The only thing the man can do is speak. He doesn't lead; he doesn't inspire; he gives speeches...that's it. He's the president of the United States. The putative leader of the free world; and all he has to show for almost a year of service are some forgettable speeches. You think that's praise worthy?

God help us all. Where is Ronald Reagan when we really need him?

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

Obama seems to suggest that there are times when you have to stand up to bullies.


What about Honduras? What about the corrupt Karzai government? What about the fraudulent leaders of Iran?

Or is it just bullies that attack us directly that matter?

To be a man of peace, Mr. President, you have to be consistent.

Posted by: drossi2 | December 10, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or any other war wage on foreign soil, is morally justified under the following conditions:
1. You have a legitimate and non disputable shelter that belongs to you and your life values (arguably unlike Israelites/Palestinians) 2. Your shelter is on a daily basis threatened by terrorist acts 3. You can establish unambiguously where these threats come from 4. The terrorists denies dialog and you have tried all means at your disposal besides force to make them stop the threat 5.Then you MORALLY have the right to defend yourself against the threat even if it means going outside your home to neutralize it by force

American citizens ask yourself this: Do you believe in Obama to continue and wanting to stop the war on this moral grounds? Bush seemed to have other reasons to continue and keep the war ongoing, which makes it unjustifiable.

If you choose to believe that a President has the duty to defend you on moral grounds when you are being threatened, and you believe that terrorist actually will keep threatening your freedom from Afghanistan, then you must support him. If you believe the President wage war for other reasons, and support business interest, then don't.

I choose to believe that we now have a person, a US President that is foremost concerned in US and world security based on the reason to protect our shelters and life values, and that he unlike Bush, will keep using all other means than violence whenever possible. If Taliban opens their fist to shake his hand, he will be the first to acknowledge that, and he always keeps a door open for them creating a viable choice if they choose to live and act differently.

Best regards Major Morten Norwegian Army

Posted by: mortenka | December 11, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

"Stirring speech"? Lincoln gave one Gettysburg address. Obama's tried to give a hundred. I find them boring, repetitive and totally uninspiring. Take away a teleprompter and you have an empty suit.

Posted by: jfshiey | December 11, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

What it – the speech – was, was ‘Just War Theory’ redux, most elaborated centuries ago by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. It essentially was a contemporary précis – even book report – explicating concepts not at all new in circles of either those who teach and debate philosophies of governing or who do actually have to govern. (Though with softer edge and tone, the essence of the speech is what even a Putin or a George Bush could have given). And it was an inescapable speech, under the circumstances presented the President of being prematurely awarded a prize for peace-making. Did it open virgin territory in reflection on the strains and dictates on leading a nation existent in a real world chronically wracked by war or threats of it? No. It did display that at bedrock, Obama has resolved – at least intellectually – tensions and contradictions brought forth by his role of commander-in-chief of the US. At least resolved for now. But only for now. He’s read Thomas Aquinas. However, each occasion will teach, and demand, a new reassessment of duty, and given the position that he finds himself in of being at the stage of escalating one war and having ended none, the irony of him receiving a ‘peace prize’ has come on pungently rich, even to him. The best hope is that this whole surreal series of events will inspire the kind of visceral sobriety in the face of adversity that will supersede the intellectual as yet more challenges to living peaceably in a fractious world come. If so, and if it took a book report on Just War Theory before the Nobel Committee and a listening world to get there, then I guess the irony will prove to have been useful, even if rich.


Posted by: mackj2 | December 11, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

The conclusions you make from Obama's Nobel speech would
suggest that either you're not too sharp or have an agenda. Reading the other op ed supporters of Obama's war and noting certain repetitive reasoning, I suggest the latter.
You people are nothing better than pro Putin progandist working for a cheap Russian state owned rag, you know that? What a joke...

Posted by: novealphtang | December 11, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Marcus writes: "Obama dispatched the first issue -- whether he merited the award -- by pleading guilty to being unworthy, at least by contrast." I have a question: How does "pleading guilty to being unworthy" dispatch the accusation that he is unworthy? My God, he just confirmed he was unworthy.

Posted by: Paaa | December 11, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing: Before Obama's speech, everything that came out of Sarah Palin's mouth was characterized as idiotic. Now that Palin expressed her concurrence with Obama's justification for the Afgan War, the liberal media is falling all over itself in praising Palin. Go figure. Also, Palin has been roundly accused of having a ghost writer for her book, but Obama has been praised for his speech. Hey Ruthie, how many speech writers does Obama have? 10? 20? And how much money do American taxpayers pay them?

Posted by: Paaa | December 11, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

One of the commenters here mentioned Gandhi himself admitted that Hitler would not be stopped by nonviolence. I don't believe that is accurate. Obama: "A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies", perhaps, but scientifically, it's impossible to know for sure. Gandhi himself believed non-violence was still the way to go, even against Hitler; so I believe Obama refers to Gandhi, but does not mention that he is in opposition to the beliefs of Gandhi. It's subtle, like many of Obama's speeches during the campaign. Appearing to concede a point, but actually doing the opposite.

Obama is continuing to be a tremendous disappointment, and yes, betrayal to progressive Americans. For example, in the financial sector:

"You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions... you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them."

Posted by: lucky9 | December 11, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

For those of you that have commented on how just the war in Afghanistan is, you are hopefully aware of counter opinions. If not, I would recommend this excellent film as a starting point. You can view each section, in full, online, for free:

Posted by: lucky9 | December 11, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

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