October 16, 2009

Randolph Brandt: Being noble about Nobel

By Randolph D. Brandt

The president of the United States wins a Nobel Peace Prize, and the opposing party mocks him.

The whole world is embracing the kind of openness this president is proposing, a chance to settle conflicts rather than simply jumping in unilaterally to kill and alienate more people.

The Peace Prize has been awarded to American presidents only on several rare occasions.

Once, to President Theodore Roosevelt – ironically, perhaps our most warlike president – for trying to settle the Russo-Japanese War.

Again, to President Woodrow Wilson, whose map for world peace also was scuttled by the opposing party in Congress; thus, instead of peace, we wound up with yet another global war, World War II, the worst one ever.

Again, to former president Jimmy Carter, in a better-late-than-never endorsement of a hope for a more peaceful Middle East.

And now, to President Barack Obama, who’s at least willing to talk to Turks, Armenians, Cubans, Russians, Chinese, Koreans, Iranians and others, and to take the hugely symbolic step of delivering a speech in Arabic.

The rest of the world cries out for the traditional leadership offered by the United States of America. They know that at our best, we stand for a more rational, more peaceful and democratic world. This is a reason, for all of us, to be proud.

So let’s be at our best, rather than at our worst, and refrain from mocking a potential presidential peacemaker, solely for the sake of domestic politics.

When we do otherwise, we appear to the rest of the world as ignorant bullies, just like the old bunch of would-be world dominators who chose to kill millions rather than seek peace and justice.

There is a common thread here. Foreign policy used to stop at the water’s edge. Nixon could go to China. Reagan could dissemble the Soviets.

We now owe that same kind of bipartisan backing to President Barack Obama.

(Randolph Brandt is a retired newspaper editor in Racine, Wis.)


  1. Mr. Boom Boom10/16/2009 9:27 AM

    Yes for less then 1 month as president lets give him one of the highest awards.
    Mr. Brant read this


    Even the jury had questions

  2. This really minimizes the importance of receiving the award. The nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize was 2/1/09. Prior to that date Obama had done nothing to deserve the award and since 2/1/09 he has only talked with no action. These awards no longer mean anything to me. But Randy does not surprise me.What a crock -and Pete and Dustin, I am doing everything I can do to discredit your website in the community.

  3. The Translator10/16/2009 9:28 AM

    Mr Brandt, the nomination period for the NPP was less than TWO WEEKS after BHO became president. Are you seriously telling me that in less than 240 hours on the job that he did something.... anything that deserved being nominated for the Peace Prize other than he is not George Bush? You can call me a racist, throw song lyrics and quotes at me all you want, but I have yet to see a decisive answer to this question.

  4. The Translator10/16/2009 9:32 AM

    The Peace prize was on shaky ground after the Gore and Arafat award, and has now lost all credibility. Here is who BHO beat for the NPP:
    •Chinese Human Rights Activist Hu Jia – imprisoned for campaigning for human rights in the PRC, not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.
    •Wei Jingsheng, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China’s communist system. — not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama. (Not to mention the symbolic value of awarding a Chinese dissident on the 20th Anniversary of the Tianenmen Square Massacre.)
    •Greg Mortenson, founder of the Central Asia Institute has built nearly 80 schools, especially for girls, in remote areas of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past 15 years – not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.
    •Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, a philosophy professor in Jordan who risks his life by advocating interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims, also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.
    •Afghan human rights activist Sima Samar. She currently leads the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and serves as the U.N. special envoy to Darfur and is apparently also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

  5. The Translator10/16/2009 9:35 AM

    Anon 9:28... Pete and Dustin have faults, like everyone, however, every now and then they hit on something - JWAX taxes, Becker, City Council Coverage etc. They do a good job, and you just have to accept that they lean way left.

  6. 9:35 - I don't have to accept any of the biased news that these two clowns publish. When are they going to allow an opposing view commentary - never.

  7. Brandt is a troll. The Post puts up his outrageous guff in order to increase hits on their site. Where is the new, improved, positive site guys?

    Brandt knows that even members of the Democratic Party question this decision by the Nobel committee. But, if they didn't give the award to Obama, they would be racists, as is everyone who disagrees with Brandt about anything.

    Stop feeding the troll.

  8. First off I'm glad the president won the award however, I don't think anyone can say,with a straight face, that he deserved the award over the other nominees.

    Randolph it isn't only the oppossing party who criticizes the president, I've seen and read it from the left also. I wasn't around at the time but I heard that Japan had something to do with World War II, I have yet to see a documentary on how the oppossing party took us to WWII.

    Why are the parties so quick to single out the oppossing party. Maybe if the everyone actually listened to the other side the unintened consiquences that are destroying our economy along with the lives of so many could have been avoided.

  9. Tim the Shrubber10/16/2009 10:01 AM

    The award this time is a cynical move by the Nobel Committee. They gave it to Obama in an attempt to circumscribe his future actions. By giving him the prize now, they hope to make him feel obligated to not do certain things in the future (such as an Afghan surge).

    The Nobel Peace Prize has offically jumped the shark.

  10. We all go through our lives with choices. One of those choices is to be either positive or negative in their approach to life. With all the negative aspects being thrown about here about someone in the Whitehouse who is trying his best to be a positive influence in the world, I can't help but think our own world here in Racine could also be better if we just chose to be positive too.

  11. The Translator10/16/2009 10:05 AM

    Anon 10:01 - I did not say one negative thing in my postings. Im sorry if I dont believe in the "Drink the Kool Aid and it all get's better" vibe.

  12. Opposition party?

    Europe thinks it is a joke, White House staffers thought it was a joke when they were asked about it.

    Nominations were due 11 days after Obama was sworn in. Who knows when he was actually nominated?

    The simple fact is he was awarded for what they hoped he would do rather than what he had actually done.

    Mr. Brandt fails to realize the obvious. People are not ridiculing the President for winning. People are ridiculing the Nobel committee for awarding it to him.

    To not admit this award was premature says more about blind followers of Obama like Mr. Brandt that it does about any opposition.

    Some day I hope President Obama is deserving of this award.

    But in the way the Nobel committee has sullied this award by giving to it terrorists like Yassar Arrafat it does not mean what it used to.

  13. Doesn't the Nobel Committee consist of Norwegians? How could they possibly be "blind followers" as Real Debate alleges?

  14. I bet Mr Brandt will win an award for this type of writing!

  15. 10:01

    I am positive that the Post if it choose to looking to the 9 TIf's that are failing would discover interesting facts.
    I am positive that if The Post chose they find out what makes the West Racine project tick far more effort is being spend on that so what is going on?
    I am positive that with more pressure the City of Racine would let Becker's emails go, why is this no longer an issue?
    I am positive that the more nutty left The Post gets the fewer readers will look at the page.

  16. Randy isn't about time for some more never ending quotes? You truly are an idiot -

  17. Well, at least a member of the left ("Mr" Brandt) finally admitted that Regean ended the cold war!
    Only took 35 years

  18. Have to say that i am truely getting tired of the ignorant and childish comments with name calling and personal attacks i continue to see in these blog comments. Is there any intellegance left in Racine?

  19. The Translator10/16/2009 11:57 AM

    Anon 11:50 - Where is the name calling you are referring to?

  20. 11:50 I suggest you learn how to spell intelligence before you choose to use the term. Now who is not intelligent?

  21. 3 ex-employees of the JT, and now this site is a bigger toilet than theirs.

    It would be nice to have a local news site where you don't have to pinch your nose while reading the stories.

  22. 11:50 - you might want to work on truly also - you intelligent one.

  23. Tim the Shrubber10/16/2009 2:48 PM

    "We now owe that same kind of bipartisan backing to President Barack Obama."

    Sometimes you get what you give...I don't see a whole lot of bipartisanship flowing from the White House.

  24. I can not believe the childish level that some of you bloggers go to, just to make yourselves feel superior. Get a life! If you don't like the POST or its views don't visit the site. Racine will only get worst with all the negativity. Hate breeds hate!

  25. Thanks, Orbs. It's not a nobel, but still, I haven't felt so honored since shock jock John DeBella ground me up in his "grup-grup" machine years ago.

    And to be among such distinguished company!

    I wouldn't have guessed that Johnny Cash 10:17 would be proven so right so soon.

  26. We'll publish commentary from any perspective. Please, send them in!