I am not among the people who are wondering what on earth possessed the Nobel Committee to award the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to our 44th president, Barack Obama. The statement issued by the awarding committee says it all: the president has received the prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
The rest of the press release contain other revealing statements, for example:
"Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics."
"Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts."
"Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting."
But the most important pointer to explaining the committee's decision may be this (emphasis added):
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."
In other words, the prize has been given to President Obama for helping the USA rejoin the international community and for his diplomatic leadership.
You who voted for President Obama back in November should be proud: this Nobel Peace Prize is all yours.
Yes, the award is probably premature. Yes, there were probably more deserving nominees. But it is impossible to overemphasize the fact that this year's peace prize is an anti-Bush, anti-neo-con statement that we helped to make when we elected the antithesis of Bush, instead of his continuation, 11 months ago.
This is the world's way of patting America on its back, and of rewarding President Obama for changing the tone of American foreign policy.
Now all the president has to do is go out there among the world's many peaceful people and earn the prize we helped him win.