The Nobel Peace Price has been awarded to an American -- but it's not really President Barack Obama. No, the award more accurately has been bestowed upon the American electorate who, by electing Obama, have calmed hearts and minds throughout the world.
The Nobel Committee's message to the American people is clear: you all have been scaring the sh-t out of us -- thank you for showing us that our worst fears about your country were not true.
Imagining that the Nobel Committee might were able to award the prize to a population rather than an individual, the announcement might have looked like this:
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to people of the United States of America for their extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance the American people's willingness to choose hope over fear.
By electing Barack Obama to the Presidency, the American people have created a new international climate. We have chosen the American people to receive this award in recognition of their extraordinary efforts to demonstrate to the world that our worst fears about the United States are not true -- that the promise of American democracy can overcome corporate-sponsored war-mongering. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to the initiative of the American people, the United States is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
Only very rarely has a single electorate captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. By electing a president who believes that 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, the American people have shown demonstrated their desire to move away from the dogmatic unilateralism of previous administrations.
For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which President Obama is now the world's leading spokesman.
The Committee endorses the American people's decision to rejoin the world.
So, congratulations are in order for President Obama -- but you should pat yourself on the back too if you played a role in the outcome of the election. Well done, America, well done.
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