Thought experiment: Who else really should have won the Nobel Peace Prize? I am sure you can come up with some names, but the basic fact is that Obama - by making the most powerful country in the world not just reengage but lead on major global issues - has done more to promote peace and stability than anyone else. This really shouldn't be a shock.
Domestic reaction to Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize has been a classic case of missing the forest for the trees. Republicans are so blinded by knee-jerk opposition they border on becoming anti-American zealots. Our cynical domestic media is just focused on the day-to-day horse race of our politics. But both should recognize this award for what it is: a recognition that in the last nine months President Obama has completely altered the direction of American foreign policy and American engagement with the world. Gone is the approach that left America on the sidelines standing as an outcast superpower. Today the world's most powerful country is finally leading in the efforts to tackle key global challenges.
In his first nine months in office, President Obama has aggressively reengaged and reasserted American leadership on key issues, such as nuclear proliferation and disarmament, climate change, and Middle East peace. The President has also restored America's moral standing by implementing a timetable for the end of American involvement in Iraq, renouncing torture, and working to revamp America's detention policy. While the President has made significant progress on all of these issues, he has also faced obstacles and challenges to total fulfillment of his ambitious agenda.
But the Nobel prize doesn't just go to people who have completely succeeded in their efforts, nor is it a lifetime achievement award. Instead the Nobel prize is given to those who are working to bring about a better more peaceful world. Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Yasser Arafat received the award not because they had solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but because they had resolved to end it. The President without a doubt has a lot more work to do. But this is a moment to be proud of this country and of America's renewed status as leader of the free world.