This is the statement issued by the committee with my emphasis and comments in bold...
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.
Note that they cite "efforts," "vision," and "work for" things like international diplomacy and cooperation. This has been the case in the awarding of the prize to many other recipients. The committee often awards the prize based upon intentions and efforts rather than outcomes.
Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. 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 Obama's initiative, the USA 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.
There is an obvious reference here to a renewal of diplomacy over the past era of aggression that was endured under the Bush administration. Additionally, the emphasis in making the award was largely based upon Obama's efforts and dialogue which have both resulted in a more favorable view of the United States and in world stability and climate. Again, the award is not always based upon outcome. What part of that is so difficult for people to understand? It is irrefutable that with the election of Obama and his move toward diplomacy and negotiation rather than aggression and bullying that a more rational and peaceful tone is being set in the international sector.
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.
Can anyone argue the point that President Obama has captured the world's attention? Or that he has given millions upon millions of people around the world hope? Hope that peace will come. Hope that, perhaps, sanity will rule the day. Hope that the greatest country on Earth will no longer be the aggressor but the peace-maker.
For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."
Clearly, the intent of the prize is not to applaud or reward accomplishments or outcomes but to honor those who the committee believes are endeavoring to make this world a better place.
Across the nation, right-wing pundits and disgruntled Republicans, so-called "Patriots" and militia-minded individuals are denouncing the awarding of this honor to our President. Some on the left are joining with them in a chorus of disapproval citing his lack of tenure and actual accomplishments as a reason for their discontent.
But, is their disapproval really that benign? Perhaps it is rooted in their lack of true understanding of the prize itself. Or, perhaps it is simply another vehicle by which they can attempt to besmirch and belittle the man to whom they lost their power base. Maybe it's all of those things.
The whine of the right is a loud one, for certain. Pitiable, really. For, in all of their lamenting and bemoaning it appears they have lost all of their joy, all of their emotional appetite for happiness, all of their sense of pride, all of their dignity, and all of their self-respect. In all of their plans to "take this country back," they seem to have forgotten what it was like to be a "real" American who celebrates our victories, our recognitions, and our people.