President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." (See this article in the Washington Post.)
It is a pleasure to see that attempts at reconciliation really matter. The fact that it is the President who is being recognized simply gives honor to the nation.
All too often in our American political landscape, we reward the rootin' tootin' cowboys who shoot up the saloon. We vote for people who are extreme in their positions and speak harsh words about those who disagree. Sadly, we often see people able to engage in civil discourse as "weak".
All the Nobel Prize can do is focus attention on an accomplishment. It would be my hope that it draws not just the attention of Americans to the importance of the process of reconciliation, but also draws the eye of the dictators and warlords of the world.