Some people are saying Barack Obama has won the Nobel just for being Not George W Bush.
Well, what's wrong with that?
He is not, and has declared himself repeatedly, emphatically and credibly not to be, a religious maniac who rejects scientific truth because it wasn't written about in a 2000 year old book by some primitive middle eastern tribesmen; a racist who despises everyone who is not from his own country and clearly and visibly considers them all beneath himself; a semi-literate silver spooner who has earned nothing he has but rather inherited it all and then lectures everyone else about hard work; a man who betrays all of his loudly declaimed religious principles by lying so that he can bomb some brown foreigners, and also by swearing before his god to uphold the American constitution before waving a bible around and saying "THIS comes before the constitution"; who shouts loudly about democracy and then steals a lost election with the corrupt help of his brother's henchmen (and women), including denying votes to many thousands of people who did or would have voted against him, but nevertheless going on to preach to the rest of the world about his and his country's democratic superiority... and much much more, but I don't want you to get bored and stop reading.
Instead of all that, Barack Obama has begun engaging with the world, showing us all the smiling side of his country's personality, talking to other nationalities with respect and as an equal, made it clear that reality rather than religious prejudice will be his guide, started working to try to undo some of the eight years of further damage wrought by Bush and Cheney's refusal to have anything to do with Kyoto and the fight against climate catastrophe, and again, much much more besides, not least his attempt to bring the United States to civilisation by letting all or most of his fellow citizens have decent healthcare, like most of the rest of the world, which would allow them to stop being so terrified all the time, to stop having to be so self-absorbed out of fear for their medical and financial futures (because most US bankruptcies are at the moment caused by huge medical bills), to relax into a more peaceful and less aggressive frame of mind knowing that they and their families will at least be able to go to a doctor if they're ill, or for that matter change jobs, without having to worry about collapsing into abject poverty due to sickness.
If you ask me, that adds up to a greater contribution to world peace than has been made by any US president during my lifetime. And yet some repuglicans are reacting as though not being hated by foreigners is somehow unamerican; which is surely another reason why this award is justified and welcome.