That the right wing is up in arms over Obama getting the Nobel Peace prize is no surprise.
What's interesting is that many of my progressive friends are just as angry. Their point, generally, is that it is hypocritical to give a peace prize to someone actively waging war as Obama is in Afghanistan.
As historian Howard Zinn points out, this should be no surprise. The other two sitting U.S. Presidents to receive the prize, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, had also been waging wars--Roosevelt in Cuba and Wilson in Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Zinn also points out that Henry Kissinger received the prize for helping to broker an end to the Vietnam conflict even though he had recommended the bombing of civilians in both Vietnam and Cambodia.
While I understand the point my progessive friends are making and while I agree that it would be preferable to award the Nobel Peace Prize to someone less famous but more engaged in actively promoting peace without using war as a a means to that end, still.....
There's something I like about Obama getting the award. First, it reminds us Americans how dangerous we made the world by electing Bush/Cheney to two terms. The Nobel committee were clearly sending the award as a direct repudiation of the Bush/Cheney unilateral agenda of greed and self-indulgence. Second, Barack Obama does represent a deep recognition of the need for mature diplomacy over fearful aggressiveness. Rather than calling Iran and "Axis of Evil," he is actively engaging them in conversation. What the Nobel committee seems to be saying with the surprise awarding of its peace prize is just how important this shift is.