No matter what you think of the United Nations whenever it functioned as a way to defuse world tensions and prevent or delay conflict it served a purpose for that moment. Late in October of 1956 Israel, France and Britain invaded Egyptian territory when Egypt announced it would nationalize and blockade the Suez Canal. Egypt was reacting to the withdrawal of funding to build the Aswan Dam when it recognized the new Communist regime in China at the expense of the Taiwanese. A Canadian diplomat, Lester B. Pearson, defused a potentially volatile situation by negotiating a withdrawal of the invading force replaced by a UN force (UNEF) led by "neutral" Canadian Troops. So began the "tradition" of Canadian Peacekeepers and because the Egyptians objected to the Union Jack on the Canadian Red Ensign Pearson eventually proposed a distinctive new Canadian Flag while he was Prime Minister of Canada in 1965. For his efforts in brokering a peace that reopened the Suez Canal during a dangerous time in the Cold War, Lester Pearson received the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize.
Today it was announced in Oslo that US President Barak Obama will be given the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. So how do his accomplishments compare to Lester Pearson? Well, Obama doesn't like nukes, but hasn't removed any from the American arsenal. Obama doesn't like war, but America has two wars going on with little chance of either ending any time soon. Obama doesn't like torture but Guantanamo Bay is still in business with no closure imminent. Obama doesn't like climate change because..........it's bad. Obama provides us with hope for a better future.......that's starting to get lame. What's he done exactly? Well Obama isn't Bush......maybe that warrants a prize.