Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

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Thursday, March 06, 2003

Big train a'rollin'

Well, a big part of the reason I didn't post a lot about Dyer yesterday is that he's taken a great deal of the blogging wind out of my sails. Despite his agreement that this war is a very bad idea, he didn't talk a great deal about that, but instead, he talked about what comes after for the Arab world. Dyer is convinced that however silly the idea, war has been unavoidable since maybe December; once a train that large gets a head of steam, you can't roll it back up the track. Next stops: Shocktown and Aweville.

But he discussed the uncomfortable "what comes after", and one point stood out for me: if the UN wants to survive, it needs to give some cover to Bush with a second resolution. We don't have to like it, we don't have to make it very solid cover (and in fact, that second resolution is likely to be something the anti-war blogs could trot out, saying "this doesn't authorize force" because it won't, it will only give Bush room to claim it does), but if we declare the United States an outlaw, that brave stand will be the last symbolic swing of the United Nations. Without the US, Dyer claims, there is no UN worth mentioning, I was convinced.

So, you heard it here first. If we can't stop war (and Dyer was not particularly convincing on that point, but he wasn't trying to be... he spoke with an historian's eye and took it as a given), we need to find the resolution that the US can claim is authorization, for the sake of long-term peace and security. The UN needs to take a policy of constructive engagement to the world's more powerful country. This makes me sad, and, as I say, takes the wind out of my sails to some degree.

On the bright side, I sat in an audience of perhaps 150 people, mostly students who happened to be in Wyckham House for lunch (as opposed to being there as the choir Dyer could preach to). Among the comments I overheard in the room, and among the questions after the lecture, and with Dyer himself, there seemed to be unanimous agreement: this war seems aimless and pointlessly harmful. The Americans are making a horrible mistake. That was taken as nearly self-evident. I feel like the debate of "should there be war?" is behind us, and the answer has been an obvious and universal "no", without sensible contradiction. So I may not be engaging that debate much more here.

That may lighten my blogging somewhat. I have a request(!), and I've been giving that post some thought lately, so that will come today or tomorrow with any luck. Beyond that, well, I think we have a responsibility to make sure we're passing around the "alternative news", because we know once the shooting starts, no one will find the actual news on television.

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