CORVALLIS - Gwynne Dyer, a journalist and well-known commentator on international affairs, will deliver the 18th annual Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace at Oregon State University on Friday, Jan. 21.

The free public lecture, "Democratic Overdog: Strategy, Morality and Etiquette for the New Masters of the University," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center's Engineering Auditorium.

In his lecture, Dyer will talk about the death of the Communist empire and how dictatorships in countries from South Africa to Indonesia have followed suit. Where democracies were once world underdogs, he says, they are now safe, powerful and "overdogs" of the world.

"The most dramatic thing we have done with our new power and freedom of action," writes Dyer, "is to bomb Serbia for three months on behalf of the people of Kosovo. It was a new kind of war in two ways: first, because nobody has ever before conducted a thousand-bomber air campaign in pursuit of purely humanitarian goals; and secondly, because it was the first case of 'immaculate coercion,' with thousands of dead on the other side and literally no combat casualties on ours.

"This is a new world from every point of view - political, military and moral. Pushing questions of human rights into the center of international politics challenges all the established rules and scares the hell out of people who fear that we are destabilizing the whole United Nations system."

Dyer is widely recognized in both print and broadcast journalism. His twice-weekly column on international affairs is published by 175 newspapers in 45 countries.

His broadcast focus has been in the area of documentaries. Dyer's first television series, a seven-part documentary called "War," was aired nationally on PBS in 1985, and subsequently was broadcast in 45 countries. One episode, "The Profession of Arms," was nominated for an Academy Award.

Other Dyer television documentaries include "The Human Race," a 1994 series on the roots, nature and future of politics; and "Protection Force," a three-part series on peacekeepers in Bosnia that first aired in 1995.

Dyer also has been making radio documentaries for more than 20 years. Among his most notable were "The Gorbachev Revolution" and "Millennium," which both aired on National Public Radio.

Born in Newfoundland, Dyer has received degrees from Canadian, American and British universities, and served in three navies. He has a Ph.D. in military history from the University of London.

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Bob Frank, 541-737-8396