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Ad suggests false association

Observer Viewpoint | Monday, January 30, 2006

I write in response to an advertisement on page 9 of The Observer on Friday, Jan. 27. Earlier last week I was invited by phone to speak at a dinner/panel on race and terrorism this upcoming Wednesday. As I enjoy speaking about terrorism and with students, I readily agreed and was promised a follow up e-mail with details on how to focus my remarks. This e-mail never arrived. Today, whatever group is sponsoring the talk placed an ad in The Observer equating Sept. 11 and its “presumed” leader with the Iraq War and President George W. Bush. Indeed, Bush comes out looking about 10 times worse given the body counts provided.

As my name is also in the ad, the ad may be taken by some or many that this comparison is one that I would make and one I believe in.

I write to tell the Notre Dame community that I would not make such a comparison, and that I do not believe that comparison holds in almost any dimension. While I lament and mourn anyone’s violent death and welcome debates about public policy, in my view the educational benefit of this comparison comes from dissecting and debunking it. But as I appear to be linked to the argument this ad is trying to make, I am dismayed and insulted by this ad.

I call for a public apology by whoever placed this ad. I critique the professionalism of any group that would place a surprise ad with such injurious implications to my reputation and that would not clearly identify themselves in such a politically charged ad. Moreover, I urge The Observer to not accept essentially anonymous political ads in the future.

Although I have been blindsided and insulted, I will not flinch or boycott. I look forward to debating and critiquing this ad and its implications on Wednesday.

Dan LindleyAssistant Professordepartment of political scienceJan. 27