Author: Dennis Brown

November 8, 2001
p. Please feel free to call the following Notre Dame faculty for additional comment on these people and events in the news: <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

News and views from the University of Notre Dame p. p. September 11: Continuing commentary from Notre Dame faculty experts in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America:p. p. ? While religious zealotry plays a major role in motivating terrorists, lack of economic hope also is a factor that is underestimated and must be addressed, according to a Notre Dame economist. “We’ve heard there are 20,000 young Muslims willing to die for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan,” said Kwan Kim , professor of economics. “Those are people who having nothing to live for. They have no opportunity. I think we need a long-term vision. Everyone is concerned with punishing the culprits ? those terrorists? when what we really need to do is build a better world.” Professor Kim can be reached for additional comment at (219) 631-5179 or p. p. ? A Notre Dame anthropologist who has conducted extensive interviews with Islamic militants believes continuing U.S. military action in Afghanistan will eventually lead to more terrorism. “If we end up killing Muslim civilians, we will push more moderate Muslims toward radicalism,” Cynthia Mahmood , a senior fellow in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, told United Press International. “Bin Laden’s video made clever use of this fact, (referring to the) slaughtering of innocents. Unfortunately, the rhetoric from the United States is falling into that plan. When we respond by saying ‘good vs. evil’ or ‘either you’re for us or against us,’ these are holy war statements. It is not the rational response of a rational country. Patriotism is the American civil religion. It’s a call to that kind of holy war.” Professor Mahmood can be reached for additional comment at (219) 631-7604 or p. p. ? Notre Dame political scientist Kathleen Collins believes U.S. efforts to eradicate terrorism must go beyond the borders of Afghanistan. “In the war against terrorism, the Bush administration has so far focused on Osama bin Laden, his al Qaeda terrorist organization and the Taliban in Afghanistan,” Collins wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. “But the U.S. must now begin preparing for a potentially larger problem. Afghanistan is surrounded by weak states, and a durable peace in Central Asia must contain not only the conflict within Afghanistan but also bolster that country’s faltering neighbors, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The U.S. end game must therefore include long-term policies that promote stable democracies and economic prosperity. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are fragile, authoritarian states long plagued by Islamic opposition groups, guerrilla insurgencies, Taliban threats and dubious Russian interventions. These states are fertile ground for Islamic extremism and region-wide instability.” Professor Collins can be reached for additional comment at (219) 631-0373 or p. p. ? The withdrawals in the past from Lebanon and Somalia have led many in the world to believe Americans and the U.S. government are unwilling to risk lives in military action. But Dan Lindley , assistant professor of government and international studies at Notre Dame, writes in an op-ed for the Chicago Sun-Times that the “view that the United States is ‘casualty intolerant’ is a dangerous myth. The United States is willing to fight, kill and be killed when U.S. interests are high.” Lindley points to the Gulf War as an example, citing the loss of American lives to “liberate something of real importance to us and the rest of the world: about 20 percent of Persian Gulf oil reserves.” He adds: “The Sept. 11 attacks have united America. It is now clear that we have an overwhelming national interest in preventing and postponing terrorist attacks, especially those using weapons of mass destruction. If we are to fight this war for many years, we will need the support of others. We must build coalitions, institutions and laws that will serve our long-term interests. To maintain international support, we will have to use force purposefully and discriminately. However, anyone who doubts U.S. resolve and willingness to suffer and cause casualties when the stakes are high is making a serious mistake.” Professor Lindley can be reached for additional comment at (219) 631-3226 or p. p. Wastewater: Researchers from Notre Dame’s Center for Environmental Science and Technology (CEST) have developed a simple method for cleaning up wastewaters contamined with toxic metal. In a recent cover story of the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the research team reported that biomass materials effectively remove toxic metals, such as copper, cesium, molybdenum, nickel, lead and zinc, even in the presence of competing metals likely to be found in highly contaminated sites. The biomass material used was the spillage that remains after the manufacture of ethanol from corn and ground corn cobs from the production of animal feeds. The effectiveness of the biosorbents was demonstrated using samples from the Berkeley Pit in Montana. Pollution of the environment with toxic metals is widespread and often involves large volumes of wastewater. The researchers say that the results of the experiment demonstrate that biosorption of metals from wastewaters using biomass products is a viable and cost-effective technology. The Notre Dame researchers included Charles F. Kulpa Jr. , professor of biological sciences and director of CEST;, associate professor of civil engineering and biological sciences and director of the Inductively Couple Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) research facility; and Jinesh Jain, manager of the ICP-MS. The Notre Dame team worked with a group of researchers from Wichita State University led by Mark. A. Schneegurt , an assistant professor of biological sciences. Schneegurt was a postdoctoral research associate and research assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Biological Sciences from 1996 to 2000. Professor Kulpa can be reached for additional comment at (219) 631-5592 or p. p. Native Americans: Notre Dame anthropologist Mark Schurr is attempting to pinpoint Potawatomi Indian village sites from the early 1800s to learn more about the lifestyles of Native Americans of that era. The period 1800-1840 marked the removal era, during which many Indians were forced to give up their land and move West. Schurr’s goal is to locate where Indians were living in those years and the characteristics of those sites: housing styles, diet and household possessions. He is eager to move ahead because urban sprawl is consuming farm land that may contain evidence of former Indian villages. “This is a real race,” he says. “This may be our last opportunity to investigate some sites.” Professor Schurr can be reached at (219) 631-7638, or

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