Com um ataque a uma família francesa que estava a fazer um piquenique e meia dúzia de e-mails, a al-Qaeda conseguiu uma poderosa vitória sobre o Ocidente e a sua cultura — o cancelamento do 30º Rali Dakar.
Ontem mesmo, os organizadores de outra prova do género, menos sofisticada e competitiva, mas por certo mais divertida, publicavam este comunicado:
Dear Budapest-Bamako participant,
We were all shocked to read the news about the cancellation of this year’s Dakar amid terror threats. I’d like to assure each and every one of you that the Budapest-Bamako will not be cancelled. This has never even been a consideration. The reasons listed here are not to calm your nerves or to try convince you that everything is fine. They’re simply the arguments against canceling the event.
a. We can not bow down to terror. Terrorism is a nasty byproduct of the world that we live in. We must learn to accept it. If we give in to terrorists, we legitimize their objectives and give carte blanche to the spread of violence. We must not allow to terrorists to kidnap our vacations or dreams.
b. Mauritania is not Kenya. Mauritania is a peaceful and politically stabile country. There’s no civil war, unrest or violence. The local authorities are completely in charge of security. During the past 10 days, we have been repeatedly reassured that increased attention will be paid to participants of the Budapest-Bamako and the authorities will increase their efforts to protect us. This is a very important event for the country, which is trying to kick-start its tourism industry.
c. One of the earliest guiding principles of the Budapest-Bamako is to build bridges between the people of Europe and Africa. How can we say with a clear conscience that we’d like to strengthen ties, if we don’t dare visit our new friends? How can we assure others of our solidarity if we’re afraid to visit them at home? Now is the time to assure the people of Mauritania that they have friends in the world.
d. The organizers of the Dakar made a serious error by canceling the event. We shouldn’t imitate this mistake. I believe that each participant must evaluate the situation carefully. Participation in the event must be a personal decision. This has always been the case. Now it’s just more pressing than before.
I’m the father of three children. If I felt that threat was serious, I would not go myself. However, I’d like to urge you to carefully read the Mauritanian developments and make an educated decision about your participation in the 2008 Budapest-Bamako. The decision is always in yours and yours alone.
Andrew G Szabo
January 4th, 2007.
Dentro de uma semana, 150 concorrentes partem de Budapeste para uma espantosa aventura.
A do ano passado foi assim:
Infelizmente é impossível a participação este ano, para os que estavam prontos para o Lisboa-Dakar e ficaram "em terra".
Qual a decisão mais acertada?