Saturday, January 5, 2008

I Think This Is A Big Deal

You may not.

They've canceled the Dakar Rally for the first time in its thirty year history. Why? Terrorism. See, the route of this auto race is mainly through desert, out the bottom of Portugal and snaking along northwestern Africa. Mauritania is home to 8 of the 15 legs of the rally, and a French family was killed in Mauritania in 2007 by terrorists. They've received warnings that terrorists plan to disrupt the rally.

Now I never heard of the Dakar Rally until a few minutes ago, but I'm sure that many people devote a lot of time, money and passion into this event, which has a long tradition and if nothing else serves as a cultural bridge.

I suspect that's what the terrorists are attacking: multiculturalism. Clearly, the solution cannot be to run and hide. So, for now they packed up and went home. Let's hope they get security figured out - admittedly difficult for a 5,760 mile race through mostly desert - and reschedule the rally, and keep it going for years to come.

If this is to be known as The Long War, then the question will be, how did we go about our lives during it?

A brief recap from NYTimes, you can probably find much more:

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