Saturday, January 9, 2010

Togo soccer team attacked

When it comes to terrorists, there are cowards such as ETA, the Yakuza and Sinn Fein; and then there's that category for which coward doesn't even apply. This is the class of terrorist that goes after people who have absolutely no interest in a conflict -- even if do they pay taxes to a government with which they may or may not agree (the excuse al-Qaeda supporters use to justify the 9/11 attacks). This explains how I feel about the attack in Angola yesterday against the Togo national soccer team, on its way to the first round of the African championship -- the matches for the group in which Togo is in are supposed to be played in the enclave of Cabinda which is separated from the rest of Angola by Congo-Kinshasa and Congo-Brazzaville. Several players were injured and at least three other people, including the bus driver, were killed shortly after the bus crossed the border from Congo-Brazzaville.

Whatever the conflict in Cabinda may be or who really owns what, I don't care one iota that militants have taken it out on people who want no part of any war, who just want to represent their country. Nor does it matter the majority of players ply their trade in European club soccer and make tons of money. An international event of this nature should bring people together peaceably and in the hope that all conflict will stop, at least for the duration of the games. This is the idea behind the "Olympic truce" which far as I can tell has never been respected by any belligerent country, and certainly isn't something separatists or terrorists of any stripe would ever want to respect. The rumour was that Togo will pull out of the tourney and the Voice of America confirmed they did about an hour ago. I was hoping they wouldn't, because then the terrorists win and that's something we can't let happen. But I hope the other national sides stick in their heels and say they won't cave in.

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