Wat een zeldzame situatie, eigenlijk: een menigte mensen aan de ene kant en een menigte mensen aan de nadere kant, en géén moderne wapens in het spel, of toch bijna geen.
You can’t help thinking of Ancient Rome when you watch this riot video from Cairo. What you see is humans re-learning the lessons of ancient warfare. And they do it in a matter of minutes! I swear, this video had me more upbeat about the species than I’ve been for a long time. It’s not that we’ve lost our edge, we’re just rusty.
We still know how to do it. First rule: mass wins. You get your side together and stay together. Second: deploy skirmishers. Those are the hotheads throwing rocks about 30 feet ahead of the main mob. They’re to provoke the enemy, absorb the enemy’s first counterstrike. It’s a suicide job, so it’s a favorite in the male age 12-20 demographic.
Lees vooral het hele artikel, het is bij momenten — zoals de trouwens aangeraden gebundelde columns van Warnerd — hilarisch grappig:
As the camera moves away it finds something else for carnivores to enjoy: a few stragglers on foot being mobbed. This is another ancient, actually timeless, strategy: find a small group of the enemy separated from the main force and annihilate them. Around the 50-second point you see these few Mubarak supporters getting a serious beating from the crowd outside a mosque, while the muzzein’s mic keeps insisting, “Alllahu Akbar!” I mean, why not? It’s one point everybody on both sides can agree on, probably, unless some Copt was dumb enough to get involved in the goyim’s arguments. Allah may be akbar, but that won’t help you when it’s 30 to one.
Then around 2:20, we are privileged to see a great event: the revival of the testudo. I mean that: it’s an honor to see brave, smart humans re-learning all this so quickly. The Testudo (tortoise), like most of you war buffs know already, was a Roman formation for advancing under missile fire, using each soldier’s shield to form a shape sort of like a turtle’s shell. Well, here come a bunch of rioters in Cairo, early 21st century, and to respond to the sort of situation the legions would have faced advancing on a fortress or massed archers, they come up with something pretty damn close to the testudo: big squares of sheet metal. […] I wish we could see the moment when these guys struck the enemy formation and dropped their sheet-metal shields for close combat—if they did. […]
We’ll never know, unfortunately, because the producers at Al J decided to waste my time by cutting to Ban ki Moon, the Korean who fronts for the UN these days and the man whose bland flat face could put a weasel on speed to sleep. He comes on to say he’s “deeply concerned” about the rioting. Yeah, me too: deeply concerned your little sermon is keeping me from seeing how the Testudo turns out. What’s the point of these sermonettes anyway? Did anybody expent Ban to say, “I rove dese liots! Anybody give me five to one on Mubalak?” We all know it’s his job to tsk-tsk, we get it, why waste riot time on it?
He’s not even any good at acting concerned. He looks bored, which is how he always looks. You want to see a concerned Korean, try coming up two cents short at your local AM/PM minimart. Ban’s cousin looking at me like I’m a fattened-up Antichrist.