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.
A tight mob standing in the street is just dead bodies walking, of course, if you’re using 21st-century weapons. But the Egyptian Army has bowed out of this one. In fact, you’ll see the head of the Army making a very, veeeeeeeeery careful speech midway in this clip. He actually says to the demonstrators, “We [the Army] are with you, of you, by you and under you” or whatever, then adds, “We will be there no matter what changes occur….” Man, if I was Mubarak I would not be Mubarak (happy) hearing that line from my enforcers. But if I was a rioter it’d cheer me up no end, because it would mean I wouldn’t have to worry about automatic rifles, APC cannon, anything at army level.
Instead, the best Mubarak’s remaining goons can do is organize a cavalry charge. I kid you not. About ten seconds into the video you’ll see a real live cavalry charge by a dozen riders, some on horses, some on camels. This is Mubarak’s response: amateurs on livestock. Sad.
Brecher also sends some love Al Jazeera’s way for getting enough ballsy footage to keep satiating his war nerding ways.