EGYPT IS THE PLACE TO BE |
April 28, 2011
|Small demonstration in Tahrir Square while I was in town. Not sure what it was about but I think at least one sign reads: "Welcome America's 1stSgt!" in Arabic.|
Just returned from a command visit to one of my platoons in support of the American Embassy in Cairo. During the revolution the forces of good were able to slip in and reinforce embassy security, allowing the diplomats to continue their mission and keep the consulate open.
As you can imagine the Marines witnessed a number of surreal events during the last 90 days or so. The embassy is roughly 400 yards away from Tahrir Square and I am told the uproar of the crowd was thunderous to say the least. At one point the CS gas was so thick you could still smell it 15 stories up.
As the Marines witnessed the infamous camel charge they could only look at each other dumbfounded: "Did that just happen?" They noted some of the riders were armed with machetes and hacked at the crowd as they plowed through. The riders were almost all snatched off the back of their mounts and swallowed by the furious crowd never to be seen again.
A number of people were burned to death when molotov cocktails were thrown into the streets. Rounds ricocheted through the alleys as shots rang out from rooftops into the square. They saw Lara Logan brought in to the compound: "They beat the $#!% out of her." They also saw Anderson Cooper, who despite being "punched in the head!" seemed none the worse for wear.
In the meantime American State Dept types seemed in awe of young fire breathers willing to place themselves between the hazard and perfect strangers. Fortunately the word is out: the Marines are in town. Those with bad intentions tend to get a little queasy at the sight of armed Marines. "Let's go mess with the French instead."
|One of my blood drinkers ready to do violence on others' behalf.|
During my visit there was a small demonstration at the embassy. A bunch of nice people politely demanded the release of the blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. The linked article reports "hundreds" of Islamists staged the protest. Hundreds, as in 200 if they were lucky. When all your friends are assassins and killers I guess there isn't a lot of turnout for you.
|Egyptian military provides security in front of the American Embassy. We all agreed the armored vehicles would make great anti-zombie conveyances.|
Cairo is still picking up the pieces. As you drive around you can still see the burned out government building on the northeast corner of the square as well as the rusting hulks of torched cars littering the area here and there. But life is returning and shops, restaurants, and businesses were open while I was in town. Hopefully the good guys will win this one in the end.