Some 20 revolutions ago there was the one in Egypt. Anyone watching that story unfold on TV was treated to the bizarre spectacle of thugs, some on camels, charging the crowds in Tahrir Square and attacking any protesters in their path. If you were at all curious where those pro-Mubarak guys came from, Egyptian paper Al Masri Al Youm interviews a couple of those hooligans and tells the behind-the-scenes story. So it's like VH-1's Behind The Music, but it's about hired thugs sent to beat up and kill people:
We were all given black baseball caps or ski-hats to wear, so we could recognize each other throughout the day. Some people were given rifles and shotguns. Others, like me, were given clubs, and sharpened sticks.
It appears they got some bad intel:
We were told to strike hard and fast, that the protesters were a bunch of American University pansies who’d run away at the first gunshot.
When the protesters failed to run away, the hired gun (or hired sharp stick) had a revelation:
I realized these weren’t a bunch of sissy kids, and that they weren’t just having fun. They were fighting for something, and they were putting up a brave fight. They were willing to die for what they believed in, and I was fighting them because I had been paid LE200 ($34). The thought of it broke my heart.
And Hosni Mubarak learned a valuable lesson: You get what you pay for.
via Egypt's Al-Masry Al-Youm.