Monday, March 24, 2008

Penn Soldier

I've been going to Israel about once a year for years.
Family business. Love of the land.
When I told people that you couldn't even enter a supermarket without having your bag checked they wondered how on earth anybody could live a normal life in such a place.
They wondered what it would feel like having armed soldiers in the midst of normal life.
Such as going to work, or buying an ice cream , or go browsing the latest fashion. Buying underwear. 
Well, just go to Penn Station, NY, and it's not that different. Nowadays.
Not that they check every bag or rucksack.
But it certainly looks like a war-zone. 
And I'm not just talking about the state of the place as such.
Not that the guy in the picture was much of a guard at the moment. Chatting along with a female friend of his I could have easily disarmed him. Sure the gun was hooked up to a stretchable curly "phone" cable, but hey, that would be child's play for me.
Not that I was ever tempted to test his skills. But I'd tell you one thing.
He was a far cry from the guys in Tel Aviv.
Despite his parted legs, broad neck, and posture.
As a matter of fact, he was more of a danger to the crowd than he was a protector and a shield. 
Not because he would harm anyone. But he had nobody behind him. 
It scares me a bit.
This is posture.
Not real protection.
It's supposed to make people feel easy.
To someone like me? It makes me feel quite the opposite.
I'd rather have discreet guards than those seemingly tough guys not knowing crap about what it really means to protect a place and the people in it.

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