Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stop Everything - Here Comes a VIP!

Not a day goes by that you see two paramilitary soldiers with submachine guns on a motorcycle followed by the same waving at everyone to get out of the way, then comes open top Land Rovers with soldiers in the back pointing AK-47's in both directions waving at everyone to stay out of the way, followed by a stream of Mercedes S600's maybe a few more Land Rovers and soldiers on motorcycles.

This is the treatment for members of the Parliament, comparable to the Congress in the USA.

Now bump this up to Minister level (Cabinet level in the USA), then they will most likely stop traffic in both directions, posting soldiers along with the military police to make sure nobody leaves the buildings along the main road. Fortunately it usually doesn't take very long.

We were leaving the apartment one morning and a group of commandos with submachine-guns come in the lobby, surveyed the situation and a general walked in. In the USA a general would probably be living on base and have a driver and driver would take them off base, but definitely no armed guards to go to the ATM!

The last time I saw this kind of treatment was in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) where the police would setup at the intersections and stop traffic and then would come a stream of Black Chevy Suburbans and Mercedes S600's flying down the 'kings highway', one big black blur. This would be the treatment for any prince (Everyones a prince there!) and of course the king.

Now I know this does happen in Washington as I have seen it myself, probably more for foreign dignitary's then anything else. Can't see the Secretary of Education getting the whole stop traffic and armed escort thing, you know.

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