The four (!) security men stationed outside Le Restaurant Caruso here in Sousse were apparently chosen for their bulk and ability to scowl. I always wondered why they were there until last night.
I was finishing up my lasagna and sparkling water when I heard a hubbub outside. Through the large windows that looked out onto the sea, I saw the scene played out. A fat drunk man a thin undrunk man were arguing (a Tunisian national pastime) with increasing ferocity. Then a few ineffectual punches were thrown and the security guys reluctantly went into action and then pulled the combatants apart. A nearby woman was yelling abuse at someone in the scene. The arguers then went their separate ways.
Five minutes later, the fat drunk was back, armed with two 2x4s which he waved with exaggerated menace at the security team. They promptly and easily disarmed him and then released him to go commit his mayhem elsewhere. I left a few moments later thinking that one well-trained bouncer could have handled the situation better than the four scowling bulks.
Just a quarter-mile away from Caruso is a casino which is always attended out front by men and women carrying automatic weapons. Even to my relatively untrained eyes, these folks don’t look like they’d be of much help in a violent situation. They lack soldierliness, focus, discipline.
So my conclusion: just as in China, the authorities here put on a show of security without making anyone actually more secure.