There may not be a better way to read about Egypt than from the pen of Robert Fisk. He is in Cairo right now and reporting for the Independent.
But then, no sooner had the last prayers been uttered than the crowd of worshippers, perched above the highway, turned towards the police. "Mubarak, Mubarak," they shouted. "Saudi Arabia is waiting for you." That's when the water cannons were turned on the crowd – the police had every intention of fighting them even though not a stone had been thrown. The water smashed into the crowd and then the hoses were pointed directly at ElBaradei, who reeled back, drenched.
He had returned from Vienna a few hours earlier and few Egyptians think he will run Egypt – he claims to want to be a negotiator – but this was a disgrace. Egypt's most honoured politician, a Nobel prize winner who had held the post of the UN's top nuclear inspector, was drenched like a street urchin. That's what Mubarak thought of him, I suppose: just another trouble maker with a "hidden agenda" – that really is the language the Egyptian government is using right now.
All that American military equipment comes in handy when you want to humiliate your political opponents.