What seems different about today is that whatever else it proves to mean, the Muslim Brotherhood seems to be jettisoning its alliances and seeking to claim power for itself. Remember that Morsi won only 24% of the vote in round one; Morsi's 51% victory margin included plenty of people who thought he was the lesser of two evils. But today it seems to be shedding allies. Morsi's non-Brotherhood advisors are quitting right and left: the newly-appointed head of the committee overseeing the constitutional referendum has quit, refusing to preside over a referendum that has shed Egyptian blood;as have two other key aides.
There are reports that up to 26 Egyptian diplomats abroad have refused to administer referendum voting in their embassies. And even the Muslim Brotherhood's usual Salafi allies were not out today:
And some reports say he has no non-Muslim Brotherhood aides remaining at the Presidency.
One of the best online/scholarly observers of the Muslim Brotherhood, Khalil Anani, has offered some interesting preliminary assessments:
"Is the Muslim Brotherhood Sowing the Seeds of its Own Destruction?" He even outright calls the MB "faacist" and makes an extended argument to defend the term.
Fascist or no, no one has burned the Reichstag quite yet, but the Brotherhood seems to be portraying what had been a peaceful demonstration outside the Presidential Palace yesterday as a violent provocation, though the only thing that changed today was the arrival of the Brotherhood demonstrators, whose restraint I had prematurely praised because they stayed away yesterday. It almost looks as if a decision was made within the past 24 hours to throw down the gauntlet and take the streets. And the protesters are claiming the Brotherhood supporters — NOT the police, Central Security Forces or State Security —were themselves using teargas, and pellet guns and/or birdshot, as well as the Molotov cocktails used by both sides. I can't confirm this, but where would Brotherhood supporters get teargas? Alarming if true. I'm not endorsing the "fascist" label but it does remind me of something rather 1930ish
The conflict has been in the area around the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis, and along Ahram Street and the area known as Roxy Square and Roxy (after an old Moorish art deco theater from a century ago when the suburb was built) (Palace lower center; Roxy to the North running SW-NE):
Well there's that, too. Unless they pull off what appears to be a power grab. It's pretty stupid (or since I already posted a language warning, pretty fucking stupid as he/she says) indeed to stage a coup when you're already holding most of the cards. Unless you're absolutely sure of the Army. Are they? I'm not. But that's an entirely separate post,