If you missed the happenings overnight (US time) in Egypt, let me give you a quick run-down. The key from last night is that Morsi and the Egyptian military have both – using slightly different phrasings – pledged a battle to the death over control of the state, making a confrontation at the end of the military’s 48 hour deadline almost inevitable.As noted yesterday, as Morsi’s control over the state apparatus seemed to fade, he and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders made increasingly explicit calls for street violence and martyrdom by its followers. Meanwhile over the course of the night, the country’s military – in advance of its own deadline – seemed to be taken control of parts of the state apparatus. There have also been unconfirmed reports that the military has already put key Muslim Brotherhood leaders under house arrest. By this morning, the Interior Ministry was publicly saying it would stand with the military against public violence.
This morning the military will or already has convened a meeting of all political factions to discuss its ‘road map’ for post-Morsi Egypt. With the military, the Interior Ministry lined up against it, significant non-MB Islamist factions standing apart and millions remaining in the street, Morsi and the Brotherhood appear already to have lost control of the state. The ‘coup’ seems almost to have happened in advance of itself. But the prospect of deadly street battles seems very real regardless.