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LIBYA: Again, that sticky wicket of tribal power in the Middle East that Westerners appear to continue to disregard.


NATO has introduced attack helicopters because they fly lower and slower and are able to identify targets more accurately in densely populated areas while risking fewer civilian lives.  The introduction of helicopters is risky because there is no guarantee that attack helicopters will achieve what fighter planes couldn’t. Also helicopters make NATO more vulnerable to Libyan defenses.

But more importantly, the introduction of the helicopters fails to question the assumptions underlying the military campaign. Most of Gaddafi’s senior aides who have defected had no power base of their own. If anything, they may have strengthened Mr. Qaddafi resolve and reinforced the position of hardliners around him.

Al Arabiya reports that the international community as well as NATO would be better advised to focus on tribes still loyal to Mr. Qaddafi rather than on individuals eager to save their skin. Many of Libya’s 140 tribes have been sitting on the sidelines waiting to see who emerges victorious from the battle between Mr. Qaddafi and his opponents.



I know the U.S. State Department is filled with intelligent people who get news updates by the hour, but I’m beginning to wonder–from what sources?  I wonder how many of our leaders understand tribal influence in the Middle East.  I think that President Obama does which is one of the reasons that he has stuck his neck out there on the Palestine/Israel issue.  But a lot of people in Washington DC including close to 100% of Congress seem to be stuck in the 1990?s if not the 1950?s in regard to their diplomacy or lack of it in the Middle East.



It was ignorance of tribal influence in the Middle East that landed the USA  in Iraq and continues to keep us there. The same may be said of our problems in Afghanistan and  Pakistan as well. At the heart of all the conflicts of power in the Middle East are the tribes and the power that in many cases such as Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and even Egypt that minority tribal influences wield over the majority of the people. Any strategy that over looks this part of the balance of power is doomed to make many unnecessary mistakes that can result in mission failure.

If you look at the USA as an example, we have two tribes:  The Tribe of the Rich (10 to 15%)  and the Tribe of the Rest of Us (90 to 85%).  Until the majority of The Tribe of the Rest of Us wake up to the reality of how the Tribe of the Rich are screwing us, nothing will change.  The members of the Tribe of the Rich understand this delicate and uneven political balance which is why they have been able to hold onto the power.  However, they may be losing their grip as it is becoming increasingly difficult for their tailors to continue to declare that the king is not indeed naked, and thus they they have tricked the rest of us with their propaganda–thus explaining my passion with educating the majority in regard to propaganda strategies that are wielded against us by the rich. – Liz


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Liz Berry

Liz Berry