reviews of neither left nor right
"Spot on. Insightful, brilliantly researched and written, a book that anyone who loves this nation needs to read."
-former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft
"A book that all Americans worried about the fate of this nation should read before it is too late."
-Dennis Miller
"A must read for all who value freedom."
-Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America
reviews of neither left nor right
"Spot on. Insightful, brilliantly researched and written, a book that anyone who loves this nation needs to read."
-former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft
"A book that all Americans worried about the fate of this nation should read before it is too late."
-Dennis Miller
"A must read for all who value freedom."
-Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America

What’s Happening in the Middle East?

As I wrote in “Neither Left nor Right,” before there can be a rational way to deal with the political troubles that are currently escalating in the Middle East, there must first be an understanding of Arab societies and their culture. This requires an understanding of tribalism and its relationship to the states in the Middle East.

From a historical perspective, tribal societies existed for millennia in the Middle East long before Arabs began converting to Mohammedanism in the seventh century and long before modern states with their precise boundaries were formed. In many ways these tribal roots are deeper than the Arab’s religious and political beliefs and they determine their behavior to a far greater extent. Tribal loyalties in the Middle East cut across the national boundaries that were arbitrarily laid down by England and France during the early part of the twentieth century. Furthermore, from a characterological perspective, Arabs belong in various degrees to the far right of the political center. These are important but frequently overlooked considerations at a time when America is struggling to work out a diplomatic resolution to the conflicts in that region.

As in the case of a medical disease there must first be an understanding of the disease before a rational treatment can be instituted. Symptomatic measures without knowledge of the underlying pathology are guaranteed to fail.

3 Comments

  1. Well said and insightful analysis! Could you say more about how tribal bonds differ from national identity in terms of the group;s social functioning and attitudes toward the rest of the world? And what different response does that way of functioning call for? Also where does ISIS fit into tribal organization, way of thinking, and the current situation?
    Thank you.

    • For now, I recommend reading Culture and Conflict in the Middle East by Phillip Salzman. Humanity Books publisher. Also, I and My Brother Against My Cousin by Stanley Kurtz, The Weekly Standard 04/14/2008, Volume 013, Issue 29.

  2. Thank you for your insightful analysis of what’s happening right now in the Middle East. You’ve helped me to understand the cause of the situation.


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