Who supports Gaddafi right now? Is there a sub-ethnic or regional division at play within Libyan politics? The media likes to couch these things in terms of "the people" vs. "the strongman". But the strong man isn't the Hulk, beating off "the people" all by himself.
Marwan: That's a great question. Better read my next book, The Invisible Arab, for an in-depth look at the forces behind the regimes and change. Most Arab regimes have been based on narrow but strong bases that have much at stake and invested in the regime. They could be tribes, clans, ethnicities etc. They also have regional allies and other forms of support system that helped them survive. However, much of that is no longer sufficient to keep them in power. Change is coming, and at times it will be costly.
Great interview. Worth reading the rest if you're curious about all things Al Jazeera English & Middle Eastern politics. I'm excited to return as a guest on The Stream on AJE in a couple weeks!