Bradley Burston for Haaretz.

Maybe that’s our answer. If assassinating or abducting the Hezbollah leader is still on the agenda, as Israeli officials maintain, why not put Nasrallah to useful purpose?

Look at the issues. Consider his record. Here is a man who is both strong and wise on security issues. He saw to it that his troops were well-prepared, well-trained, well-supplied, and and well-protected.

Nasrallah would be a new sort of Israeli leader. One who gets things done.

Here is a man who addresses social welfare needs head-on. He doesn’t wait to help home-owners rebuild residences destroyed by aerial attacks. He hands out literal lump-sums, immediately, in cash.

Here is a man who delivers medical care to the needy, affordable housing to the homeless, food and even clothing to society’s disadvantaged.

Here is a man who cares deeply about, and puts major emphasis on, education and youth [even if the message is one of incitement, hatred, and anti-Semitism].

Moreover, as he proved this week in admitting to having miscalculated the Israeli response in Lebanon, Nasrallah, as opposed to, say, Olmert, is a leader who, when he’s made an error in judgment, can openly admit to it.

For more than 20 years, Israeli prime ministers have come to office pledging to be leaders for all the people, only to exacerbate existing divides and create new ones.

Why not tap the one leader who has managed to unite the Israeli people as has no prime minister in memory?

…Finally, here is a leader who carries no moral baggage. The world expects nothing of him morally, so there is the merest of outcry when he attacks civilian targets.

Nasrallah has a proven record.

What do our present leaders have to show for theirs?

One of the commenters was perhaps even funnier:

Anyway what`s say we do a swap :

You give Palestine a country and we`ll give you a government. I mean you`ve got half the parliament right now in your jails. Most of those guys would do a decent job at turning Israel around – you can keep them. It will be like “Bridge over the River Kwai”


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  • There is a ton of truth the this article, he is right on the money. Even though he was saying these things in jest, I still don’t like it. I guess I am not in the business of giving props to ppl who vow for our destruction.

  • I don’t think he’s giving props. I think he’s trying to get across a larger point.

    It’s never a bad idea to study your enemy and learn from their tactics. To underestimate your opponent is the worst possible tactical error.

  • His candor about his strategic errors is very striking. He seems to have learned from the foibles and failures of a host of other Arab leaders.

    Above all, he means what he says, and can deliver on his promises and threats. Very much like Hitler in this regard, who likewise emerged from a culture of failed leadership and wounded national pride. When Hitler delivered his ‘prophecy speech’ (1/30/39), no one could doubt his sincerity: he had already made good on many of his promises.

    Nasrallah may be the most credible leader in the Arab world.

  • btw, Middle, thought of you the other night (no, don’t get worried!) when the visage of that purported Iraq expert, Juan Cole, troubled my screen, courtesy the PBS NewsHour. Ugh.

  • Jeffrey Dahmer was also credible, Tom. Let’s be honest about this, the guy is a leader of a guerrilla group without the pressures of democracy to press him, or the responsibility of a state to force his hand. He has freedom that no leader or politician has in our system or even in the Arab undemocratic regimes. If he were to become PM of Lebanon tomorrow, this front of “credibility” will dissipate about as fast as a Ben & Jerry’s single scoop of Cherry Garcia might melt on a sunny day in the Sahara.

  • Maybe, Middle, but I suspect that N’s willingness to admit mistakes has to do with having to play the politician in Lebanon’s proto-democracy. Unlike the Mubaraks of the world, N is learning to play the game in a more demanding political culture. Who’s the better politician– N or the Western-educated doctor presiding next door?

    This may make N an even more skilled adversary in the long run.

    While N may not succeed if he’s allowed to lead Lebanon (uh, oh– I sense another Hitler analogy in the offing!!), he’s well-funded in US dollars by his Iranian friends. Have you read about what’s going in in southern Lebanon today? H is not only benefiting from Tehran’s largesse, but screening out Western aid donors (who are prohibited in any event by US law from dealing with H, a “terrorist organization”).

    This guy and his backers are a shrewd group. N proved that during the war, and he seems to be on his way to winning the peace.

  • Oh, I agree that he’s shrewd and if he is truly the leader of their military, he is then a brilliant commander in chief. But the apology may not involve contriteness as much as a political move to salvage deeply damaged support among a population that has seen their homes destroyed because they were used as shield by his group.

    Also, some of the right wing blogs are claiming that money Hizbullah handed out was counterfeit US currency. Having said that, there is no question that Hizbullah is taking control of the reconstruction in S. Lebanon, although yesteday Saniora promised even more substantial support for those who have lost their homes.