Yesterday, I witnessed a sad and somewhat pathetic spectacle… a sight that reminded me of a documentary concerning Hizballah, in which a cleric who accompanied Nasrallah to Qom said something akin to the following: “Nasrallah stood out from the very beginning – he was brilliant. However, his brilliance revolved exclusively around the matter of Israel. In all other matters, even those concerning religion and theology, he was relatively mediocre.”
Yesterday, I watched a man that I once had a modicum of respect for, make a fool of himself. On that screen, he might as well have been naked - because all who wanted to could see through the garbs of confidence and impregnability covering his body.
For all his arrogant slogans about eliminating corrupt government; for all his mocking of political rivals; for all the talk from his supporters about ‘clean hands;’ for all of that nonesense, Nasrallah, yesterday revealed to his audience that he, the leader of the holy muqawama, is as full of hot air as the rest of his counterparts in Lebanon's political elite are – yet more dangerous because of his agenda.
Yesterday, Nasrallah articulated to the Lebanese people what he wanted. He asked all Lebanese, “across sectarian lines,” for support. Why? Because, 1) He wants war against Israel 2) And he wants a “fair, representative and clean national-unity government” with at least a third of the ministers to wage his war against Israel. Period. Everything else he said (and I mean everything), somehow found their way back to those two points.
And for all this religious cleric's talk about the nonsectarian nature of his movement, his biggest crowd pleasers (and he knew they would be, as he recorded his speech) were phrases like “you are a people that rises above pain,” and “you are a people that will not be intimidated,” and “you are a people who survived the heaviest onslaught of bombardment in recent memory.” Politically, he added, “we” seek “fair representation,” and “we” deserve a “national unity government,” etc, etc….
A reasonable question to ask at this juncture is: under what premise does Nasrallah base his argument that this government cannot be characterized as “fair?” Is his premise constitutional? Is it legal? Is it religious? Or is it based on foreign policy decisions? I want to know… What is his premise?
For as far as I can tell, Parliament’s make-up – and I’m talking about a parliament that Hizballah is very much a part of – dictates that this government (even as it exists today) is constitutionally “fair” and representative.
Yet, all this talk is merely marginal. What really surprised me yesterday, was what seemed to be Nasrallah’s rhetorical, but more importantly, mental limitations. The man appeared almost unable to formulate any arguments outside of the paradigm of war with Israel. Even when he sought to escape from it, he quickly ran back into his comfort zone, and spouted out the same pedestrian language with the expected accompanying haughty, arrogant tone. In short, his performance yesterday portrayed a man who cannot but infuse the struggle against Israel into every subject delved into, be it regarding issues of representation, or such mundane matters as social welfare, health-care and even street-cleaning.
In light of this realization, I asked myself: is this one-dimensional human being actually selling himself as a leader? This man who, like Ahab, captain of the Pequod, seems utterly overwhelmed by his irrational and uncontrollable drive to find and kill the ever-elusive Moby Dick – whatever the cost to himself and his companions. A man who, outside of his single obsession, appears as one who stumbles over and over again as he struggles to walk inside of a pitch-dark room!
Today, finally, one certainty has emerged: I can and will, with a clear conscience, rebuke all of Nasrallah’s supporters – especially those who argue that he has earned their support because of their unfounded assumption that he is somehow a more capable leader/governor/politician than his counterparts.
On that note, allow me to present at least some good news: Nasrallah may be aware of his limitations, and seeks merely to help bring about an environment in which he may do what he loves most. Simply put, the man seeks calm waters that would permit him to return to and focus on his hunt! It is for this particular reason that I will also, and again with clear conscience, rebuke those who argue that they support Nasrallah because they believe he has “clean hands.”
For if those among the political elite who are said to have “dirty hands” were to allow Nasrallah to feel comfortable enough to return to his obsession, the Seyyid would give them free reign to pillage and plunder as much as they saw fit. He did it before, and he'll do it again.
No, Lebanon… Nasrallah is not the answer. No, Hizballah... Nasrallah is not even your answer either. The Southern front is no more. The only way you can open it back up is by destroying the country. Therefore, for your sake, and the sake of the country, I implore that you seek new leadership.