I know Hezbollah does bad things. I know I’m supposed to call them bad guys. I know I will be called names by suggesting that they are capable of doing anything even remotely good. I also know that Israel kills civilians. The US kills civilians. So I won’t call Hezbollah the bad guys. Nor will I call them the good guys.
This article is not meant to suggest that Hezbollah should be admired. So keep those kinds of comments to yourself, otherwise I will simply use my veto power to delete them and you will have wasted your time in trying to convince people that my message is that Hezbollah should be admired.
But Pres. Bush and the GOP and, indeed, all politicians in America can learn something from Hezbollah. I have listened to NPR in the morning and afternoon following the Israeli/Hezbollah battle. And I have heard stories that most conservatives and Republicans haven’t because they refuse to listen to NPR on the grounds that not treating Ann Coulter like the lobotomy patient she is proves they are tools of the Red Menace. Oh wait, there is no Red Menace anymore. Because they don’t listen to NPR and because they tend to get most of their news from Fox, I’m quite certain they didn’t hear the stories I heard and therefore they will be shocked to learn that Hezbollah actually can teach Pres. Bush something.
What can Pres. Bush learn from Hezbollah? The stories I heard were of victims of Israeli bombing raids; victims who were civilians. Now I know that supporters of Israel are convinced there is no such things as a civilian in southern Lebanon. I’m aware many people are just as convinced that every single Muslim in southern Lebanon is a terrorist as Rumsfailed was when he said he knew exactly where the WMDs would be found in Iraq. But guess what? Just as not every southerner is a member of the KKK, and not every African-American listens to rap music and not every conservative is an idiot and just as soldiers didn’t find any WMDs in those areas where Rumsfailed swore they were, so is it true that not every person who lives in southern Lebanon is an Islamic terrorist.
Civilian lives were upturned by the rockets sent by Israel. Israel killed Lebanese Muslim civilians. They destroyed the homes of Lebanese Muslim civilians. And Hezbollah’s response? Rather than taking money and sending it overseas to build roads and schools and homes in a foreign country, they instead gave these people money to find new homes. New clothes. They took money they have and they improved the lives of people whose lives were devastated. And do you know what they gained by doing that?
The kind of loyalty that Pres. Bush will never receive. The kind of loyalty that you don’t buy by scaring people. But Bush and the GOP will never understand that. They think they can enforce loyalty by frightening us with their little orange and red terror threats. They think by taking credit for a non-event that was actually accomplished by the British police that they can gain the kind of loyalty that Hezbollah gets by doing something that in this country would be considered positively radical: helping to immediately improve people’s lives.
Imagine the difference in loyalty that the survivors of Hurricane Katrina would feel toward Bush if instead of playing guitar at a rich buddy’s birthday party while thousands were living on their roofs without food and water he had instead been back in Washington bullying Senators and Congressmen into immediately releasing billions of dollars to give to people to rebuild. For that matter, consider the potential loyalty of Bush Survivors if even now, one year later, most of them had money in their hand to rebuild. Heck, he might not even have had to find a guy who ran for office as a Republican in order to find just one Katrina victim willing to go on camera and lie about what a great job he did.
Here’s the lesson that Bush can learn from Hezbollah. You inspire loyalty by helping people. Immediately. When they need it. If Bush were doing what Hezbollah was doing, not only would his approval ratings not be sinking nearer his IQ level, but the US military wouldn’t have to go send soldiers back to Iraq against their will. If Bush was helping out Americans the way that Hezbollah is helping out the victims of Israeli bombs, enlistment in the US military would be at an all time high. Because just as Hezbollah’s actions are unquestionably creating new terrorists, so would Bush be creating new soldiers willing to defend not just this country, but its President.