Nasrallah Under Pressure

War with Israel made Hizballah's chief an Arab idol, but things are about to get a lot trickier

By the standards of Arab strongmen, Hassan Nasrallah is a charmer. In televised appearances made from the undisclosed location where he shelters from Israeli bombs, the Hizballah leader appears more soothing than bellicose. There is none of Saddam Hussein's finger wagging or Yasser Arafat's eye-bulging lectures or Osama bin Laden's hectoring sneer. Instead, Nasrallah reads deliberately from notes, occasionally swallowing as if to catch his breath. Every so often, he looks into the camera and flashes a smile.

Nasrallah is having a good war. By surviving Israel's aerial onslaught and fighting its army to a standstill, Nasrallah, 46, has staked a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!