'You can't beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people revenge-seeking. These days it only matters who's in charge. Right now that's us -for a while, at least. Our opponents are going to resort to car bombs and suicide attacks because they have no other way to win. . . . I believe [Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld] thinks this is a war that can be won, but there is no such thing anymore. We can't beat anyone anymore.' - George Clooney Speaking about the 2003 start to the Iraq war
He is certainly one of the most charismatic Hollywood Star’s of his generation and is one of only two people to have been given the title of 'Sexiest Man Alive' twice by People Magazine, first in 1997 and again in 2006. The Academy Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter, George Clooney gained fame as one of the lead doctors in the long-running television drama, ER (1994–99), as Anthony Edwards's character's best friend and partner, Dr. Douglas 'Doug' Ross. The former TV Star soon was to cross the threshhold onto the Big Screen with by balancing his glamorous performances in big-budget blockbusters like Ocean 11, 12 & 13 Batman & Robin, The PeaceMaker, From Dusk till Dawn, with work as a producer and director behind commercially riskier projects like Good Night & Good Luck, The Three Kings or O Brother, Where Art Thou? as well as social and political activism.
In September 2001 he also arranged a televised benefit concert called America: A Tribute to Heroes which aired ten days after the attacks. It was an event that gathered all of Hollywood’s greatest names aimed at boosting the Nation’s moral and try and bring comfort to the Twin Tower victim’s families and tribute to the ~ 2,974 deaths of the tragedy. As a committed human rights advocate, George Clooney was designated as a United Nations Messenger of Peace in January 2008. Using his global appeal and wide ranging talents as an actor, producer, screen writer and director, Mr. Clooney has focused public attention on crucial international political and social issues while diligently working to mobilize political action against the violence in Darfur.
The actor’s efforts toward ending the Darfur crisis have included a private trip with his father in 2006 to the war-torn region, as well as trips to China and Egypt, and serving as executive producer and narrator of a 2007 documentary, “Sand and Sorrow”. This documentary follows human rights activists as they visit refugee camps along the Chad-Sudan border and includes interviews with experts from Khartoum to London to New York that chronicle the ongoing tragedy. In September 2006, Clooney spoke to members of the Security Council at an “Arria formula” meeting along with Messenger of Peace Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. The “Arria formula” is a vehicle by which non-governmental actors can address the United Nations Security Council outside the official sessions.
In April 2007, Clooney and several other leaders in the United States film industry co-founded “Not On Our Watch,” a non-profit organization using influential people in the arts to capture global attention and resources as a way to combat mass atrocities around the world. Helping bring about a resolution to the Darfur crisis is the organization’s first official mission. As a Messenger of Peace, his role will be to help raise public awareness and support for United Nations peacekeeping efforts around the world.
Friends from Shiraz and Wishes to Visit Iran
Officially designated a 'messenger of peace' by the United Nations in late January, George Clooney told Voice of America's (VOA) Persian News Network that as part of his new assignment, he would like to visit Iran.
In a brief exchange with PNN international correspondent Katayoun Beglari-Scarlet at the UN ceremony marking his new role, Clooney added that he had an Iranian friend from Shiraz, one of Iran’s major cities known for its great epicurean poets inspired by its enchanting beauty and neighbor to the Ancient Capital of the Persian Empire: Persepolis. The award-winning film actor has spent the past few years campaigning to end the 4 1/2-year war in Darfur and to provide humanitarian assistance to the millions caught up in the conflict. According to the U.N., the actor is the ninth U.N. peace envoy and was selected 'for his ability to focus public attention on critical international political and social issues.'
With one in four adult Iranians tuning into a VOA show at least once a week. VOA has the largest combined radio and television audience of all international broadcasters in Iran, so this announcement will certainly not be ignored by Iranian authorities already challenged by the rising demands amongst the vast majority of Iranians (70% of which were born before the Revolution) for freedom, democracy and better relations particularly with the United States but also with the West in general. Clooney who supports Senator Barack Obama's bid to win the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential election, has been an outspoken democrat but has refused to nourish political division’s between Republican’s and Democrats on Human Right issues. During his campaign to raise awareness on the human casualties of the Darfur conflict he has equally approached senators and statesmen of both American parties.
Given the current nuclear crisis between Iran and the International community and particularly between Iran and the United States, Clooney may well be the right person to ease tensions between the two countries administrations be it while President Bush is still in power or the next likely Democrat President to be.
How much can the celebrated and much admired Hollywood Star contribute to solving the crisis is yet to be seen ? If Clooney won’t be the first Hollywood Star to visit Iran for Sean Penn preceded him as journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, unlike Penn however George Clooney seems however to appeal to both American Democrats and Republicans by staying above political rivalry despite having been unjustly targeted by the Bush administration and part of the conservative Press in the past for being opposed to the American War in Iraq. What is certain is that George Clooney has already shown a keen understanding of the complexities of the Middle East in such films like Three Kings ( Shot in the late 90’s) and more recently with his Oscar Awarded role in Syriana where the opening scene is set in Tehran. He also plans a movie based on the Hostage Crisis of 1979 entitled Escape from Tehran which is currently in development.
But after all I am sure many of our Iranian compatriots would agree that George would Love the Visit but just make sure you add “ashe reshte”, “gorme sabzy” and “bagalee polo” to the Menu for by some well informed sources (which I cannot reveal) He LOVE’S Persian Food. ;0)
Ironically George Clooney was also keen of playing the role of Persian King Xerxes but in an earlier project that was finally abandoned for Zack Snyder’s controversial movie 300. Too bad the project did not come to fulfillment but an Iran Visit by Hollywood’s Sexiest Star would certainly be his greatest peaceful conquest in what used to be the Land of Cyrus the Great the Founder of the First Charter of Human Rights some 25 centuries ago.
VIVE LE NOUVEAU MESSAGER DE LA PAIX !
VIVE LES DROITS DE L’HOMME !
VIVE GEORGE CLOONEY ! ;0)
George Clooney on New Role As U.N. Messenger of Peace Video
Interviewed by David Frost on Al Jazeera
George Clooney receives American Cinematheque Award
George Clooney’s Great Escape by Darius KADIVAR
Syriana breaks Iranian Stereotypes by Darius KADIVAR