Haleh Esfandiari, held since early May, has been released from her Iranian captors. Quiet, behind the scenes diplomacy is credited for her release, including a letter from the Woodrow Wilson International Center's Lee Hamilton. Esfandiari is the Iranian American Scholar for the D.C. think tank, the Director of the Middle East Center of the institute. The 67 year old grandmother was in the country visiting her 93 year old mother, who had to mortgage her apartment for bail for Esfandiari, as part of the release agreement. Esfandiari has been accused of supporting the demise of the political leadership.
Tonight a three part series on religion begins, brought to us by the folks at CNN and the cable news network's shining star international reporter, Christiane Amanpour. "God's Warriors"
will feature a different religion each night. Her angle is to interview the more extreme sides of Judiasm, Christianity and Islam. Tonight begins with Judiasm.
I don't know if I have the stomach for her 'journalism' any more. She's spent eight months working on this, according to her interview promoting this series I read in the Houston Chronicle. For tonight's segment, she went to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, occupied territory. "These are religious people who really believe they're chosen, that this is their Promised Land," she said. Wow, what ground breaking insight, Christiane. Also on the agenda tonight is a segment on the U.S. Zionists, featuring a New York state legislator and his wife who raise money to support the settlements. Also, she interviews evangelical Christians working for the same cause because they believe the Jewish settlement is ordained by God.
Tomorrow night will the the religion of Islam, as portrayed by Muslim activism. She went to Iran and interviewed a sect that dons black robes and scarves that allow only part of women's faces to peek out. She costumed up herself.
Thursday night focuses on Christians and was filmed solely in the U.S.. She went from D.C. to Washington state , Virginia and Minnesota. "I've had never inquired into the nuts and bolts of how Christian conservatives operate here in the U.S.", she said. "We tend to look at them like some exotic subspecies, while they're actually a huge segment of the population here. They have huge impact, and we can't afford to treat them as a sort of loony fringe. I think that's quite clear." Again, wow, Christiane. You're killing me with your analytical brilliance.
About time she shed some of the intellectual superiority she possesses, in her mind anyway, and looked at the real world. She loves to speak of her life, "I've lived my personal life in a multi ethnic, multi faith, multicultural environment," she gushes, "And I've spent my professional life dealing with the opposite, covering wars based on divisions among faiths."
Amanpour, 49, was raised in Tehran by her Catholic mother and Muslim father. She was educated in Iran, England and the U.S. and is based in London. She is married to Jamie Rubin, a Jewish American, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, for President Clinton. She was Maddie Notsobright's right hand man. You know how terrific and smart they were, don't you?
Typical elitist babble in the publicity tour. We'll see how she does.
"You've given a new meaning to higher education." - NASA control room to the astronaut Barbara Morgan, upon the landing of the Shuttle Endeavor at KSC today.