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Jolie Admonishes Obama for Lack of Action on Darfur Slaughter

December 14, 2009
By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Count Angelina Jolie among Americans who are becoming disillusioned with President Obama, and she took her chagrin public in a big way.

The actress wrote a message to the president in an Op-Ed piece for Newsweek magazine questioning the lack of action from the Obama administration about the horror occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Jolie insists on greater action against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and other government officials responsible for the blatant violations of human rights in the country.

“Like many Americans, I support the administration's willingness to engage diplomatically, even with regimes we abhor. And I believe President Obama and his special envoy Scott Gration will do their best to bring peace to the region,” Jolie wrote.

“Their policy, though, raises a number of questions. How is the Obama administration's approach to Sudan an evolution of justice? In addition, when the administration says it intends to work to ‘improve the lives of the people of Darfur,’ I would like to know what that means, besides the obvious point that their lives could hardly get worse,” she said.

Evidently, even some residents of Malibu are finding it hard to reconcile this administration’s words with its actions.

“And what will be the precedent set for future leaders?” Jolie said. “Will they end up receiving high-level international attention, and remain free to pocket financial assistance and aid relief pouring into their country? Is there incentive for them to act with impunity or will they fear they'll be held accountable?”

In other words, is this criminal al-Bashir going to be held accountable for the mass slaughter of people in the Sudan?

While Angelina plays presidential adviser, Alec Baldwin plays a law professor.

Baldwin was invited to Harvard assistant professor Jeannie Suk's class to tell students about his experiences in the area of family law.

Baldwin, who has been involved in a high profile child custody case with former wife Kim Basinger, expressed his thoughts on the way the courts use incidents of bad behavior (such as hostile voice messaging) as evidence that a parent is unfit.

The actor used his personal circumstances to highlight gender biases in family law in a book he penned called “A Promise to Ourselves.”

Acting no longer interests him, Baldwin said, in announcing his plan to give it up after his “30 Rock” contract expires. He also has talked about returning to school to pursue a graduate degree.

Can you picture Baldwin strutting back and forth in a courtroom?

You can get a preview. He portrays an attorney in his latest movie, “It's Complicated.”

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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