Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Walking the talk

Actress Mia Farrow has offered to trade her freedom for that of an ailing Darfur rebel leader, so that he can be guaranteed safe passage out of a hospital to receive advanced medical care.

Considering how dangerous Darfur has become these days - especially for a woman - this is astonishing and very courageous. I can't help but wonder how many other people, famous or otherwise, would be willing to do the same?

Mia made the offer in a letter to Sudan's president on Sunday, by way of her website.

The rebel leader Suleiman Jamous, a moderate who has been a key link between Darfur rebels and aid workers in the war-torn Sudanese region, is in desperate need of medical care that cannot be provided in the war-torn country:

"As you are undoubtedly aware, Mr. Jamous is in need of a medical procedure that cannot be carried out in Kadugli," wrote Farrow, who has traveled to Darfur as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and signed her letter with that title.

"I am therefore offering to take Mr. Jamous's place, to exchange my freedom for his in the knowledge of his importance to the civilians of Darfur and in the conviction that he will apply his energies toward creating the just and lasting peace that the Sudanese people deserve and hope for," she wrote.

Humanitarian workers in Darfur consider Jamous the rebel leader most capable of guaranteeing the safety of their aid convoys, many of which have come under frequent attacks. Activists also believe that the moderate leader will likely help promote renewed negotiations between rebel groups and the government, after last year's peace deal failed to quell the ongoing violence.

Jamous is a leader of one of Darfur's largest rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army. He was seized last year by the Sudanese government, and then transferred for medical treatment to the U.N. hospital. He faces numerous threats from rival rebel chiefs and government forces, and Farrow's offer was intended to guarantee him safe passage. The government says he is free to go, but he fears government reprisals.

UPDATE: It appears no good deed goes unscoffed these days: according to a article today in the Sudan Tribune, Sudanese officials consider Farrow's offer 'silly' and don't plan to dignify it with a reply:

An unidentified Sudanese official speaking to Al-Sahafa daily refused to comment on Farrow’s letter saying it was “silly” and does not deserve a response.

Yesterday Sudan said it will allow Jamous to be moved without risk of arrest if the international community guarantees he will not rejoin armed rebels in Darfur.

Mia talks about 'giving her utmost' to confront genocide:

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