Jan 15 2007
The second two hours of the premiere of 24 was truly rivetting. To me the most jarring moment was when Jack had to kill Curtis. Again, we see the up-until-now prime example of a good American taken over by vengeance and hate. Consumed to the point of endangering everyone else. I cannot help but see the ghost of partisan obsession in that lesson, and I expect we will see more. The lesson is clear: if we decide to discard compromise we risk something much worse. Compromise cannot be seen as preferable over attack and bloodshed. But to many partisans it is. Too many liberals are ready to run from Iraq because they cannot or will not face the ramifications of such a short sighted move.
And many conservatives went over the top in refusing to give an inch to anyone remotely Arab or Muslim. I still cannot forget when I became a Bush conservative and in easy opposition to the Republican Congress. It was over the Dubai Ports deal where fear and bias superceded security. Just like Bauer and the President in this made up story must deal with Assad to stop Americans from dying, the US faced an even easier decision in the Dubai Ports deal. In return for running US port berths (not the ports themselves) using US managers and personnel the UAE was prepared to spend THEIR MONEY to install state of the art Cargo scanning systems at every port they support – many of which are prime entries into the US market. Every Democrat and Republican moaning about container security better not have denigrated the DPW deal – because that deal included a massive increase in inspection capabilities at the point of departure, not here in the US.
As usual 24 is present hard questions with no good answers. There is no “EASY” button in real life. We must not let emotion and fear cloud our judgement. And we can never negotiate with terrorists. That family learned that lesson and President Palmer is learning it – too slowly. Anyone looking for quick and easy solutions is delusional and not worth listening too. All tough decisions are ugly and imperfect. It was thought 9-11 had shook us from the liberal fantasy world of easy answers, where everyone is above average and upper class. Apparently we still have much to learn and a fictionalized TV show is giving us all a good opportunity to contemplate the world as it would be with Al Qaeda running Iraq.