Missing Jack Bauer
Vol: 113 Issue: 2 Wednesday, February 2, 2011
One of the most popular television series of the 21st century (so far) is the now-cancelled action series, “24” starring Kiefer Sutherland as federal super-agent Jack Bauer.
The program was also very popular at the Bush White House – it got mentioned a lot on the daily talk shows, particularly during the early years when America was engaged in a war on terror.
The series made its debut in 2002 and ran for eight seasons, ending in May, 2010. It had to end when it did.
What had been believable during the Bush administration – the idea of no-holds-barred combat against a determined enemy – ended with the Bush administration.
When the country elected Barack Obama, 24’s producers struggled with how to keep Jack Bauer relevant – even having him convert to Islam – but there was nothing that could be done to rehabilitate Jack Bauer.
In a case of art imitating life, Season 7 had Jack Bauer testifying before a Senate subcommittee intent on criminalizing Bauer’s actions in defense of America.
In the series, Bauer’s extra-legal activities prevented several massive terror attacks, some involving nuclear weapons, others biological, saving hundreds of thousands, if not millions of American lives.
It was necessary to write that part into the series because that was exactly the same thing that the real Senate was holding hearings to decide whether to prosecute Bush administration officials for torturing Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
Like Jack Bauer, the tactics employed by these officials prevented several massive terror attacks, saving uncounted and uncountable Americans from death and destruction.
Like Jack Bauer, instead of being rewarded as patriots, they barely escaped being sent to prison.
If America ever really did have a Jack Bauer, he was cancelled a year before the series was. If Barack Obama had a Jack Bauer, perhaps he wouldn’t be making headlines today as the US President That Lost Egypt.
But Barack Obama and Jack Bauer cannot exist in the same universe. One of them had to go, and obviously, it wasn’t going to be the newly-elected president.
And without Jack Bauer, there wasn’t anybody to warn the newly-elected president that the bad guys don’t play by any particular rulebook.
That’s why the only successful al-Qaeda attacks on America since 9/11 came after Obama came and America’s Jack Bauers went.
Town Hall columnist Ben Shapiro explained today in his column why America Always Gets Revolutions Wrong.
Since the Woodrow Wilson administration, American presidents have consistently mishandled revolutions abroad: Russia, Italy, Germany, Korea, Cuba, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, Honduras, among others. Those failures stem from two conflicting notions embraced by liberal American presidents since Wilson.
First, liberal presidents champion the ideas of “self-determination” — the idea that all populations have to decide their own future without extraneous help. Second, liberal presidents support the practical separation of civilian populations from the governments they elect.
Shapiro notes that this dichotomy creates its own Catch-22. We’ve discussed it in previous briefs as well. After Israel pulled out of Gaza, the Palestinians held a free and fair election – and chose Hamas!
Both of these principles are fictions. And working in tandem, they have crippled America’s foreign policy, creating a catch-22: populations are supposed to pick their leaders without imperialist/colonialist interference, but those same populations cannot be held responsible for the leaders they pick. . . .
Instead of facing that fact, the United States under President Obama has chosen to legitimize Hamas by ripping Israel as intransigent.
Now the pattern is repeating itself in Egypt. President Obama’s administration has taken the conflicting position that Hosni Mubarak is not a dictator, but that he must make way for democratic reforms.
Obama’s minions have stated that the Egyptian people seek freedom, even as they parlay with the Muslim Brotherhood (Obama has kowtowed to the brotherhood himself, inviting them to his 2009 Cairo speech).
Bereft of a Jack Bauer, Obama was seemingly blindsided by the explosion across the Middle East.
In barely one week, Tunisia’s government has fallen, Jordan’s government has been fired and replaced, Mubarak has promised to step down, and this morning, Yemen’s president announced he was leaving office.
Sigh. I miss Jack Bauer.