Peace through victory - the American way.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

24 And United 93

After watching tonight's episode of 24 you've got to wonder if President Logan is the real villain of this season's terrorist plot. His attempted justification to the Secretary of Defense for his involvement in the plot was pretty pathetic. His whining explanation that he cooperated with terrorists to secure oil from Central Asia in order to stop oil prices from going over $100 a barrel is too lame to be believed.

Maybe that's what the writers expect us to believe, however. They seem to be enamored of the idea that American corporate and big government criminals will do anything to get oil, especially from Central Asia. This is not the first time in the show that Americans have resorted to terrorism against their own government to secure an oil supply from that region. In a prior season the oil executives behind a terrorist plot were motivated by a desire to secure oil contracts from the Caspian Sea.

Yawn. This is tiresome.

How much more interesting it would be if President Logan were motivated by a more basic reason: pure, unadulterated, raw ambition. The kind of ambition that seeks total power and control over government. The kind of ambition that would lead a politician to do whatever it takes to get what he wants, including the assassination of political enemies, declaration of martial law, unleashing a nerve-gas attack on his own country. The kind of ambition that would lead a President to believe he should be an emperor and that the country would be better off as an empire and not a republic.

The idea that the President would play the lethal politics he's unleashed this season over cheap oil is just lazy writing. It's a throw-away explanation tossed into the story so the show can get back to its real strength: tense, fast-paced, action.

Two ads caught Mister Americano's eye while watching 24 tonight. The local news showed a teaser about an upcoming movie version of 24. The TV show is great entertainment. The real time restriction the producers impose on themselves works very well. There haven't been too many movies made using the real-time constraint. You've got to wonder if it will work in a two-hour movie. And what will the movie be called? 2? 120? On the other hand, an epic 24 hour-long movie would be groundbreaking cinema.

The other ad was the trailer for United 93. It's hard to understand the controversy over whether America is ready to see a movie about 9/11. There have been two docudramas on cable about the flight and neither generated an outcry against them.

More important, the United States is involved in a long and hard war against terrorism that is going to demand a lot more from Americans than being able to watch a two hour movie based on the events of 9/11. If Americans aren't ready to see a movie that shows the one victory we achieved on that day, we might as well just surrender now.

The story of Flight 93 is an inspirational tale of heroism. The passengers of Flight 93 sacrificed their lives to give America their only victory on September 11, 2001. This is a war in which America's enemy tries to make civilians into victims. The passengers of Flight 93 refused to die as victims. Instead they fought back and died as heroes.

The war we fight today against Islamist terrorists is the war the passengers of Flight 93 began. We owe it to them to win what they started.


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