“24” rings death-knell for UN peacekeeping

Like the UN didn’t have enough problems already… After Darfur and Congo, the blue helmets have to take on Jack Bauer. The two-hour prequel to the new series of 24, aired in the U.S. last weekend, appears to have been scripted by John Bolton:

JACK Bauer sustains the usual bumps and bruises in the long-awaited two-hour “24” movie on Fox, but it’s the United Nations that really takes it on the chin.

The producers of “24” evidently have zero respect for the UN. To hammer the point home, their two-hour movie – “24: Redemption,” premiering Sunday, Nov. 23 – includes a representative of a UN “peace-keeping” force who just might be the most spineless, loathsome character ever created for this show.

First, this weasel refuses to believe urgent, eyewitness accounts that heavily armed rebels in the fictional African country of Sangala are sweeping the countryside kidnapping schoolboys and forcing them to become soldiers in the rebel army.

Then, when some of the rebels come rolling up to the rural school where Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) has been helping a former Special Forces colleague (Robert Carlyle) work with orphans, the UN guy (played by Sean Cameron Michael) declares that he’ll pacify the rebels simply by chatting with them.

After catching a glimpse of them, however, he immediately runs to join the children in an underground shelter, leaving Jack to fend off the rebel group all by himself. As if that wasn’t cowardly enough, he later decides to save his own skin by telling the rebels where Jack and the children are hiding.

The producers took pains to make the UN rep look as foolish as possible, even though the impotence of the UN is not even a major plot point in this movie, whose real purpose is to set up the seventh season of “24,” scheduled to start, at long last, in January.

I’d quite like to see a version of “24” accurately depicting the UN’s impotence: tremble as Jack Bauer attempts to get a code cable agreed by all parties, and fails. Thrill as there is a dispute over whether Mr. Bauer can take non-insured personnel in a UN 4×4. Gasp as he has holds a multi-stakeholder workshop with the World Bank and European Commission…