In the early 1980s, Charlie Wilson is a womanizing US congressional representative from Texas who seemed to be in the minor leagues, except for the fact that he is a member of two major foreign policy and covert-ops committees. However, prodded by his major conservative supporter, Houston Socialite Joanne Herring, Wilson learns about the plight the people are suffering in the brutal Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. With the help of the maverick CIA agent, Gustav "Gust" Avrakotos, Wilson dedicates his canny political efforts to supply the Afghan mujahideen with the weapons and support to defeat the Soviet Union. However, Charlie Wilson eventually learns that while military victory can be had, there are other consequences and prices to that fight that are ignored to everyone's sorrow.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
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CIA Award Presenter:
The defeat and break up of the Soviet empire, culminating in the crumbing of the Berlin wall, is one of the great events of world history. There were many heroes in this battle but to Charlie Wilson must go this special recognition. Just thirteen years ago the Soviet army appeared to be invincible. But Charlie, undeterred, engineered a lethal body blow that weakened the communist empire. Without Charlie, history would be hugely and sadly different. And so for the first time a ...
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The filmmakers neglected to connect the dots--that is, the sequence of events and choices that led from Charlie Wilson and the anti-Soviet mujaheddin to Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden and eventually to 9/11. The filmmakers of course neglect to tell us the back-story--why were the Soviets in Afghanistan?--but that omission pales in comparison to their failure to reveal that support for Islamicist extremists in Afghanistan in the name of rabid anti-communism ultimately strengthened the hand of anti-western forces and was a big contributing factor to the mess that we find ourselves in today (9/11, terrorist networks, a prolonged ground war in Afghanistan, etc.). Because these consequences are not spelled out, the movie leaves the viewer feeling sympathetic to Mr. Wilson (hey, check out his latest projects on the Internet) instead of seeing him as an individual whose actions were contrary to the best interests of his country and the West as a whole.
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