Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
Gust Avrakotos: There's a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse... and everybody in the village says, "how wonderful. The boy got a horse" And the Zen master says, "we'll see." Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, "How terrible." And the Zen master says, "We'll see." Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight... except the boy can't cause his legs all messed up. and everybody in the village says, "How wonderful."
Charlie Wilson: Now the Zen master says, "We'll see."
Charlie Wilson: These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world... and then we fucked up the endgame.
Joanne Herring: Why is Congress saying one thing and doing nothing?
Charlie Wilson: Well, tradition mostly.
Charlie Wilson: You're no James Bond.
Gust Avrakotos: You're no Thomas Jefferson, either. Let's call it even.
Charlie Wilson: You know you've reached rock bottom when you're told you have character flaws by a man who hanged his predecessor in a military coup.
[last title card]
Title card: "These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world...
Title card: ...and then we fucked up the end game." - Charlie Wilson
Gust Avrakotos: [after smashing his boss's office window] My loyalty! For twenty four years people have been trying to kill me! People who know how. Now do you think that's because my dad was a Greek soda pop maker? Or do you think that's because I'm an American spy? Go fuck yourself, you fucking child!
Gust Avrakotos: Promises were made!
Cravely: Not by me.
Gust Avrakotos: I've been with the company for twenty-four years. I was posted in Greece for fifteen. I've advised and armed the Hellenic Army. I've neutralized champions of communism. I've spent the past three years... learning *Finnish!* Which would come in handy here in Virginia, and I'm never ever sick at sea. So I wanna know why... I'm not gonna be your Helsinki station chief.
Zvi: You want me to steer Israel towards an arms deal with Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia?
Charlie Wilson: Yes.
Zvi: Well, just one or two problems with that, just off the top of my head.
Charlie Wilson: Zvi...
Zvi: Afghanistan and Pakistan don't recognize our right to exist, we just got done fighting a war against Egypt, and everyone who has ever tried to kill me or my family has been trained in Saudi Arabia!
Gust Avrakotos: That's not true, Zvi. Some of them were trained by us.
Charlie Wilson: You mean to tell me that the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is to have the Afghans keep walking into machine gun fire 'til the Russians run out of bullets?
Gust Avrakotos: That's Harold Holt's strategy, it's not U.S. strategy.
Charlie Wilson: What is U.S. strategy?
Gust Avrakotos: Well, strictly speaking, we don't have one. But we're working hard on that.
Charlie Wilson: Who's 'we'?
Gust Avrakotos: Me and three other guys.
Joanne Herring: May I ask what it is that I've done to make you dislike me, Mr. Avrakotos?
Gust Avrakotos: I like you just fine, Mrs. Herring, it's just been my experience that when people with money and too much free time get involved in politics, pretty soon, I forget who it is I'm supposed to be shooting at.
Charlie Wilson: I cannot just call up a judge and tell him what to do.
Larry Liddle: Why?
Charlie Wilson: Well cause it's against... a shitload of really good laws Garry...
Charlie Wilson: What's the gift for?
Gust Avrakotos: It's from the Afghan desk for doubling the budget for the Mujahadeen.
Charlie Wilson: Well, thank you.
Gust Avrakotos: It was nothing.
Charlie Wilson: It's a nice bottle of scotch. Must have been hard to get.
Gust Avrakotos: No, doubling the budget was nothing. Ten million dollars for covert ops against the Russian army is meaningless. What are you, an infant?
Charlie Wilson: First off, I'd appreciate it if you didn't throw my name around quite so much, because from time to time I use it myself, and I need it in good condition.
Charlie Wilson: Were you standing at the goddamn door listening to me? How could you even - That is a thick door! You stood there and you listened to me?
Gust Avrakotos: I didn't stand at the door. Don't be an idiot. I bugged the Scotch bottle.
Charlie Wilson: What!
Gust Avrakotos: It's got a little transmitter on it, I've got a little thing in my ear, get past it.
Gust Avrakotos: Yeah, well I'd like to take a moment to review the several ways in which you're a douche bag?
Charlie's Angel #4: The Congressman has never been to rehab. They don't serve whisky at rehab.
Charlie Wilson: Do you drink, Mr. Avrakotos?
Gust Avrakotos: Oh God yes.
Charlie Wilson: Well, then, should we try some of this scotch, or is it going to release Sarin gas?
Gust Avrakotos: Well, I don't think so, but do me a favor and open it over there
[points away from him]
Zvi: This meeting it going to be run professional.
Gust Avrakotos: Oh absolutely. We're going to be talking to the Deputy Defense Minister while his boss gets a belly dance from a friend of Charlie's.
Charlie Wilson: A friend of mine is a well known belly dances in Texas. It's always been her dream to perform in Egypt, so she's our way in. While she's dancing for the Defense Minister, we'll be talking to the deputy.
Zvi: Oh my God.
Gust Avrakotos: No, she's supposed to be pretty good
Joanne Herring: Are you Catholic, Mr. Avrakatos?
Gust Avrakotos: Greek Orthodox.
Joanne Herring: Still a Christian, though.
Gust Avrakotos: Imagine my relief.
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 civilian is being given our highest recognition: that of honored colleague. Ladies and gentlemen of the clandestine services, congressman Charles Wilson.
Joanne Herring: What's your problem with me?
Gust Avrakotos: You know, I've found, in my business, that when people with time on their hands get involved in politics, I start forgetting who I'm supposed to be shooting at.
Gust Avrakotos: And with Doc's backing, you'll get the votes of the other committee members.
Charlie Wilson: Yep.
Gust Avrakotos: I don't believe you.
Charlie Wilson: I don't care.
Gust Avrakotos: It's called the Milan Anti-Tank Missile.
Charlie Wilson: Can the Afghans win without it?
Gust Avrakotos: No.
Charlie Wilson: End of discussion.
Charlie Wilson: Well, Jesus, Donnelly. Everyone in town knows I'm on the other side of that issue.
Charlie Wilson: Yeah!
Gust Avrakotos: The Swiss-made Oerlikon STA antiaircraft cannon - that's what you'd use to shoot down an Mi-24 HIND gunship in the mountains, right.
Mike Vickers: Well, the Oerlikon's a good start, but the Russians would just start flying higher-altitude missions.
Charlie Wilson: So what else do they need?
Mike Vickers: Same thing they'd give us: AK-47s, AK-74s, AKMS. The Soviets didn't come into Afghanistan on a Eurail pass, they came in T-55 tanks. The fighters need RPG-7 antitank grenade launchers, Katyusha 170-millimeter rockets, wire mines, plastic mines, bicycle bombs, sniper rifles, ammunition for all of the above, and frequency-hopping radios and burst transmitters so these guys aren't so fucking easy to find. I've written it all in a report you can read; you'd be the first one who did.
Joanne Herring: [Joanne has just told Bonnie to get her a cocktail] She doesn't like me.
Charlie Wilson: Everybody likes you.
Joanne Herring: She's a liberal.
Charlie Wilson: I'm a liberal.
Joanne Herring: [puts her hand on his butt] Not where it counts.
Zvi: I love you, Charlie, but you are a grown man who still hasn't learned to look both ways before he crosses the fucking street!
[he glares at Charlie]
Zvi: Alright, I'll help you.
[he turns and looks at Avrakotos]
Zvi: But I don't like this guy!
Charlie Wilson: I know exactly how you feel.
Charlie Wilson: I stood in Harold Holt's office in Islamabad, and I offered him the keys to the safe. I said to him, "What do you need?" And I was apparently annoying him.
Gust Avrakotos: Well, that's because Harold Holt is a tool. He's a cake-eater, he's a clown, he's a bad station chief, and I don't like to cast aspersions on a guy, but he's going to get us all killed.
Charlie Wilson: This thing is going to get done by the CIA and it's going to get done quietly.
President Zia: You have authority to do this?
Charlie Wilson: [shrugging] None what so ever.
Joanne Herring: I mean, how did you get into the CIA?
Gust Avrakotos: I don't work for the CIA, I work for the Department of Agriculture.
Joanne Herring: Fruit and Plant Division?
Gust Avrakotos: More specifically, apple imports
Joanne Herring: Charlie, I want you to defeat the Soviet Union, and end the Cold War.
Charlie Wilson: O-K!
Charlie Wilson: How old are you?
Mike Vickers: I'll be 30 next week.
Charlie Wilson: This is CIA's weapons expert?
Gust Avrakotos: One of them.
Charlie Wilson: But he's the most senior.
Gust Avrakotos: Look...
Chess Player #1: Mike!
Mike Vickers: Yeah, bishop to queen's knight 7.
Gust Avrakotos: See, he's playing without even looking at the board.
Charlie Wilson: That's a useful skill... if Afghanistan's ever invaded by Boris Spassky.
President Zia: [Pakistani President Zia agrees to accept Israeli transfers of seized Soviet weapons to the Afghan resistance] Pakistan and Israel would have to appear to be enemies in the public eye.
Charlie Wilson: [pause] Yeah, I don't think that's a tough sell.
Gust Avrakotos: There's this story of the Old Zen Master...
President Zia: Do you have the authority to do this?
Charlie Wilson: No, I'm actually in danger of breaking the Logan Act.
President Zia: ...I don't know what that is.
Charlie Wilson: By the way, I love Jesus Christ and his mother Mary as much as anybody. About 38 churches you could move that creche to, everybody lives.
Gust Avrakotos: [after smashing the window] How was I?
[typist smiles and gives a thumbs-up]
Gust Avrakotos: ... Thank-you.
Cravely: You tell me to go fuck myself and I'm supposed to apologize. You break my window, I'm supposed to apologize?
Gust Avrakotos: The Helsinki job was mine!
Cravely: The Helsinki job was not yours. If it was yours, you'd be in Helsinki.
Gust Avrakotos: Alan Wolfe stood in this office...
Cravely: Alan Wolfe is no longer the director...
Gust Avrakotos: It was on the books.
Cravely: Alan Wolfe is no longer the director of European Operations. He does not make those appointments. I do.
Gust Avrakotos: Promises were made!
Cravely: Not by me.
Gust Avrakotos: I've been with the company for 24 years! I was posted in Greece for 15! Papandreou wins that election if I don't help the Junta take him prisoner! I've advised and armed the Hellenic Army! I've neutralized champions of Communism! I've spent the past 3 years learning Finnish which should come in handy here in Virginia! And I'm never ever sick at sea! So I wanna know why I'm not gonna be your Helsinki Station Chief.
Cravely: You're coarse.
Gust Avrakotos: Excuse me?
Cravely: For Helsinki I need someone with diplomatic skills. You don't have them.
Gust Avrakotos: Is that right?
Cravely: That is right. And I don't know why the hell I didn't fire you when you broke my fucking window!
Cravely: I'm sorry but you can hardly blame the director for questioning the loyalty to America of people that are barely Americans in the first place.
Gust Avrakotos: Yeah, well, I'd like to take a moment to review the several ways in which you're a douchebag.
Cravely: Get the fuck out of my office before I end your career, asshole!
Gust Avrakotos: Yes, sir!
[to the maintenance guy fixing the window]
Gust Avrakotos: Yeah, my friend, I'm gonna need you for a second.
[smashes the window]
Cravely: [shouting] Goddamn it!
Gust Avrakotos: My loyalty? For 24 years people have been trying to kill me. People who know how. Now, do you think that's because my dad was a Greek soda pop maker? Or do you think it's because Im an American spy? Go fuck yourself, you fucking child!
Gust Avrakotos: Until the phone rang this morning Charlie, I did not know I never heard of you.
Charlie Wilson: Well, ask around.
Gust Avrakotos: I did.
Charlie Wilson: What'd you find out?
Gust Avrakotos: That your greatest legislative achievement in six terms, is getting reelected five times.
Charlie Wilson: Anything else?
Gust Avrakotos: That you hold more IOU's than any member of the House.
Charlie Wilson: [laughs and smiles] How about that.
Charlie Wilson: [Calling his all female office staff together] Jailbait!
Gust Avrakotos: As long as the press sees sex and drugs behind the left hand, you can park a battle carrier behind the right hand and no one's gonna fucking notice.
Charlie Wilson: Joanne Herring: "I miss you Charlie." Charlie Wilson: "Oh Joanne... I always miss you."
Cravely: Ok. I know it was difficult for you to come in here hat in hand, that's not the kind of... upbringing, I guess is the word I'm looking for, it's not the kind of man you are. I understand that. I'm not looking to humiliate you or exact a price in any way so why don't you just apologize? We'll call it water under the dam and we'll go about our business.
Gust Avrakotos: Excuse me? What the fuck?
Gust Avrakotos: What the fuck are you talking about?
Cravely: Clair George said you were coming in here to apologize.
Gust Avrakotos: I'm supposed to come in here so you could apologize to me.
Cravely: According to whom?
Gust Avrakotos: Clair George.
Cravely: You told me to go fuck myself. I'm supposed to apologize to you?
Gust Avrakotos: Also water goes over a dam and under a bridge, you poncy school boy.
Cravely: Clearly there's been a miscommunication between Clair George and somebody.
Gust Avrakotos: You know, me and three other guys are killing Russians. Is it possible that I met the only elected official in town who can help me?
Larry Liddle: Miss?
Charlie's Angel #1: Yes sir?
Larry Liddle: It seems to me lookin' around, that it's almost all women workin' here; and that they're all very pretty. Is that common?
Charlie's Angel #1: Well... Congressman Wilson, he has an expression. He says uhh, "You can teach 'em to type, but you can't teach 'em to grow tits."
Larry Liddle: Well, that's... charming.
Cravely: And I don't know why the hell I didn't fire you when you broke my fucking window.
Gust Avrakotos: Oh yes sure you do Cravely.
Cravely: Look Gust!
Gust Avrakotos: Yeah you're fucking Roger's fiance, and you know I know.
Cravely: I'm not... I'm not... I'm not even gonna dignify that with a response.
Gust Avrakotos: Yeah yeah, you're dignifying her in the ass, at the Jefferson Hotel, Room 1210, but let me ask you, the 3000 agents Turner fired, was that because they lacked diplomatic skills as well?
CIA Award Presenter: So, for the first time, a civilian is being given our highest recognition, that of Honored Colleague. Ladies and gentlemen of the Clandestine Services, Congressman Charles Wilson.
Charlie Wilson: Soon God will be on both sides of this War.
Board Member: Who wants to build a school in Pakistan?
Charlie Wilson: Afghanistan!
Mike Vickers: I've written it all in a report you can read. You'd be the first one who did.
Joanne Herring: Go fight this war, Charlie. Everything possible is on the line - including your manhood!
Joanne Herring: He may be in trouble with the press, but he stayed out of jail. You don't see God's hand in this?
Gust Avrakotos: Well reasonable people can disagree, but I don't see God anywhere within miles of this. On the other hand, if you slept with me tonight, I bet you I could change my mind in a hurry.
Gust Avrakotos: I'm reading transcripts of phone conversations between French and German generals arguing over office space at NATO headquarters, and analysing wire-taps out of Mercury Bay, New Zealand. You know, historically, a hotbed of anti-American activity.
President Zia: I don't need courtesy. I need airplanes, guns and money.
Charlie Wilson: Well, we just doubled the CIA's budget for covert ops.
Brigadier Rashid: From five million to ten million.
Charlie Wilson: That's right!
Colonel Mahmood: Is that a joke?
Charlie Wilson: No!
Brigadier Rashid: Is that meant to be a funny joke?
Charlie Wilson: No sir!
President Zia: Congressman, what they are saying is that ten million dollars from the United States to fight the Russian army is such a low figure that it can be mistaken for a joke.
Charlie Wilson: I... I caught on to the sarcasm, sir.
Charlie's Angel #4: The Washington Post wants to know what you thought of your time in rehab.
Charlie Wilson: And what did you tell them?
Charlie's Angel #4: That the Congressman didn't go to rehab because they don't serve whiskey there.
Charlie Wilson: That's why you're my press secretary, boo-boo!
Charlie Wilson: Who is running the thing? Who is the prosecutor?
Charlie's Angels - Suzanne: Uh... Rudolph Giuliani, New York, Southern District.
Bonnie Bach: Do you know him?
Charlie Wilson: No.
Charlie Wilson: She always wanted to be a dancer but it was against her religion.
Brigadier Rashid: What religion is that?
Charlie Wilson: She's Baptist.
Charlie Wilson: Congressmen aren't elected by voters, Joanne, they're elected by contributors!