Thursday, January 17, 2013

Good Time Charlie

It was interesting to see Oliver Stone show a fragment from the 2007 movie, Charlie Wilson's War, to note how the US armed the Afghan mujahideen during the 1980s.  Apparently, one of the primary culprits was Charlie Wilson, who thought he was doing good to watch the movie.  But, this would ultimately become one of those snakes that would come back and bite you. 

The movie was no great shakes, but it was apparently based on a book by George Crile that came out a few years earlier.   Charlie Wilson comes across as a good ol' Texas boy in the movie, but to read his wiki bio, he seemed like a true blue Democrat.  Even though he had an unabashed taste for beautiful women, he championed equal right during the 70s.  But, unfortunately, when it came to Foreign Policy, it seems Charlie let himself be blindly led by rogue CIA operatives into regions he would have been well advised to stay out of.   Not only did he become a friend of the mujahideen, but supported thugs like Somoza in Nicaragua, which I well imagine was a deep sore point for Stone, who is an unabashed admirer of Daniel Ortega.

Judging by the bio, it seems that Tom Hanks' characterization of Wilson was PG-13 stuff.  Wilson was much more reckless, but I guess director Mike Nichols ultimately wanted to make Wilson a hero of sorts, at least someone who had his heart in the right place.

Looks like he imagined himself T.E. Lawrence in the mountains of Afghanistan, judging by the photo above.  Here's a short obituary from 2010.

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to me how Stone relies so heavily on movie clips in his Untold History. It seems his biggest gripe is with the way American history has been presented in Hollywood, which I suppose is what led him to make films like Salvador, Platoon, JFK, Nixon and W. That in itself would be fine, kind of like The Gunfighter Nation by Richard Slotkin. Instead, he seems to use films like Charlie Wilson's War to bolster his opinion.