Saturday, March 10, 2012

Films To While Away The Class Struggle By- A Slice Of Cold War History- “Charlie Wilson’s War”

DVD Review

Charlie Wilson’s War, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, directed by Mike Nichols, 2007

Recently I made a short comment on a political blog after viewing this film and reading a long review that gave the real details behind the CIA efforts and the long-term political implications behind the maneuvers that Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson used to get secret appropriations to fund the mujahedeens in Afghanistan back in the earlier 1980s, the previous heyday of American covert operations around the world in the early years of the Reagan administration. In that comment I noted that the reviewer made all the key points about the political meaning of this film, including the obvious ones that there was disturbing absence of context about who these 8th century- loving mujahedeen “allies” were and, more importantly, their political program (other than the obvious anti-Soviet one) that Congressman Wilson was so earnestly attempting to help and why the then legally-constituted secular government in Kabul sought out help from the Soviets against this threat. But those are merely just ‘little’ picky points now, right?

I would only add that in politics, any kind of politics, as the American government now has been learning under successive Republican and Democratic administrations in relationship to Afghanistan under different circumstances than those portrayed in the film- the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. I believe that you learn that basic lesson in your youthful schoolyard days, no later. Ouch! The only other point worth noting is that Congressman Wilson surely deserved the citation from the American governmental “combined intelligences services” for his services on their behalf in long ago Afghanistan. However, the rest of us are still living with the fall-out from his “innocent” escapades.

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