Charlie Wilson's War

Congressman Who Backed Afghan Fighters Against the Soviets Dies


Congressman Who Backed Afghan Fighters Against the Soviets Dies

Jeff Seldin | Washington, DC 11 February 2010

Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson

A former U.S. lawmaker who played a key role in the ouster of Soviet forces from Afghanistan has died.

Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson helped funnel millions of dollars to fund Afghan fighters during the 1980s.

He was known around Washington as "Good Time Charlie" for his love of drinks and women, and his life story became a Hollywood movie starring famed actor Tom Hanks.

The 2007 film "Charlie Wilson's War" introduced a new generation to the exploits of Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson and his role in shaping the future of Afghanistan.

Wilson was a member of the Appropriations Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, and used his position to help buy Afghan fighters weapons, including Stinger missiles, that inflicted heavy damage on Soviet gunships.

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The movie Charlie Wilson's War is good light hearted entertainment which can also trigger a serious discussion about a pivotal and painful event in recent history. It is based on a book which records the true story, a sober, almost unbelievable account of one man's power to earmark billions of dollars with the help of the Speaker of the House whose motivation was to protect a "good buddy" from embarrassment.

Charlie Wilson, described by Molly Ivins as a "pussy hound" is a swashbuckling, heavy drinking, dope sniffing all American Texan that the guys in the bar can admire.

When told stories of the Soviets cutting the throats of children and bayoneting babies in the wombs of Afghan women, Charlie appropriately weeps.

After brief moments of culture at the Kennedy Center he works out sexually in his well placed Washington apartment. We cheer for Charlie and hope that he'll stay sober and score big.