Charlie Wilson Dies

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charlie_wilson.jpgFormer US Congressman Charlie Wilson has died at age 76.
Wilson was a 12-term Member of the US House of Representatives representing Texas’ 2nd District.
Wilson’s strong advocacy of US support of mujahadeen in their quest to repel Soviet forces in Afghanistan were the subject of the book and movie “Charlie Wilson’s War”.
Wilson’s adoption of the anti-Soviet crusade in Afghanistan became the CIA’s largest covert operation and helped empower what are now the Afghan Taliban that American and allied forces are fighting today. After the Soviets withdrew, Wilson lamented the collapse of American interest in supporting the Afghan people as they tried to rebuild their society and lives.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

10 comments on “Charlie Wilson Dies

  1. Outraged American says:

    Maybe because Bin Laden wasn’t behind 911? The FBI is still NOT
    accusing Bin Laden of the 9/11 attacks. Look at the FBI’s website.
    This “War on Terror” is a bunch of complete bullshit. Make Israel
    one state and stop the power of the Zionist lobby in the US and the
    EU (the Russians were smart enough to kick the pro-Israel
    oligarchs out) and see how fast the world’s “terrorism” problem
    disappears.

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  2. Justaguy says:

    I recall Charlie Wilson’s War ending with a couple of pages on September 11th, noting that Wilson and the other main characters all felt unresponsable for the rise of al Queda. How you could write a book and make a movie about someone who made turning Afghanistan into the center of an international jihad movement and not address the fall out of that project in downtown NYC – in addition to the suffering it inflicted on the Afghan people themselves – is beyond me.
    The covert war against the Soviets involved turning a blind eye to Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapon program, funneling aid and money through the Pakistani ISI and recruiting the most extremest elements to fight the Soviets. All of those decisions are, in retrospect, completely insane.

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  3. Bart says:

    Oh, if we could re-collapse American interest in Afghanistan.

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  4. Dirk says:

    “Whatever Wilson may be have done to support the efforts of the Mujahadeen pales in comparison to what Jimmy Carter and Zbingnew Brzezinski did.
    It’s Carter and Brzezinski who created the Taliban. The two of them are to blame for much of what has come since.”
    WigWag is of course talking complete nonsense; Brzezinski conceived of the idea to enmesh the Soviets in their own Vietnam in Afghanistan, but did so by providing small arms to local Afghan resistance.
    When Reagan came to power and Wilson having read articles about Afghanistan all restraints were thrown to the wind. Pakistan’s ISI was enlisted to recruit Islamic fighters from all over the world and Wilson provided millions in pay and advanced weaponry and training to self same fighters. At this time the local resistance became the Mujahideen. The weapons they were now getting included Stinger missiles which later had to be bought back from them.
    The Taliban came much, much later in 1992 and these were Afghans that fought to oust the Mujahideen turned Warlords that had turned Afghanistan into a battlefield after the US completely lost interest in the country after the Soviets withdrew.
    See section on “Afghanistan”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zbigniew_Brzezinski
    See also:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cyclone
    See section on “Soviet-Afghan war”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Wilson_%28Texas_politician%29#Soviet-Afghan_war

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  5. Linda says:

    Charlie Wilson just retired when he was 64 years old and went back to Lufkin, TX. He didn’t start a lobbying firm or work as a lobbyist or feel the need to speak out on politics. This is from his Wiki:
    “Wilson retired from Congress in 1997 to live in Lufkin, Texas.[18] In February 1999, Wilson married Barbara Alberstadt, a ballerina he met at a party in Washington in 1980.
    In September 2007, after two months on an organ transplantation waiting list, Wilson received the heart of a 35-year-old donor. Years of heavy drinking may have put a strain on his heart; in 1985, he had been told by a doctor that he had 18 months to live.[19)”
    But this is the part I like best about his time in the Texas legislature:
    “For the next 12 years, Wilson made his reputation in the Texas legislature as the “liberal from Lufkin”, viewed with suspicion by business interests. He battled for the regulation of utilities, fought for Medicaid, tax exemptions for the elderly, the Equal Rights Amendment, and a minimum wage bill. He was also one of the few prominent Texas politicians to be pro-choice.”
    RIP, Charlie Wilson!

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  6. Tony Foresta says:

    My condolences to the Wilson family. My only
    question is where has this guy been since the
    fascists in the bushgov stole the first election??
    Obviously, – this man would have some insight into
    the contacts and structure of the mujahadeen, and
    their operators, including bin Laden. Why the
    deafening silence?????

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  7. WigWag says:

    Wilson’s adoption of the anti-Soviet crusade in Afghanistan became the CIA’s largest covert operation and helped empower what are now the Afghan Taliban that American and allied forces are fighting today. (Steve Clemons)
    The covert operations Steve is mentioning took place mostly between 1980 and 1983. Wilson’s effort to arm the mujahadeen began during the time Jimmy Carter was President and continued during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.
    Whatever Wilson may be have done to support the efforts of the Mujahadeen pales in comparison to what Jimmy Carter and Zbingnew Brzezinski did.
    It’s Carter and Brzezinski who created the Taliban. The two of them are to blame for much of what has come since.
    Rest in peace, Charlie Wilson!

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  8. Mr.Murder says:

    Interestingly enough, Dan Rather did location coverage in the Mujahadeen’s heyday.
    How exactly does someone from the New York flagship network link up with cave dwellers who happen to have CIA advisory support, anyways?
    Perhaps any corrsepondence between Rather and Wilson(R-Tx) would explain how. Rather was from Texas…

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  9. Don Bacon says:

    The US is extremely fortunate that Charlie Wilson was a one-off, for if there were a copy of him on the other side offering MANPADS* to anti-NATO forces there would be hell to pay, what with the current reliance on airborne movement, logistics and air support.
    *Man-portable air-defense systems, which are plentiful in the world

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  10. John Robert BEHRMAN says:

    There is a bigger and more relevant story today than Charlie Wilson’s War. But, Charlie was quite a guy and that was a Hell of a story.
    Most Texas politicians of his era were reckless with women, money or both. But, I am not sure they were usually as principled or courageous.
    I was just a slide-rule nerd, but I admired this guy and secretly wanted to be like him.
    ::JRBehrman

    Reply

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