Before No Country for Old Men I saw a preview of an upcoming film called Charlie Wilson’s War, based on the book of the same name. The trailer perplexed me. The movie is being marketed as one of those classic Hollywood “plucky visionary bucks the system” stories. Tom Hanks plays Charlie Wilson, a Democratic congresman from Texas who was instrumental in arming the mujahadeen in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Some people credit him with ending the Cold War, which makes him a funny subject for a Mike Nichols film scripted by Aaron Sorkin. I’m curious to see what kind of spin the film has because frankly from the previews I don’t get it.
There have been far reaching effects of the Afghan war that continue to haunt us to this day. So many of America’s current problems can be traced back to that conflict. America fostered Islamic radicalism by training and arming the mujahadeen, and this led directly to the rise Osama bin Laden and his ilk. So when I see a movie that seemingly celebrates the guy who pushed forward policy that backfired so disastrously, I have to scratch my head. My hope is that the film is smarter than its marketing but I must admit I am wary of Charlie Wilson’s War.