R.I.P. Charlie Wilson - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-10-2010, 04:02 PM   #1
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R.I.P. Charlie Wilson

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Former congressman Charlie Wilson of Texas died Wednesday at age 76, a Texas hospital said.

The 12-term Democratic congressman, who served Texas' 2nd Congressional district, was pronounced dead at 12:16 p.m. after suffering cardiopulmonary arrest in the emergency room of Memorial Health System of East Texas, the Lufkin hospital said in a news release.

Tom Hanks portrayed the flamboyant congressman in the 2007 movie "Charlie Wilson's War," which told the story of Wilson's push to provide weapons to the mujahedeen after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Former congressman Charlie Wilson dead at 76 - CNN.com

R.I.P.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:19 AM   #2
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Weird. I just watched the film for the first time. Less than 12 hours ago!!! Quite a character.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Harry Vest View Post
Weird. I just watched the film for the first time. Less than 12 hours ago!!! Quite a character.
I also just watched it a week ago for the first time from Netflix.

Not a fantastic movie, but a very interesting guy. I'm curious how accurate the warning he (Tom Hanks) gave at the end about abandoning Afghanistan. It makes me wonder who else we are abandoning and pissing off these days.

I credit Charlie Wilson and Herb Brooks (1980 USA Hockey Coach) for defeating the Soviets along with Reagan.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:05 AM   #4
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RIP indeed. Though he was known for his womanizing and various other escapades, this often overshadowed the fact that he was an incredibly intelligent and pragmatic legislator who, unlike a certain President from Texas, truly had a curiosity of and interest in world affairs. The warning he gave was genuine, and he talked about the need to not abandon Afghanistan throughout the duration of our commitment to the mujahdeen. He understood that the vast majority of Muslims in Afghanistan were our friends now, and have no particular animosity against us in any case, but that once we left, the "crazies from Kandahar" as he called them would most certainly indoctrinate them with hatred toward the world's only remaining super power: America which, by the way, had just abandoned them. Wilson realized this would give them a practical talking point to sell their very dangerous ideology.

No one else had this foresight, I don't care if their name is Reagan or Bush or Lloyd Bentsen or Lee Hamilton or any other prominent Democrat, Republican or liberal/conservative analyst. No one. This was an incredibly smart man.

My uncle worked for him for years and basically, the movie gets it right. Wilson was a bipartisan deal maker who could get along with everyone, but had no trouble calling out unreasonable b.s. My uncle told me that the scene in the movie where he advises the guy who wants his help in burying a lawsuit against putting a cross on public property that it is "against a shitload of really good laws, for one," and that "move it to the Church next door and everyone lives" describes his style perfectly.

He had no tolerance or understanding for the emerging theocrat trend in Texas and elsewhere. He also thumbed his nose at the emerging "moral values" police who criticized his multiple affairs with attractive young women."I always point out to them I was not married at the time." You're damn right, and any self righteous critic in the same position, I don't care if "reverend" is before his name, would take the opportunity to sleep with attractive women 30 years their junior.

I had the privilege of meeting him not too long ago, in the Spring of 2008 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. He was a graduate in the same class as John McCain and when asked about him, made clear his personal respect and admiration for him and noted their cordial relationship when he was in Congress. He then went on to explain why he was supporting Obama with a very long, detailed discussion of politics in the Middle East that hit the Bush-McCain notion that we can just stay in Iraq forever and he dismissed as "reckless" talks of invading Iran absent a clear and present danger.

He was still sharp as a tack and hilarious. He joked to my girlfriend at the time that she could "have her sister give him a call," but somehow was able to do it in a completely charming way that did not offend her at all. I think it had something to do with the fact that she was a journalism major and he had a good 3 minute long intellectual talk with her about the news before that.

I was glad to have met Charlie Wilson, my brief encounter and everything I have read about him tells me he will be greatly missed!
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:33 AM   #5
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^Wow, cool.

I don't think I'd want a Congress full of Charlie Wilsons, but a dozen or so would help right about now.
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