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Former Rep. Charlie Wilson dead at 76

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Former Rep Charlie Wilson, the East Texas Democrat who successfully funneled millions of dollars in covert aid to the Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan during the 1980's has died at age 76 in Lufkin, TX, apparently of cardiac arrest.

"Good Time Charlie" established an early D. C. reputation as a hard-partying womanizer (he publicly referred to Rep. Patsy Schroeder as "Congresswoman Babycakes" and Rep. Bella Abzug as "Toots") but later distinguished himself as a strong supporter of the US military and a die-hard opponent of global Communist expansion.

Wilson's efforts to bring about the defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan were chronicled in the book and movie "Charlie Wilson's War," which Wilson himself said he enjoyed.

As a kid growing up in Southeast Texas during the 1970's, I remember Charlie Wilson making the news quite frequently, usually in connection with partying, alleged cocaine use, or taxpayer-funded junkets with a bevy of attractive young women. But I wish today's Democrats were as serious about stopping the global menace of terrorism as Charlie Wilson was about defeating communism.

(h/t The Anchoress)


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Comments (6)

This probably marks the pas... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

This probably marks the passing of the last pro-military, anti-Communist Democrat. Too bad.

What is the difference between what Wilson did and Iran-Contra?

I realize that this guy set... (Below threshold)

I realize that this guy set the bar for selling out to the Jihad and getting Hollywood to love him for it, but maybe his policy wasn't good?
perhaps the cocaine use was the positive part of the guy?
Read the Quran and the Hadith and find out what we were supporting. the Soviets would of fallen anyway.

Jeff,"What is the ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jeff,

"What is the difference between what Wilson did and Iran-Contra?"

Do you think that the whole Iran-Contra affair represent a positive model for our foreign policy?

Uh, getting waxed in Afghan... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Uh, getting waxed in Afghanistan went a long way to the Soviet demise. Victory there would have bolstered them quite a bit. As to Iran-Contra compared to this, Wilson legally got money appropriated for the stingers and other support. Iran-Contra involved arms to Iran, in direct opposition to stated foreign policy, the profits of which aided the Contra rebels over opposition by US Congress. While I support the Contra side, this was an awfully dicey means to justify an end, and nothing at all like Charlie Wilson, IMO. And Noah, politics and war oft make for strange bedfellows. Following your logic, we should not have been allied with the Soviet Union in WWII. And the whole "Soviets would [have] fallen anyway" schtick, that's bunk. When? A few years ago? A few years from now? Allied Forces should have stopped at the Rhine; Germany would have fallen anyway w/o going all the way to Berlin, you know, eventually. Equally, Japan would have eventually fallen anyway; there was no need for the bombs. [/sarcasm]

Hmmm. 4 comments.W... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Hmmm. 4 comments.

Wizbang regs confyooozd 9/11.

Wilson was basically a menace.
In olden times he would have filibustered in person and probably ended up at the end of a rope or the wrong end of a rifle as the would-be Yanqui King.

Instead, he caroused with Tom Hanks, the world's most over-done actor.

Did you notice that Tom Hanks almost steals Wilson obituaries. Justice.

Charlie Wilson RIP.N... (Below threshold)
Robinsolana:

Charlie Wilson RIP.
Not a perfect hero, but a great hero none the less.

My take on Charlie and the rest of the strange gathering of Americans that wound up in Pakistan doing one thing or another to turn back the Soviets, is that this was a war that involved individuals. Individuals who simply decided that it was very important that the Soviets be resisted in Afghanistan.
It was not only Charlie.
Charlie Wilson's War does not begin to exhaust all the people who joined this fight.
Ever heard of Freedom Medicine?
Ever heard of the American Doctor who walked out of Afghanistan with Russian helicopters on his trail.
Some Americans just picked up and did what they could. Some died. They are heroes too.

Sounds kinda Tea Party like.




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