Last week, when I wrote a leftist review of “Charlie Wilson’s War”, I didn’t know the half of what that film did to deceive moviegoers about the real situation in Afghanistan. Counterpunch has a review that tells the entire tale. Here’s the beginning:
Imagine, they made a funny movie about how the US helped turn Afghanistan into a killing field. It’s the film “Charlie Wilson’s War, a ligthearted look of how a skirt-chasing Congressman and a no-nonsense CIA thug helped bring mountains of weapons and money to the fanatic, women-despising “freedom fighters” who gave us 9/11. It’s certainly material for a “laugh riot”.
To be sure it was the Soviets who did most of the killing. From December 27, 1979 when they overthrew the government of Afghanistan until February of 1989 they ravaged the country. By the war’s end there were a million dead Afghans, another 3 million injured, and a whole generation growing up to think that war and war crimes were the natural way of life. Soviet land mines still litter the country.
Yet the evidence is that the US government wanted the Soviets to invade and did what it could to provoke it. According to Secretary of State Robert Gates 1997 book “From the Shadows” the CIA started giving aid to Islamic rebels in Afghanistan six months before the Soviets invaded. This was confirmed and detailed in an interview with Zbignew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor in 1998 in the French journal Le Nouvel Observateur. In the interview Brzezinski explained that Jimmy Carter signed an order on July 3 of 1979 to give aid to the mujahadeen and that he (Brzezinski) wrote Carter a note that same day saying “this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention”.
Not that Brzezinski objected. To the contrary this is how he answered his interviewer’s question on whether he had any regrets. “Regret what?
That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?
The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its
Those facts about our behavior are just the beginning. The rest of Stanley Heller’s review, “Worst Movie of the Year: Brzezinski and Charlie Wilson’s War”, is at Counterpunch.