Charlie Wilson's War changes history?
We're all used to hearing American cinema changing history for the convenience of a film plot, but it seems that the real life people behind the story of Charlie Wilson's War have been pushing for changes to the film.
The concern was that the film suggested the arming of the Afghanistan fight against Russia in turn armed Al Qaeda, something that I thought was stunningly obvious.
As far as I understand it, the rise of the anti-western feelings within Afghanistan came from the complete withdrawl of funds and promised support as soon as they pushed the Russians back out of the country, at that point they were left with a country ravaged by war, a war that was assisted by America.
It was after this that the Al Qaeda group rose up and began seating itself in power, assisted by various other countries, and began it's anti-western mantra.
So the story from WENN through Starpulse News Blog says that Joanne Herring, who is played by Julia Roberts in the film, was stunned when she first read the script by Aaron Sorkin as it implied that weapons they had helped supply the Afghanistan fighters with were then used by Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda – well wouldn't they have been? Did they instantly scrap them and start again?
Well Herring believes otherwise and she demanded that changes were made to the script, changes that were apparently granted. She says:
“Can you ever predict a war? The shelf life of a stinger missile is five years. There's no weapon we got them that can be used today.”
Well no, no one is saying that you can predict a war, however I think it was the pulling out and lack of support and aide after the war that gave rise to these feelings, and as for the shelf life of a stinger missile, well I'm sure they adhere to best before end dates, and shelf lives of other weaponry are much longer.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not going after the woman, but I do believe that the west had a duty to assist Afghanistan after the war, not just during it to give the opponent in the Cold War a bloody nose.
It remains to be seen if this implication is still there in Charlie Wilson's War, and if Hollywood has yet again changed history to either hide a negative aspect of it or polish up a positive. However I do find it hard to believe that Tom Hanks would apear in something that suggested such connections.