Hollywood's liberal neocons

Max Boot:

I once wrote a column congratulating a well-known Hollywood liberal—George Clooney—for making “neocon” movies, i.e., movies like “Three Kings,” “The Peacemaker,” and even “Syriana” that support active American intervention in the world in support of our ideals as well as our strategic interests.

Now we can add some more Hollywood liberals to the “who knew they were neocons?” club. To wit, Mike Nichols, Aaron Sorkin, and Tom Hanks.

This is the trio responsible for “Charlie Wilson’s War,” which I just saw and loved. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure yet, the movie tells the story of how a conservative, hard-partying Texas Democratic Congressman named Charlie Wilson got together with a right-wing Texas socialite and a blue-collar CIA officer to vastly increase the amount of American covert aid being delivered in the 1980s to the mujahideen fighting the Red Army in Afghanistan.

Some conservatives have been caviling about “Charlie Wilson’s War” on the grounds that the role of President Reagan, CIA Director Bill Casey, and other Republicans has been slighted to make it appear as if a Democratic congressman defeated the Red Army all by himself. It’s true that the role of senior administration officials isn’t portrayed, and should have been. But it’s also true that Charlie Wilson pushed through a major increase in aid beyond what the administration had requested or what many clueless spooks at the CIA had supported. (There’s a great scene in the film where the smarmy CIA station chief in Islamabad explains to an incredulous Charlie Wilson why it would be a bad idea to increase support to the mujahideen.)

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I am with Boot on this one. Charlie Wilson was one of those rare liberals who wanted to win a war. If we want a heroic Reagan film, we will have to find other producers and writers.

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