A legislator is a person empowered by a community to make laws that enable them to live as equals. He or she should represent the people’s views and be their voice. He or she should be impartial and not take sides during any conflict. He or she should be also governed by the same laws.
Charlie Wilson’s War is a film set in the post cold war years. There still existed a bitter rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had its sights set on controlling the oil trade in the unstable Afghanistan. The Soviets moved into Afghanistan under the guise of maintaining order in the country.
With the Soviets in firm control, the United States could do little. They funded the Afghans to rise against Soviet control. There arose Afghan resistance referred to as the mujahideen.
The film talks about a Congress representative from Texas called Charlie Wilson. He is a subtle man; mostly underestimated. He was viewed as a political lightweight. He is also a womanizer and a drug user. He lives the fast life but lives under a thick smokescreen. He undergoes little scrutiny as little attention is paid to him.
One of his women friends, a wealthy woman named Joanne Herring brings to his attention the situation in Afghanistan. He is shocked to learn that the United States was only giving the Afghan minimal monetary support.
Charlie begins calling in favours owed him by fellow congress representatives. He teams with CIA operative Gust Avrakotos, a man he had underestimated. Gust is a CIA agent loyal to the United States. His methods of operation and lifestyle had, however, made him an outsider in the CIA.
They work together to win the war. Gust works the strategic side while Charlie works the political and diplomatic side. Gust makes sure the mujahideen get well trained and efficiently armed while Wilson makes sure the supply of arms is considered legal.
The film tells a lot on how U.S. congress representatives work in unconventional ways in the international struggle for peace. Charlie Wilson went against the policies made in the Congress. He also called in the numerous favours owed him due to his act of trading his vote for a favour.
Policymaking in the United States is a tricky issue. Legislators have to consider all the opinions given by their people, theirs included. They weigh the different opinions and decide on which ones to put forward. They take a stand and have to defend it. They have to convince everyone why they made a certain choice, and how it will help everyone. They have to show impartiality and intelligence.
U.S. legislators use numerous ways to get their policy views accepted, and Charlie Wilson is no exception. He was as cunning as can be and used the favours owed him by his fellow legislators to help the Afghan people. The act, although heroic, went against the policy of non interference of the U. S. in international conflicts.
Charlie Wilson was able to secure funding for the Afghan resistance. This attributes to the fact that he used unconventional means to force the hands of his fellow congress representatives. He collected numerous favours he was owed by them over the past which included votes, women and drugs. This is a classic example of how U.S. legislators work so as to achieve their personal goals. They will use all methods possible to ensure that their personal objectives are heard, whether wrong or right.
Legislators will even some times go against the exact policies they made and the law they are meant to protect. Legislators are given power to defend the people but in some cases end up defending themselves. Charlie Wilson helped the Afghan people win their freedom but at what cost?