My Charlie Wilson War – Fatima Bhutto

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8 January 2009

Source: The Daily Beast

Why is the University of Texas naming a chair of Pakistan Studies after the notorious U.S. congressman who helped destabilize that country? Fatima Bhutto—niece of the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto—demands an answer.

Pakistan’s new government, the only in the world headed by two former convicts—who have their fingers on the button of a nuclear-armed state, no less—is nothing if not a keen purveyor of irony.

There’s currently an effort underway by the Pakistani diplomatic mission in Texas to raise funds for a chair of Pakistan Studies at the University of Texas in Austin. The chair, a dream of the Pakistani diplomatic community, is to be named after Charlie Wilson. For those who missed the movie, it’s worth noting that of all the people to name a chair of Pakistani Studies after, Charlie Wilson is possibly the stupidest.

Why Pakistan would chose to honor Wilson is beyond everyone, even the Texans.

“Good-Time Charlie,” as Wilson was affectionately known by Afghan warlords and Texan socialites alike, has the dubious reputation of being the godfather of what would later be known as the Taliban in Afghanistan. (He was also buddies with Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza.) In the 1980s, Wilson led Congress into supporting the CIA covert Continue reading

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