When truth is stranger than fiction… (Dialogues from ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’)

Charlie: “My XO wrote in a report, I was the best officer he ever served at sea with, and the worst officer he ever served in port with.”

Charlie: “How’d a guy like you get into the Agency?”

Gust: What, you mean a street guy?

Charlie: “You ain’t James Bond.”

Gust: “And you ain’t Thomas Jefferson, so let’s call it even.”

“Well, what I think’s got Gust worried is that sooner or later God is gonna be on both sides….”

Charlie: “Well, I told you.”

Gust: “Told me what?”

Charlie: “All we had to do was shoot down the helicopters.”

Gust: “Listen, not for nothing, but do you know the story about the Zen master and the little boy?

Charlie: “Oh, is this something from Nitsa, the Greek witch of Aquilippa, Pennsylvania?”

Gust: “Yeah, as a matter of fact, it is. “There was a little boy, and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse. And everybody in the village says, “How wonderful! The boy got a horse.” And the Zen master says, “We’ll see.” Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg. And everybody in the village says, “How terrible!” And the Zen master says, “We’ll see.” Then a war breaks out, and all the young men have to go off and fight, except the boy can’t ’cause his leg’s all messed up. And everybody in the village says, “How wonderful!”

Charlie: “And the Zen master says, “We’ll see.”…”

Gust: “So you get it.”

Charlie: “No. No, I don’t ’cause I’m stupid.”

Gust: “You’re not stupid. You’re just in Congress… Send them money. You can start with the roads. Move on to the schools, factories. Restock the sheep herds.

Charlie: “Hey.”

Gust: “Give them jobs, give them hope.”

Charlie: “I’m trying. I’m trying.”

Gust: “Yeah, well, try harder.”

Charlie: “I’m fighting for every dollar. I took you from 5 million to a billion. I broke the ice on the Stinger and the MILAN. I got a Democratic Congress in lockstep behind a Republican President.”

Gust: “Well, that’s not good enough ’cause I’m gonna hand you a code word classified NIE right now, and it’s gonna tell you that the crazies have started rolling
into Kandahar like it’s a bathtub drain.”

Charlie: “Jesus, Gust, you could depress a bride on her wedding day.”

Bob”: “$1 million for school reconstruction?”

Man 1: “He’s like the congressman from Kabul.”

Charlie: “Did you hear me say it was a million, not a billion, for school construction?”

Bob: “Yeah, we heard you. Everybody heard you, buddy. They heard you in Dover, Delaware.”

Charlie: “Well, I sure hope I’m not annoying you, Bob, ’cause that’s the last thing I want to do. Look…”

Bob: “I was in the Roosevelt Room with the President last week. You know what he said? He said, “Afghanistan? Is that still going on?”

Charlie: “Well, it is. Half the population of that country is under the age of 14. Now, think how dangerous that is. They’re gonna come home and find their families are dead, their villages have been napalmed.”

Bob: “And we helped kill the guys who did it.”

Charlie: “Yeah, but they don’t know that, Bob, ’cause they don’t get home delivery of The New York Times. And even if they did, it was covert, remember? This is what we always do. We always go in with our ideals and we change the world and then we leave. We always leave. But that ball, though, it keeps on bouncing.”

Man 2: “Yeah, we’re a little busy right now reorganizing Eastern Europe, don’t you think? We’ve spent billions.”

Charlie: “Let’s spend a million on H.R. 118 and rebuild a school.”

Bob: “Charlie, nobody gives a damn about a school in Pakistan.”

Charlie: “Afghanistan.”


[Charlie Wilson’s War – 2007]


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