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January 07, 2008

New From Consortium News

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Reagan's Bargain/Charlie Wilson's War
by Peter W. Dickson, former CIA analyst

...surely the most glaring omission in the film is the fateful trade-off accepted by President Ronald Reagan when he agreed not to complain about Pakistan’s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapons capability in exchange for Pakistani cooperation in helping the Afghan rebels...

The movie producers evidently concluded that scenes of Wilson’s desperate efforts to cover up Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions would not look too good in the film, so that part of the story disappeared from the cinematic version of history...

Unfortunately, the glaring omissions tend to reinforce the triumph of a false narrative about the dismal record of American involvement in the Middle East, including the Reagan-Bush administration’s indifference, almost blasé attitude about the emergence of a Muslim nuclear bomb.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 7, 2008 08:37 AM

Doggone, if Pakistan's got a "Muslim" bomb, are Israel's a- and h-bombs "Jewish?" Is there relatively less or more to worry about if nukes have religions?

Posted by: konopelli/wgg at January 7, 2008 12:42 PM

Remember, the people it falls on don't much care what religion the bomb is.

Posted by: StO at January 7, 2008 12:57 PM

I think "Muslim bomb" was actually the designation by Pakistan and also Saudi Arabia. (During the eighties the Saudis funded both the Pakistani and Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Although of course what they really meant was they wanted a Sunni bomb.)

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at January 7, 2008 02:12 PM

also we should classify bombs by more developed and less developed. the classic dilemma. we know that free trade helps lift radioactive isotopes out of poverty, but do we really want to enrich uranium?

Posted by: hapa at January 7, 2008 02:41 PM