Issues In Intercultural Communication Cultural Studies Essay

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Uniting America, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan to fight the Soviets Union in Charlie Wilsons War: Issues of Face threatening incidents in intercultural communication

This project attempts to review face threatening incidents derived from a biography that consist of intercultural communication techniques of interactions and conversations that emerge during the biographical re-enactment of American Congress Man Charlie Wilson attempts to galvanise support from the United States Congress, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and different countries with then and even now different levels of strained relations - Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia to wage a covert war in Afghanistan against the then Soviets Union.

The data used for analysis in this project is sourced from selected excerpts of the movie that best portray intercultural communication even though the entire body of the work is in English language requiring no translation. There are also other excerpt of the movie that are utilized that do not strictly fall within the intercultural communication framework but assist in the analysis by clarifying the data used and reflecting some of the language theories discussed.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The background Information to the biographical novel that was adapted into the movie is as follows: during the period between, late 1979 - 1989 the then Soviet Union attacked and occupied Afghanistan and as a result, the refugee crisis that emerged on the Pakistani border was overwhelming.

Influenced by a wealth donor, an American Congress Man instigated the appropriate sub committees in the American congress, the CIA, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan to wage and defeat the Soviets in a long raged bloody war.

This event, even now, given the state of world affairs overtly seems more of a myth than a reality, but covertly as it is often expressed anything is possible under the sun. The work details the covert negotiations and transactions that allowed this phenomenon to materialize.

The intercultural exchanges that are abound in the plot that unfolds in the film are numerous but a few appropriate excerpts are taking and adapted where the colloquial expressions are not appropriate for academic print for the purpose of this project work appropriate annotations have been employed to allow the context retain its literary effect.

Again, there are other excerpts that are not derived from intercultural excerpts but presented as commentaries that serve to explain support or emphasis the context under analysis.

RESEARCH PROCEDURE

The research procedure employed in this project work is not typical of conventional data collection methodology associated with pragmatic research that are generally categorised under Interaction, Questionnaires, Interviews, Diaries and Verbal Report. It stems out of verbal reports given by Charlie Wilson, recorded and published into the public domain in 2003 by George Crile, adopted by Aaron Sorkin, re-enacted under the direction of Mike Nichols and released into the public domain for viewing in 2008 observed by me for speech actions and physical gestures relating to issues of face in presentations that is central in rapport management of intercultural interactions.

The arguments can be made that these excerpts are staged managed and not authentic spontaneous data that is veridical but bearing in mind that the data is based on a biography that is re-enacted for reference with interviews and commentaries logged in the biography and in the movie it can be said with affirmation that it meets the requirement of basic data for research purposes even though it was not conducted directly by the researcher, a common acceptable phenomenon in every day academia. No attempt is being made to claim or assert that this research draws a theoretical base form another social science but simply propose that this presents a different method of collecting data for analysis.

However, the method applied to gather this data could be said to be effective in being able to record speech actions and also assess the related gestures that accompany the speech action that help reinforce the quality of the data as is done with conventional data gathering where the data is collected actually by physical observation and collated through verbal report immediately after to preserve its veridicality and later verified and reapplied with other data collection methods like interview through the audio and video recordings. The following are the excerpt data from the film Charlie Wilsons War for analysis:

Glossary of Characters Abbreviations

Bonnie Bach - BB Charlie Wilsons Congressional Aid

Brigadier Rashid - BR Presidential adviser Pakistan

Charlie Wilson - CW Member US Congress

Chess Players - CP Chess players playing against Mike Vickers

Colonel Mahmood - CM Presidential adviser Pakistan

Deputy Minister - DM Egyptian Deputy Defense Ministers

Gust Avrakotos - GA CIA Agent

Harold Holt - HH US Embassy Islamabad Station Chief

Mike Vickers - MV CIA weapons expert

President Zia - PZ President Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan

Zvi Rafiah - ZR Israeli arms dealer

1st Excerpts containing the conversational exchange between Charles Wilson and the Pakistani President Zia and his advisers Brigadier Rashid and Colonel Mahmood in Islamabad, Pakistan.

PZ: Mr. Congressman

CW: Mr. President

PZ: Joanne Herring speaks very highly of you

CW: Thank you sir

PZ: These are two of my brightest advisers when it comes to the problem of the Soviets, this is Brigadier. Rashid

BR: How do you do

CW: Pleased to meet you

PZ: Colonel Mahmood

CM: How do you do

CW: Please to meet you

PZ: please come [PZ gestures CW to sit down]

CW: Thank you

PZ: you must be thirsty can we get you a drink

CW: oh actually I would love a glass of ice and any kind of Whiskey, Rye, Canadian…

[The president looks at his advisers in surprise] [Brigadier Rashid laughs & Col Mahmud startles]

PZ: I am sorry congressman we don't have alcohol in the Presidential Residence

CW: of course… you don't, I apologise… eh fruit juice

[Brigadier Rashid instructs the butler to get fruit juice for CW]

CW: I bet a lot of people make that mistake [laughs]

PZ: [Sneers] No

CW: Ok

PZ: Brigadier

BR: So you understand the situation on our border

CW: Yes sir I… I think I do, and I think it's terrible and I know I speak for all the people in the Texas second congressional district when I say our thoughts and prayers are with you

PZ: all the people of the Texas second congressional district you say

CW: yes indeed sir

BR: 3 millions Afghans refugees are living like poorly treated livestock and another 2 million have fled into Iran

CM: and 2 million more angry men is just what the doctor's ordered for Iran, don't you think

BR: people are dying by the tens of thousands and those that aren't are crossing into Pakistan everyday

CR: would you like to know how many 1/5 of Afghanistan now live in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province

PZ: so what I have been wondering is why your state department will send someone here who thinks he understands the problem because I don't think the prayers of the Texas second congressional district are going to turn the trick

CW: I wasn't sent here by the state department Mr President, I was asked to come here by a friend of Houston so this is a courtesy call

PZ: I don't need courtesy; I need airplanes guns and money,

CW: well we just doubled the CIA budget for covert ops

BR: from 5 million to 10 million

CW: that's right

CM: is that a joke

CW: no

BR: is that meant to be a funny joke

CW: no sir

PZ: congress man what they are saying is 10 million dollars from the US to fight the Russians army is such a low figure that it can be mistaken for a joke

CW: I caught up to the sarcasm there sir, let me be clear the United States is eager to assist you

BR: No you're not

CM: you're not

BR: Absolutely not

CM: I went to Oxford so I know what that means, the US is not eager to assist us

CW: it is my understanding that we offered to sell you F-16 you didn't want them

PZ: because you refused to sell us the radar

BR: to hell with that

PZ: and this is emblematic of American fence sitting when it comes to fighting the soviets

BR: to hell with it

PZ: you sell us the planes but not the radar; you offer Afghans rifles from the First World War while Soviets helicopters are killing everything they can find, people, animals, food supplies

BR: to hell with it

CM: you sell the Israelis the radar so that's why he says to hell with it

CW: Again I understood

PZ: Also the arms and funding should flow through us

CW: am sorry

PZ: that's been part of the problem, the arms and funding should flow through us we have experience with warfare of this kind and your CIA has an unimpressive track record

CW: oh I wouldn't say that

PZ: they missed 130,000 Soviet soldiers walking into Afghanistan

CW: ok we blew that call

PZ: I would say so

CW: [Charlie Wilson looks round at everyone in the room slowly] well I will not use up any of your hospitality, I will take your message back to my committee chairman and we will give it our fullest attention

PZ: let me walk you to the door

[While walking Charlie Wilson to the door]

PZ: I learnt about you before you came here I learn that you are a man of many character flaws

CW: I am

PZ: But I also learn that you never promise anything you cannot deliver

CW: I don't Mr President

PZ: then promise me this go to Peshawar and see the refugee camps, right now, today, go to Peshawar and see with your own eyes, I have a helicopter awaiting to take you

CW: All right I'll do it

PZ: thank you Mr Congressman

CW: Mr President

2nd Excerpts containing the conversational exchange between Charlie Wilson, Gust Avrakotos and Zvi Rafiah in Jerusalem.

CW: We need you Zvi, you're going to be our man inside the Isreali parliament

ZR: I'm not in the Isreali parliament

CW: That's what going to make you so effective, no one has your pull with the 10th Knesset, no one has your relationship with the speaker, And we are gonna... we're gonna need your arm around Menachem, when he finds out that we're working with Egypt and the Saudis. Tell him.

GA: Hmmm

CW: Tell him why we need him.

GA: I'm not saying anything.

CW: Why not?

GA: I don't know who the [f..k] these two other guys are.

CW: Well, ain't they bodyguards?

GA: Not ours.

CW: Zvi? [Zvi gestures to the men to leave]

ZR: Now, just to sum this up in a nutshell. You want me to move Israel toward a partnership with Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

CW: And Saudi Arabia.

ZR: Well, just a couple of problems I can foresee off the top of my head.

CW: Look.

ZR: Charlie...

CW: I know.

ZR: ...Pakistan and Afghanistan don't recognize our right to exist.

CW: Calm down.

ZR: We just got done fighting a war with Egypt and every person who has ever tried to kill me and my family, has been trained in Saudi Arabia.

GA: That's not entirely true, Zvi. I mean, some of them were trained by us.

CW: Gus, come on. It's his sense of humor. It's a bit of an acquired taste. Now, Zvi, look at me. This is the front of the Cold War. It's not in Berlin, it's not in Cuba, it's not in Czechoslovakia. It's in a pile of rocks called Afghanistan. These are the only people who are actually shooting at the Russians. Now, you and I know we have to get Soviet-made weapons into the hands of the Mujahedeen. And you and I know where the largest stockpile of Soviet weapons outside the Soviet Union is.

ZR: I can't tell you offhand how many and what kind of weapons we've confiscated.

GA: I can. These are Keyhole 11 satellite photos. They've been degraded so I can show them to you. That's a five-wheeled chassis tank. That's not the Mk.1, that's the T-55. And it and four others are about 12 miles from here.

ZR: What do you want tanks in mountains for?

GA: Oh, we don't. I just wanted you to know I know you got them.

CW: $35.5 million.

ZR: Which you'll be able to appropriate.

CW: Yeah.

ZV: Without the press asking questions about it.

GA: You know, there's good news there, because the press is going to be busy asking about a weekend in Vegas and his pending arrest on charges of narcotics possession.

CW: Oh, Gus.

ZR: [S..t,] Charlie.

CW: It's nothing.

ZR: Is this true?

GA: No, for our purposes, it doesn't really matter.

CW: Thank you.

GA: I was just explaining to him that as long as the press sees sex and drugs behind the left hand, you can park a battle carrier behind the right hand, and no one's gonna, [f..king] notice.

ZR: What the hell happened?

CW: It's not germane. It's not germane to these people who are fighting and dying, and being massacred in their homes. Now, for the love of Christ, will you help us help them shoot down these [f..king] helicopters?

ZR: I love you, Charlie, but you are a grown man who still hasn't learned to look both ways before he crosses the [f..king] street! Yes, I'm in. But I don't like this guy.

CW: I know how you feel.

ZR: What happens now?

CW: You come with us to Cairo.

ZR: This meeting's gonna be run professional?

CW: Oh, absolutely. We'll be talking to the Deputy Defense Minister while his boss gets a belly dance from a friend of Charlie's.

ZR: What?

CW: A good friend of mine back in Texas is a well-known belly dancer. It's always been her dream to perform in Egypt, so she's our way in. While she's dancing for the Defense Minster, we'll be talking to the Deputy.

ZR: Oh, my God.

GA: No, she's supposed to be good.

3rd Excerpts containing the conversational exchange between Charlie Wilson, Gust Avrakotos, Zvi Rafiah and the Egyptian Deputy Defence Minister in Cairo, Egypt.

[While the belly dancer performs for the Egyptian Prime Minister]

DM: That's an extraordinary woman.

CW: Oh, yeah.

DM: That's not any belly dance I'm familiar with.

CW: That's why I wanted the Defense Minister to see her.

DM: This is your girlfriend?

CW: Carol's a friend. She's an old friend.

DM: I understand her father didn't allow dancing because of the religion?

CW: Yeah, that's correct.

DM: And what religion is that?

CW: You know, she's a Baptist.

DM: As I was saying, the Russians will learn, I'm quite afraid the hard way, to fear God's vengeance upon those who oppress his humble servants who submit to him in Islam. Their skulls will hang from the treetops. [Glancing at Zvi]

CW: You can do whatever you like with their skulls, I suppose.

CW: What has Gus here concerned is a SA surface-to-air missiles you all have. For some reason, he thinks they were stored poorly.

DM: No, no, no, the SA-7 s were stored properly.

ZR: Excuse me. What about the oppression of my people?

CW: Oh, Zvi.

DM: I beg your pardon?

CW: Fellows, we have to do this now.

ZR: I am about to arrange for $35 million worth of guns to be put into the hands of Muslims!

DM: I meant no disrespect.

ZR: Oh, really?

CW: Well, anyway, that... None of this is important.

GA: You have Soviet-licensed factories that can put out Kalashnikovs

at a rate of 25,000 a week?

DM: That's correct.

GA: What about city warfare devices?

DM: What kind?

GA: Bicycle bombs, limpet mines, plastic, tripwire mines?

DM: Yes, yes whatever you need.

CW: We can't improve the price now, but when we come back for more, we'll make it up to you.

DM: I agree.

CW: All right.

4th Excerpts containing the conversational exchange between Charlie Wilson and President Zia at his honorary banquet in Houston, Texas USA

PZ: You want me to go into business with the Israelis?

CW: Just for this one purpose, yes, Mr. President. The Israelis have the largest stockpile

of Soviet-made weapons in friendly hands.

PZ: I know that. I need to trust that this arrangement will remain secret. Pakistan and Israel would have to appear to be enemies in the public eye.

CW: Yeah, I don't think that's a tough sell.

PZ: You have authority to do this?

CW: None whatsoever. In fact, I'm pretty close to violating the Logan Act.

PZ: Well, I don't know what that is. But, Charlie.

CW: Yes, sir.

PZ: If I see one f..king Star of David on a crate...

CW: You won't. I promise.

PILOT RESULT

An analysis of the extracts used in this research show that there are certain problematic features that emanate from the interaction between Charlie Wilson and the different parties and are common to the four distinctive intercultural communication extracts that bother on face concerns during each of these intercultural meetings. These issues are as follows:

Firstly, the nature and purpose of the meetings as perceived from the perspective of the hosts and the visitors. In the first meeting that exemplifies intercultural exchanges (excerpts 1) Charlie Wilson on the one hand, was of the opinion that the meeting with the Pakistani President Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq in Pakistan was simply a courtesy call but was amazed to find that the president had in attendance two of his most intelligent advisers regarding the problem of the soviets to give the meeting another connotation. The Pakistani's on the other hand were of the impression that the meeting was a congressional visit or at the very least that it was endorsed by the US State Department.

(Extract 1 Charlie Wilson meeting with President Zia and advisers in Islamabad Pakistan)

PZ: Brigadier

BR: So you understand the situation on our border

CW: Yes sir I… I think I do, and I think it's terrible and I know I speak for all the people in the Texas second congressional district when I say our thoughts and prayers are with you

PZ: all the people of the Texas second congressional district you say

CW: yes indeed sir

BR: 3 millions Afghans refugees are living like poorly treated livestock and another 2 million have fled into Iran

CM: and 2 million more angry men is just what the doctor's ordered for Iran, don't you think

BR: people are dying by the tens of thousands and those that aren't are crossing into Pakistan everyday

CR: would you like to know how many 1/5 of Afghanistan now live in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province

PZ: so what I have been wondering is why your state department will send someone here who thinks he understands the problem because I don't think the prayers of the Texas second congressional district are going to turn the trick

CW: I wasn't sent here by the state department Mr President, I was asked to come here by a friend of Houston so this is a courtesy call

(Comment 1 Charlie Wilson's discussion afterwards with Bonnie Bach his aid)

BB: How did it go

CW: There was three of them, it was like getting slapped around like a Pakistani vaudeville team ...

In the second meeting of intercultural exchanges where this misconception of the nature and purpose of the meeting was reemphasised, (excerpts 2) the Israeli arms dealer Zvi Rafiah also initially perceived the meeting to be a courtesy call and not an arms transaction between a member of the US Defense Appropriations subcommittee in the company of a stranger that he was not comfortable discussing arms dealings in his presence.

(Comment 2 Charlie Wilson discussing with Gust Avrakotos prior to the meeting in Jerusalem with Zvi Rafiah)

GA: Well, for one thing it's covert. When an Afghan freedom fighter gets captured, it can't be with an American-made weapon on him. That's how a cold war turns into an actual war and that's something you want to keep a good eye on.

CW: So anything we give them has to look like it could have plausibly been captured from the Soviets.

GA: Yeah, that's right.

CW: You know who's good at that?

GA: Israel and Egypt.

CW: That's right.

(Extract 2 Charlie Wilson and Gust Avrakotos meeting with Zvi Rafiah in Jerusalem)

CW: We need you Zvi, you're going to be our man inside the Israeli parliament

ZR: I'm not in the Israeli parliament

CW: That's what going to make you so effective, no one has your pull with the 10th Knesset, no one has your relationship with the speaker, And we are gonna... we're gonna need your arm around Menachem, when he finds out that we're working with Egypt and the Saudis. Tell him.

In the third intercultural exchange meeting that exemplifies this issue, (excerpt 3) the Egyptian Deputy Defence Minister again perceives the meeting as a courtesy call to showcase a belly dancer but finds himself in a procurement negotiation for arms with members of US Defense Appropriations subcommittee and a strained third party.

(Extract 3 Charlie Wilson, Zvi Rafiah and Gust Avrakotos meeting with the Deputy Egyptian Prime Minister)

[While the belly dancer performs for the Egyptian Prime Minister in Cairo]

GA: You have Soviet-licensed factories that can put out Kalashnikovs

at a rate of 25,000 a week?

DM: That's correct.

GA: What about city warfare devices?

DM: What kind?

GA: Bicycle bombs, limpet mines, plastic, tripwire mines?

DM: Yes, yes whatever you need.

During the last intercultural communication meeting that illustrates this issue, (excerpt 4) it is revealed that the Pakistani President perceives his brief meeting with Charlie Wilson as a casual discussion because they are at a social function but it turns out to be a briefing on the constitution of the covert coalition.

(Extract 4 Charlie Wilson meeting with President Ziah at the honorary banquet in Euston)

PZ: You want me to go into business with the Israelis?

CW: Just for this one purpose, yes, Mr. President. The Israelis have the largest stockpile

of Soviet-made weapons in friendly hands.

PZ: I know that.

Secondly, the desired outcome of the meetings between Charlie Wilson as guest or host unaccompanied or accompanied by other members of his party and his different hosts or guests was another problematic feature of the intercultural communication exchanges that occurred. There was either insufficient knowledge of the host or visitors motives or interactional goal for the meeting or the assumptions before the meetings and the realizations as the meetings progressed turned out to be some worth different because a pre agenda awareness or agreement was neither anticipated nor predictable.

(Extract 5 President Ziah Statement to Charlie Wilson during their meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan)

PZ: I don't need courtesy; I need airplanes guns and money,

(Extract 6 Charlie Wilson meeting with Zvi Rafiah in Jerusalem)

ZR: Now, just to sum this up in a nutshell. You want me to move Israel toward a partnership with Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

CW: And Saudi Arabia.

ZR: Well, just a couple of problems I can foresee off the top of my head.

CW: Look.

(Extract 7 Charlie Wilson meeting with the Egyptian deputy defense minister in Cairo)

CW: What has Gus here concerned is a SA surface-to-air missiles you all have. For some reason, he thinks they were stored poorly.

DM: No, no, no, the SA-7s were stored properly.

(Extract 8 Charlie Wilsons meeting with President Ziah in Houston)

PZ: You have authority to do this?

CW: None whatsoever. In fact, I'm pretty close to violating the Logan Act.

PZ: Well, I don't know what that is. . But, Charlie.

CW: Yes, sir.

PZ: If I see one f..king Star of David on a crate...

CW: You won't. I promise.

Thirdly, coordinating the different parties towards a common understanding to achieve a collective aim was also a problematic feature abound in the intercultural exchange. The Pakistanis were of the opinion that the arms and funding for the covert war against the Soviets should be channeled through their country and were uncomfortable being allies with Christians and Jews. The Israelis were uncomfortable getting involved in a covert war with allies that do not recognize their right to exist. The Egyptians, amongst other things were uncomfortable being allies with non Muslims.

(Extract 9 Charlie Wilson meeting with President Zia and advisers in Islamabad Pakistan)

PZ: Also the arms and funding should flow through us

CW: am sorry

PZ: that's been part of the problem

(Extract 10 Charlie Wilson meeting with Zvi Rafiah in Jerusalem)

ZR: Charlie...

CW: I know.

ZR: ...Pakistan and Afghanistan don't recognize our right to exist.

CW: Calm down.

ZR: We just got done fighting a war with Egypt and every person who has ever tried to kill me and my family, has been trained in Saudi Arabia.

(Extract 11 Charlie Wilson meeting with the Egyptian deputy defense minister in Cairo)

DM: As I was saying, the Russians will learn, I'm quite afraid the hard way, to fear God's vengeance upon those who oppress his humble servants who submit to him in Islam. Their skulls will hang from the treetops. [Glancing at Zvi]

CW: You can do whatever you like with their skulls, I suppose.

(Extract 12 Charlie Wilsons meeting with President Ziah in Houston)

PZ: ... I need to trust that this arrangement will remain secret. Pakistan and Israel would have to appear to be enemies in the public eye.

CW: Yeah, I don't think that's a tough sell.

DISCUSSION

It is noteworthy to point out from the onset that the eventual aim of the resultant covert alliance was achieved for humanitarian, political and commercial reasons through effective rapport management strategies. To this end, the parties apply rapport influencing strategies - rapport orientation that involves the interlocutors' use of effective rapport maintenance and rapport enhancement to actively and positively create a more conducive atmosphere for the agenda to take its desired course to reach the desired interactional goal. However, there were face threatening incidences where the intercultural exchange may have unintentionally or intentionally been perceived as rapport challenge or rapport neglect that could unfortunately mar the outcome if mismanaged.

The purview of this research project is centred more on the scenarios of face threatening incidents the interlocutor is presented with in an effort to achieve this covert alliance - face. To analyse the face perspective on the problematic issues or features that pervade the extracts used for this study will demand an understanding of the concept of face and the notion of face threatening incidents.

Helen Spencer Oatey in her book Culturally Speaking (2008, p 12 - 20) amplifies the notions of earlier theorist like Brown and Levinson (1987), Leech (1983), Matsumoto (1988), Ide (1989) Mao (1994), Lim (1994) , Ting-Toomey and Kurogi (1998) on: face being a universal phenomenon consider to be the individuals self esteem; a universal notion albeit a culturally elaborated public self image of a society that every member of society wants to claim for themselves; a social identity that universally everyone has concerns over; and supports Goffman (1967) by stating that it is the positive social value persons effectively claims for themselves by the line others assume they have taken during a particular contact. In her book she states that face is associated with person's personal, relational and social value and is concerned with their sense of worth, dignity, honour, reputation competence that is associated with issues such as respect, honour status, reputation and competence. It is closely related, she asserts, to a persons sense of identity or self concept: or as she states it: self as an individual that relates to individual identity, self as a group member, that relates to group or collective identity and self in relationship with others that relates to relationship identity.

Furthermore, Oatey also expands on Brown and Levinson's (1987) work on politeness which pointed out that face being the key motivational force to politeness contains two concepts of: positive face - which equates to a persons want to be appreciated and approved of by selected others and a negative face which equates to a persons want to be unimpeded by others, the desire to be free to act as that person chooses and not be imposed upon to include, as she puts it three main interconnected components that she coins as the management of: face, sociality rights and obligations and interactional goals.

Relatively, Oatey also contributes to Brown and Levinson's earlier proposed notion of face threatening acts (FTA) that were with regards to speech acts namely: orders, requests, apologies, compliments criticisms and the like, by proposing three ways that rapport employed positively can be threatened: face threatening behaviours, rights threatening or obligation-omission behaviour and goal threatening behaviour.

The analysis of the face threatening incidents that occur in the excerpts that constitute the data for the project and in some instances other excerpts from the movie based on the model proposed by both Brown and Levinson and Helen Spencer Oatey either triggered by the aforementioned problematic features or other features that abound in the work will be the focus of the analysis that ensues.

In the different excerpts that constitute the data for analysis in this project Charlie Wilson, whether occupying the role of host or visitor y his demeanour ever displays the constant presence of authority and status that a United States Congressional Member and a highly influential member of a congressional subcommittee such as Defence Appropriations commands as a super power nation in the world biggest democracy and the largest representation of the free world exuding the belief that there is an awareness of any and every situation and that the United States is strategically positioned to influence world affairs. This constant air or consciousness marks his positive face while the desire to act and speak passionately or however ignorantly on any topic issue or situation without being challenged reflects his negative face.

The nature and purpose of the meeting in Pakistan where Charlie Wilson is presented with a barrage of unexpected information and enquiries by President Ziah and his advisers that threaten his individual face as a US congress member and his group face both as a member of the US congressional defence appropriations sub committee and an American citizen because he does not have the anticipated informed responses desired by his hosts. This seeming ignorance or nonchalance of the situation is perceived both as rights threatening or obligation omission and goal threatening by the Pakistani hosts. At a later stage, the nature and purpose of the meetings in Jerusalem, Cairo and Houston affords Charlie Wilson to now take a more enlightened positions in the discussions and negotiations that follow thereby threatening the individual and group face of his hosts/guests. These incidents are identified as follows;

(Extract 13 Charlie Wilson meeting with President Zia and advisers in Islamabad Pakistan)

CW: well we just doubled the CIA budget for covert ops

BR: from 5 million to 10 million

CW: that's right

CM: is that a joke

CW: no

BR: is that meant to be a funny joke

CW: no sir

PZ: congress man what they are saying is 10 million dollars from the US to fight the Russians army is such a low figure that it can be mistaken for a joke

CW: I caught up to the sarcasm there sir,

(Extract 14 Charlie Wilson and Gust Avrakotos meeting with Zvi Rafiah in Jerusalem)

CW: … Now, Zvi, look at me. This is the front of the Cold War. It's not in Berlin, it's not in Cuba, it's not in Czechoslovakia. It's in a pile of rocks called Afghanistan. These are the only people who are actually shooting at the Russians. Now, you and I know we have to get Soviet-made weapons into the hands of the Mujahedeen. And you and I know where the largest stockpile of Soviet weapons outside the Soviet Union is.

ZR: I can't tell you offhand how many and what kind of weapons we've confiscated.

GA: I can. These are Keyhole 11 satellite photos. They've been degraded so I can show them to you. That's a five-wheeled chassis tank. That's not the Mk.1, that's the T-55. And it and four others are about 12 miles from here.

ZR: What do you want tanks in mountains for?

GA: Oh, we don't. I just wanted you to know I know you got them.

The constant attempt in all the excerpts by either Charlie Wilson or his host/guests during their meetings to influence or persuade the other party towards the desired outcome was face threatening and exhibited both rights and goal threatening behavioural language. These incidents are identified as follows:

(Extract 15 Charlie Wilson meeting with President Zia and advisers in Islamabad Pakistan)

CW: I caught up to the sarcasm there sir, let me be clear the United States is eager to assist you

BR: No you're not

CM: you're not

BR: Absolutely not

CM: I went to Oxford so I know what that means, the US is not eager to assist us

CW: it is my understanding that we offered to sell you F-16 you didn't want them

PZ: because you refused to sell us the radar

BR: to hell with that

PZ: and this is emblematic of American fence sitting when it comes to fighting the soviets

BR: to hell with it

PZ: you sell us the planes but not the radar; you offer Afghans rifles from the First World War while Soviets helicopters are killing everything they can find, people, animals, food supplies

BR: to hell with it

CM: you sell the Israelis the radar so that's why he says to hell with it

CW: Again I understood

The coordination of the different parties towards a common understanding to achieve a collective aim by Charlie Wilson was also face threatening to the different parties - the Pakistanis, Israelis and Egyptians individual and group face. Similarly, there were also other numerous face threatening incidences in relation to the following speech acts proposed by Brown and Levinson abound in the intercultural exchanges which are as follows: firstly, orders,

(Comment 2 Charlie Wilson meeting with Harold Holt in Islamabad, Pakistan)

HH: Look, normally, a congressional delegation, we'd give them a courtesy briefing on the situation, but as you can see, it's getting pretty late, we don't have a whole lot of time anyway, so...

CW: Well, make the time.

HH: Huh?

CW: F..k your time, Harold. I'm on Defense Appropriations. I'm catching a plane back to Washington in just a few minutes. Now, I need a full classified briefing right now.

secondly, requests,

(Extract 16 Charlie Wilson meeting with President Zia and advisers in Islamabad Pakistan)

PZ: you must be thirsty can we get you a drink

CW: oh actually I would love a glass of ice and any kind of Whiskey, Rye, Canadian…

[The president looks at his advisers in surprise] [Brigadier Rashid laughs & Col Mahmud startles]

PZ: I am sorry congressman we don't have alcohol in the Presidential Residence

CW: of course… you don't

CW: I apologise… eh fruit juice

[Brigadier Rashid instructs the butler to get fruit juice for CW]

CW: I bet a lot of people make that mistake [laughs]

PZ: [Sneers] No

CW: Ok

thirdly, offers,

(Extract 17 Charlie Wilsons meeting with Harold Holt in Islamabad, Pakistan)

CW: So you tell me what you need to shoot them down.

HH: What do you mean?

CW: Tell me what you need. Do you understand what I'm saying? You tell me what you need, and I will go about getting it for you.

HH: Congressman, I appreciate your generosity, but a sudden influx of money and modern weaponry would draw attention.

CW: What?

HH: A sudden influx of money and modern...

CW: Wait, it would draw attention?

HH: Yeah.

CW: Why, I don't even know what that means. This is the Cold War. Everybody knows about it.

HH: Should I continue with the briefing?

CW: Have you been to these refugee camps? Have you heard these stories?

HH: Congressman, I am required to give you a briefing. Should I continue?

CW: No. Thank you.

fourthly, apologies,

(Extract 18 Charlie Wilson meeting with Gust Avrakotos and Mike Vickers in Langley, Washington DC)

CW: This is the CIA's weapons expert?

GA: One of them.

CW: But he's the most senior.

GA: Look...

CP: Mike

MV: Yeah, bishop to queen's knight 7.

GA: See? He's playing without even looking at the board.

CW: That's a useful skill if Afghanistan's ever invaded by Boris Spassky. Did my office not make it clear to Langley that I'm in no mood to be fucked around with?

GA: Charlie...

CW: You answer to me or you answer to Jim Baker. Which do you want?

GA: All right, the guy's a fucking Green Beret, Charlie. He trained with the SEALs.

No one's trying to fuck with you!

CP: Mike?

MV: Yeah, what was your move?

CP: Knight to queen's bishop 5.

MV: All right, queen to king's rook 3. Guy on the right, you don't want to trade queens with me.

CP: Shit

CW: All right, I apologize.

GA: Everybody friends?

CW: As a former naval officer myself, Mike I should have known, I should've known better.

MV: As a former naval officer, I'd have been surprised if you had.

GA: Now, what the fuck?

CW: Hey.

GA: He said he was sorry.

CW: Hey.

MV: What can I do for you, sir?

(Extract 19 Charlie Wilson and Zvi Rafiah meeting with the deputy defence minister in Cairo, Egypt)

ZR: Excuse me. What about the oppression of my people?

CW: Oh, Zvi.

DM: I beg your pardon?

CW: Fellows, we have to do this now.

ZR: I am about to arrange for $35 million worth of guns to be put into the hands of Muslims!

DM: I meant no disrespect.

ZR: Oh, really?

CW: Well, anyway, that... None of this is important.

fifthly, compliments

(Extract 20 Charlie Wilson meeting with President Zia and advisers in Islamabad Pakistan)

[While walking Charlie Wilson to the door]

PZ: I learnt about you before you came here I learn that you are a man of many character flaws

CW: I am

PZ: But I also learn that you never promise anything you cannot deliver

CW: I don't Mr President

PZ: then promise me this go to Peshawar and see the refugee camps, right now, today, go to Peshawar and see with your own eyes, I have a helicopter awaiting to take you

CW: All right I'll do it

PZ: thank you Mr Congressman

CW: Mr President

(Comment 3 Charlie Wilson's discussion afterwards with Bonnie Bach his aid)

BB: How did it go

CW: … you know you've pretty much hit rock bottom when you've been told you have character flaws by a man who hanged his predecessor in a military coup.

and lastly criticisms

(Extract 21 Charlie Wilson meeting with President Zia and advisers in Islamabad Pakistan)

PZ: … your CIA has an unimpressive track record

CW: oh I wouldn't say that

PZ: they missed 130,000 Soviet soldiers walking into Afghanistan

CW: ok we blew that call

PZ: I would say so

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