No matter what you think of our troops, the Iraq war, or even Stephen Colbert, it’s pretty hard to argue that Colbert’s trip to Iraq (organized by the USO) to host his show for the troops last week was anything short of pretty effing epic. With guest stars like Tom Hanks, the Air Force Thunderbirds, and pretty much every major political figure you can think of (including, yes, both the President and Vice President), it’s pretty safe to agree with the New York Times in saying that Stephen Colbert is this generation’s Bob Hope.
The shows were, perhaps, a little kiss-ass to the troops, and lacking in the biting satire Colbert’s known for back home, but that was only to be expected, considering where he was and what he was there to do. His mission was not to turn the U.S. Armed Forces on their heads, but rather to bring awareness and laughter to men and women who are often forgotten and lumped together as an autonomous being in the grand chess game of international politics. And for that, you’ve just got to salute him.