On 1.19.2011 Stephen Colbert gave a Shout Out to Preston Pysh and his men serving in Afghanistan, mainly for sending him a flag flown in combat. Grotesque cheerleading, but hey, it gets better. A few minutes later (at around 2:15) he revealed another gift from the fellas, his name on a Hellfire missile.
So, Stephen, how many innocent Afghanis you figure your nifty present wiped out? A wedding party perhaps?
I was stunned when I watched it for the first time, and every time I’ve watched it again. But more stunning to me, is that no one else, far as I can tell, has made mention of liberal icon Stephen Colbert getting wood over a device designed to massacre, aimed at a people that have done him no wrong. No irate DU rants, no ironic Huff Po, not a word. Does it not bother you even a little bit, or make you say “huh”?
Or have we become so benumbed to this endless horror that it no longer registers as the epic event and soul-killing shame it is? Is it just another topic, another fact of life, another punch line to a “Support Our Troops” pep rally? If so, count me out. In 2002 I wrote a letter to Bowflex about the disgust that grew in me watching their ad featuring returning troops praising the benefits of a Bowflex machine while over there. I said this then:
In closing, I ask that you reconsider this ad campaign. I hope that you will remember the lives ended and families ruined by our actions in Afghanistan. They did not die for you to sell exercise machines and increase your bottom line. The Nautilus Group and its Bowflex product have been in the past at best an annoyance; now they are an obscenity.
I say the same to you, Stephen Colbert. The innocent people in Afghanistan, as well as our own who have been ground up in the “Land Where Empires Go to Die” didn’t do so to provide you with material, a “bit”. I can understand not wanting to offend the troops, but surely something could have been worked out behind the scenes. That it wasn’t shows a level of callousness to tragedy that I don’t find funny at all.
I hope you are better than this incident makes you appear.