While the U.S. has sent many comedians to Iraq to entertain the troops since the conflict begin there four years ago, Mr. Little's mission marks the first time that the Pentagon has targeted the insurgents with comedy.
But after seeing Mr. Little perform at the White House Correspondents' Dinner Saturday night in Washington, the Pentagon decided that Mr. Little was just the man for the job, and "Operation Little Entertainment" was born.
Said one Pentagon planner, "If Rich Little can quiet down Iraq the way he silenced that room Saturday night, we'll consider this mission a big success."
En route to his first show in Baghdad, Mr. Little was bullish about his mission, polishing his impressions of such dead presidents as Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.
"I'm going to do Nixon, but instead of having him say 'I'm not a crook,' he'll say 'I'm not a Kurd,'" Mr. Little chuckled.
After his first performance for the insurgents, whom Mr. Little treated to his spot-on impressions of long-deceased actors like Tyrone Power and Alan Ladd, the new strategy seemed to be paying dividends, with many insurgents on the brink of giving up.
"I have had enough," pleaded insurgent Hassan El-Medfaii, who attended Mr. Little's show. "Please make the bombing stop."
Elsewhere, Angelina Jolie today left Brad Pitt for World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, in yet another display of his prowess with the ladies.
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