Elmo and his pals from Sesame Street have teamed up with the U.S. military for its latest video, “Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes,” which teaches children with parents deployed in Iraq how to cope with the changes at home. Naturally, the Pentagon has provided input into the video’s development. As if the video gaming industry and sports sponsorships weren’t enough, now we have the military’s messages reaching our youth just after passing the teething stage. Is anyone else ashamed we live in a country that has resorted to puppets in order to justify war and violence? I’d like to ask the producers of Sesame Street how handsomly the military is rewarding them for lending the likeness of Elmo and Rosita for, essentially, free propaganda. If there’s bucks to be made, perhaps we’ll see Barney or Blues Clues follow suit. Or Spongebob can release a commemorative video covering the fifth year anniversary of the Iraq War. Let’s limit the puppets to ABCs, 123s, and leave parenting to the parents — not the Pentagon.