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Chimperor Tar Heel photo-op could be a PR meltdown

Wassup, troops?

Some North Carolinian voices, as Bush prepares another oratory snow job, back with the troops at Fort Bragg.

“And I don’t know that [peace] will ever take place, to be honest. It’s just a difficult place over there.”
— Leslie Brady, 47, a Republican from Raleigh

“I think Iraq has turned into another Vietnam. We ought to go over there and clean it up and get out.”
— Emily Tew, 79, a Republican from Raleigh

“I hate that so many of our kids are getting killed, but we can’t pull out. Not now. That’s what the idiots who are bombing everything want to hear.”
— Roddey Eaves, 72, a Republican from North Raleigh

“A lot of it has to do with people thinking this is dragging on and on and on and on. I think most folks thought it would be a quicker resolution.”
— Al Argroves, 58, a Democrat from Hillsborough

The Raleigh News & Observer has a poll that isn’t going to make Chimpy very happy as he does his little drop-in this evening. He’s having trouble continuing to marshal support in our state; that’s big trouble.

The statewide survey, conducted over the weekend for The News & Observer and WRAL-TV, found that 42 percent of active voters agree the war has been worth it, but 49 percent say it has not.

That’s a sharp erosion in support for the war since January 2004, when Bush defended the invasion of Iraq in a State of the Union address that kicked off his re-election campaign.

…In all, 43 percent of the respondents said they approve of establishing timetables for bringing troops home. Forty-four percent disapprove of setting a timetable, with 13 percent not sure.

Oh, and The Empty Wig, remarkably pulled Senator Liddy Dole (and figurehead of the NRSC), stands firm behind the Chimperor, even as Rep. Walter Jones has joined Democrats in calling for the prez to set a timetable for troop withdrawals.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole on Monday attacked a political action committee that is planning TV and newspaper ads to run today calling on U.S. leaders to bring troops home.

Dole, in a statement, called the ad campaign “poisonous.”

“To politicize the war in Iraq at this critical juncture emboldens the enemy,” Dole said.

Chris Kromm, over at Facing South/Institute for Southern Studies, points out that military Tar Heels are sacrificing their lives at a disproportionate rate in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush is going to need to do more than spin to convince/brainwash these hurting families why this brain-dead foreign policy is not the disaster that they are experiencing first-hand.

* Of the over 1,930 U.S. troops that have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 230 have been based in North Carolina – over 12% of the nation’s war fatalities, or nearly one out of eight U.S. soldiers killed overseas.

* Over 100 Army soldiers and 120 Marines from North Carolina bases have died in the two conflicts. Thirty-five of the troops that have died in Iraq were born in North Carolina.

* Over 2,200 of the Army’s 82nd Airborne, based at Fort Bragg, are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The division has seen over 40 soldiers killed and 450 injured in the two wars.

* North Carolina has sent one of the largest detachments of National Guard troops to Iraq: deployment peaked at 6,000 in January 2005, the largest mobilization for the state since World War II. With the recent return of the National Guard’s 30th Heavy Separate Brigade, the deployment now stands at 2,700.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding