Friday, July 20, 2007

Perspective: Support waning in military heartland

Above: National Guardsmen on their way to Fort Dix for training before deploying to Iraq.

PEMBERTON is a military town, but it emerges from the highway like a vision of an older, simpler, idealised America conceived by Norman Rockwell.

This is not a holiday, yet the historic street of Pemberton, New Jersey, is dressed in national flags, fluttering from every telegraph pole and from most front porches.

Cars bear transfers of yellow ribbon that speak of supporting "our" troops. Overhead, lumbering jets cast giant shadows as they make their final approach to McGuire Air Force Base.

Next to the town is Fort Dix, the military camp that has done more than any other to prepare troops for the conflict in Iraq. If the President, George Bush, loses towns like Pemberton, then he has surely lost America.

And it seems he is losing this piece of small-town America, population 29,000.

Read the rest at the New Zealand Herald