Reporter James Crawley does some valuable number-crunching in a news story today about the impact of the Iraq war on Southern communities: More than half of the U.S. troops killed in Iraq either came from the South or were assigned to military bases in the region, according to an analysis of Pentagon records. As the U.S. military death toll nears 2,000 deaths since March 2003, the South continues to bear a heavy toll from the war, said national security analysts. The story also draws on the Institute's report, "Missiles and Magnolias: The South at War 2005." As the story notes, the disproportionate impact of the war on the South is affecting public attitudes in the region: A September CBS poll, Kromm said, showed that 34 percent of Southerners thought the Iraq war was having a "major impact" on their communities - 10 percentage points higher than any other region. UPDATE: This story clearly is even more relevant now that we've passed the 2,000 mark for U.S. deaths in Iraq. And according to a new Scripps poll, a plurality of the U.S. public now favors "rapid pullout" from Iraq.