Country trio the Dixie Chicks are desperate to be asked to perform for US troops in Iraq in an effort to prove once and for all they're not unpatriotic. Chicks singer Natalie Maines became a target of abuse and protest in 2003 after she publicly criticised PRESIDENT George W Bush for sending soldiers to Iraq. And since the backlash, the WIDE OPEN SPACES star has been nervous about meeting US troops - because she felt they'd dislike her for the comments she made three years ago. But, after meeting sailors at Fleet Week in New York last week (ends26MAY06) - and being treated like a star, Maines is keen to meet and perform for more servicemen and women. She says, "I used to think they wouldn't want us to come (and perform) and I'd be embarrassed because I would think that they believed the rhetoric or whatever that we didn't support them. "I realise it wouldn't be like that and it would be great." Bandmate Emily Robison admits the group is just waiting for an invite to go out to Iraq and perform. She adds, "If people wanted us to go, we'd gladly go."