rprised to find “hundreds of Iraqis, lawyers and doctors and army officers and engineers” (p.84), filled the auditorium of the Falluja Youth Center, dressed in their best clothes.
Dexter described this chapter as the “land of hope and sorrow (p.71). Hope in seeing so many of these potential candidates vying for a government post in the new Iraq. Sorrow, because all hopes were gone when the Americans invaded Falluja and destroyed it (p.85). Dexter could not help but wonder about what might have happened to all those who had participated in the ballot at the Falluja Youth Center. “All those hopeful little pieces of paper” (p.86), gone forever.
In chapter 7, Dexter witnessed in Mosul two American soldiers who were caught in an ambush by some insurgents who executed them in broad daylight (p.129). A crowd of Iraqis who were watching the execution, dragged their bodies out of the car, and robbed them of their belongings. Dexter came across a fire station, the Ras al-Jada fire station, and asked the fireman what exactly happened down the street, “Who did it?” (p.130). The firemen simply shrugged their shoulders.
In chapter 12, Dexter described Falluja as “the vanishing world” (p.218). “Falluja was always the worst” (p 219), referring to the uprising and full-blown rebellions in every city. Iraq “disappeared for us then,” and “never came back” (p. 220). The Americans plunged themselves into killing some civilians, and destroying a suspected terrorist “safehouse” which they claimed “innocent civilians knowingly stayed away (p. 220). Dexter wondered about that statement made by the Americans.
In a conversation Dexter had had with his colleague, Ed Wong (p.222), they wondered how safe they were in the grounds of the Mahdi Army. “What would happen ...if the bad guys got inside the house? What would we do then? What if they actually got inside the house? Would it be better, for instance, to use a pistol, which was more easily