Page 50 of my ongoing graphic novel project. In addition to the obvious depiction of the frustration that comes in maneuvering a dozen armored vehicles in a city with no zoning laws, a couple of things that I was trying to convey here are the amount of clutter and rubble at ground level, to include partially destroyed buildings, as well as the feeling of being surrounded on all sides by high rooftops and dark windows looking down on you, with no where to escape to. Hopefully I captured it.
The blue sign in the background says “bank,” which is one reason why there are bullet holes in the wall. With that being said, I remember distinctly being on a mission in Mosul to put up some concrete walls and walking past a building with a big light-up sign saying “BANK”, in English as well as Arabic. It was not only un-blown-up, but also clean and freshly painted. Clearly, some bank manager’s brother’s girlfriend’s sister’s brother-in-law’s alderman’s nephew’s cousin knew the right people, or they were paying protection money, or both. Either way, it was a manifestation of the kind of Iraqi political dealings that were helping the “surge” succeed, because it certainly wasn’t the U.S. Army protecting that building.