On May 1, 2003, the day President George W. Bush landed on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in front of the massive Mission Accomplished sign, I was in Baghdad performing what had become a daily ritual. I went to a gate on the side of the Republican Palace, in the Green Zone, where an American soldier was receiving, one by one, a long line of Iraqis who came with questions and complaints. I remember a man complaining that his house had been run over by a tank. There was a woman who had been a government employee and wanted to know about her salary. The soldier had a form he was supposed to fill out with each persons request and that persons contact information. I stood there as the man talked to each person and, each time, said, Phone number? And each person would answer some version of The phone system of Iraq has been destroyed and doesnt work. Then the soldier would turn to the next person, write down the persons question or complaint, and then ask, Phone number?