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The story’s intended audience is the government of United States, which according to the author, seemingly believes that military actions is the solution to humanitarian crisis that faces the global population. More importantly, the author targets misplaced priority that normally cripples in whenever a tragedy that affects larger population occurs. It can also be interpreted to mean that the author wanted to challenge those who have been involved in efforts to find solutions to problems that affects the global world- that their approaches to these problems have been historical failures.

For a person who is devoted to helping his fellow flood victims, a staunch Muslim Zeitoun ends up being arrested, purportedly for looting his own house. The family goes through unimaginable sufferings, and ends up with shocking news and exaggerated media stories about her husband. The public are made to belief that the drowned city is just but a war zone, comprised of people out to loot property rather than help. The use of force to disperse people, shoot to kill orders and political statements from the governor shifting attention to the people who are vividly miserable tells how the leaders can be heartless and careless with their actions. It clearly illustrates the author’s intention of vilifying the government’s traditions of using force and tragedy to torture innocent people. Precisely, Eggers targets President Bush’s administration policies on wars and humanitarian issues.    

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The book has some important messages that the target audience should be in a position to learn. First, the government’s role should be to protect its people, irrespective of race, religion, color, and gender. In clear that Zeitoun was vilified for reasons not related to his mistakes. His was a case of misplaced aggression, as the fact remain that he was not guilty of anything and instead his humanitarian acts suggest how he was involved in helping Katrina victims during the disaster. He was being labeled an al-Qaeda, something that many have gone through since 9/11 terrorism act. It’s traumatizing enough for those who have experienced such events, but issues need to be tackled with much sobriety. That is, the attack that was carried out by Muslim fundamentalists should never be used as the excuse for levying every Muslim a terrorist.

The other important message this story brings us to is that America was tested indeed, but due to lack of visionary leadership, we failed. The inability of United States as the world’s sole superpower to avert certain crisis clearly suggests how we as a nation can be trounced within a second without much help from our own national leaders. The ability of a nation to protect its people was put to test, but the end result justified otherwise. Although this may sound as a bitter fact, it is clearly illustrated by the story of this Syrian immigrant, and a clear testimony of what can become of a lapse in leadership and misuse of military. 

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