In May of 2003, Fallujah, Iraq, was a little known industrial town 45 minutes from Baghdad. There, heavily subsidized industries relied on the government of Sunni leader Saddam Hussein for their meager income and the people of Fallujah lived by the principles of loyalty and reward. Nevertheless, when American troops arrived in Iraq, these same Iraqis viewed the downfall of Saddamâ€™s regime as a result of his weakness (he had fallen from favor with God) rather than a testament to American strength. Although unimpressed with the Americans, Fallujah initially seemed willing to give them an opportunity to follow through with their promises of more jobs, improved living conditions and better medical aid. As the months passed, however, fulfillment was continually hampered by political red tape and military clashes escalated. The streets of Fallujah began to fill with insurgents, ultimately becoming a stronghold for Iraqi opposition to the American presence.
This book chronicles Americaâ€™s struggle with the city of Fallujah. Beginning with the arrival of Americans on their way to Baghdad in 2003, it details the movements, counter-movements and misunderstandings that led up to the eventual standoff. It looks at how the power struggle in the inner circle of the CJTF-7 (essentially the American command) resulted in conflicting strategies for guiding the country to recoveryâ€”a â€śWar of Ideasâ€? versus a â€śTest of Wills.â€? Lack of cultural understanding, multiple political agendas and increasing outrages on both sides complicated an already tense situation. Finally, the work provides a day-by-day account of the siege which eventually retook the city of Fallujah in November 2004 (four months after occupation was scheduled to end).
31 photos, notes, index
240pp. softcover 2007
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