I don’t know if most people in the United States ever knew what Fallujah meant. It’s hard to believe the U.S. military would still exist if they did. But certainly it has been largely forgotten – a problem that could be remedied if everyone picks up a copy of The Sacking of Fallujah: A People’s History, by Ross Caputi (a US veteran of one of the sieges of Fallujah), Richard Hill, and Donna Mulhearn.
Fallujah was the “city of mosques,” made up of some 300,000 to 435,000 people. It had a tradition of resisting foreign – including British – invasions. It suffered, as did all of Iraq, from the brutal sanctions imposed by the United States in the years leading up to the 2003 attack. During that attack, Fallujah saw crowded markets bombed. Upon the collapse of the Iraqi government in Baghdad, Fallujah established its own government, avoiding the looting and chaos seen elsewhere. In April, 2003, the US 82nd Airborne Division moved into Fallujah and met no resistance.
Immediately the occupation began to produce the sort of problems seen by every occupation everywhere ever.