Welcome to A People's History of Fallujah Digital Archive!
We are an affiliate of the Islah Reparations Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes grassroots reparations between those who recognize their complicity in structural violence and those who seek accountability from them. We conceive of grassroots reparations as a broad process of social repair, in which truth telling is an essential first step.
This project is dedicated to constructing a people's history of the sieges of Fallujah as an act of reparations. The two US-led sieges of Fallujah in 2004, and the Iraqi-led siege in 2016, were horribly destructive operations that caused tremendous suffering and hardship for Iraqi citizens and American soldiers alike. One thing that makes these operations unique was that the way in which the story was articulated by U.S. officials—the carefully choreographed narrative, the characterization of the actors involved, the focus on strategic themes, the tactical use of language—was as much a part of the battle plan as the use of bombs and infantry. That is, the U.S. propaganda campaign achieved far more than simply legitimizing the operation to domestic audiences. Propaganda was also integral to the violence itself, shaping, facilitating, and motivating it—a point that has yet to be fully appreciated, even by some of the most incisive of observers. Not only was the official story of Fallujah largely false and devoid of reference to Iraqi suffering, but the sieges of Fallujah marked a turning point in the weaponization of information.
Because the false narratives of the sieges of Fallujah were so linked to the violence itself, truth-telling is an especially important component of any reparations campaign for Fallujah. And that is the goal of this archive, to facilitate a process of collaborative storytelling that will contribute to a rich and rigorous historiography and assist broader reparations efforts for the city of Fallujah.
On this site you will find primary source documents about the conflict in Fallujah, Iraq since 2003. These materials include news articles, oral history interviews, human rights reports, blog posts, speeches, and government documents.
We seek to provide the public with the resources they need to understand this history on their own, without relying on officials or experts who try to present their interpretation as the true history of Fallujah.
About the author
Ross Caputi is the curator and creator of A People's History of Fallujah Digital Archive. Ross is a former U.S. Marine who fought in the second siege of Fallujah. The destruction he witnessed there led him to leave the Marines and join the antiwar movement. Today he is a PhD student of history at UMass, a coauthor of The Sacking of Fallujah: A People's History (2019), and a co-founder of the Islah Reparations Project.