Inside Fallujah: The Unembedded Story, by Ahmed Mansour

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Newly released from InterLink Publishing: Inside Fallujah: The Unembedded Story by journalist Ahmed Mansour

Fallujah first entered America’s public consciousness on March 31, 2004, following the murder of four Blackwater USA security guards. During the subsequent April siege of the city by US troops, all roads entering Fallujah were blocked, but one courageous journalist, Ahmed Mansour of al-Jazeera, was able to slip through with his crew.

The images they broadcast during the six-day siege shocked the world, showing the excessive use of force by US troops, the heartless destruction of a city that had previously resisted the US occupation, and the unedited brutality of the Iraq war as seen by unembedded media. Inside Fallujah: The Unembedded Story, by Ahmed Mansour, tells the terrifying story of what it was like to be inside Fallujah during Operation Vigilant Resolve.

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The second half of the book deals with the political fall-out from Mansour’s coverage of the siege. Journalism during the Iraq war had already been the subject of criticism, both for the practice of embedding journalists and the incredibly high number of journalists killed, wounded, or kidnapped in the conflict. Following his dispatches from inside Fallujah, Mansour, a respected veteran journalist who covered the Soviet–Afghan war and the Bosnian war, became a target of the Bush administration; several al-Jazeera bureaus were bombed by the US; and five months after the siege, the Baghdad bureau was closed under orders from the occupation-friendly interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

Blending his personal account of the first battle of Fallujah with the politics of the Iraq war, the Bush administration’s determination to remove Mansour from the city, the repression of freedom of the press in Iraq, and the harrowing, heartbreaking stories of Fallujah’s residents, Mansour’s Inside Fallujah is a gripping account of one of the most controversial battles of the Iraq war.

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