Dusty Little Fallujah

E-mail Steve

Nov. 9, 2004 10:23 AM

I was asked to say a couple of words about Fallujah. I was last there a month ago. For all the talk you hear about Fallujah, I think you would be very surprised if you actually saw it. The main street is a dusty little road with tiny shops that takes about a minute to drive through, and that's it. The strip is surrounded by small houses and farmland. It is barren and unappealing. So, while hearing about it all the time on TV — the great battle for Fallujah — keep in mind that it is a dusty little town. I think this is important for two reasons.

First, it seems to me that intrinsically Fallujah itself is not important. Taking the city is not the goal. Destroying the terrorists is. Often in any war people looking at maps or reading about battles can mistake the importance of territory. I remember reading about Lincoln's frustration with Union generals, telling them it was not cities he was interested in taking, the goal was to meet and destroy Lee's army.

Second, the fact that it is not a built-up city with high-rise buildings should make the fighing easier for U.S. and pro-government Iraqi forces. I remember when the Russians fought for the city of Grozny in Chechnya in the 1990s they first bombed the capital, destroying high-rise apartment buildings. The rubble from these apartment buildings became excellent fortifications and hiding places for the Chechen fighters. They held out for months. This won't be the case in the flat dust bowl of Fallujah. The test will come after the pitched battle is over.

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Steve, you need to write a book, or two... Your work, no one else's, has shown me the importance of the specific type of work you do. You have a gift, thank you for sharing it. Stay safe and keep writing!

Sarah (Allen, TX)


You're providing fantastic reporting from every quarter of the globe. Thank you.

— Sean (Norcross, GA)


Thank you for your view of life in Fallujah, my husband is Lt. Lyle, and with him so far away, it gives me a little more insight on what he is dealing with. Your reporting is easy to read, and entertaining at the same time.

Thank you for your support of our troops.



Dear Steve,
My name is Julie and I live in York, PA,. My family watches only FOX. It is the only station we trust anymore. I would like to say THANK YOU for covering all that is happening. I don't know how you do it, but just know that we say our prayers for you each time you come on.

Keep up the good work,
stay safe and take care

Julie from York, PA


I just want to know how? How can you see what you see and still stay sane? I was a paramedic for 20 years and thought I had seen the worst one human could do to another....sadly not true. Maybe you have.

— Pam (Dublin, GA)

Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.