Sunday, April 24, 2005

Miss Marla Ruzicka - A Hero?

[NOTE: Orignially posted on April 17th; updated often since; scroll down for most recent {4-24}...]

A woman {Marla Ruzicka} who led an effort to help those ravaged by violence in Iraq, lobbying congressmen for millions of dollars in aid that she helped deliver to families, fell victim to the war herself when a car bomb killed her and two other people, officials said Sunday.

Her name turns up here:

"Flaws in U.S. Air War Left Hundreds of Civilians Dead," blares the lead headline of yesterday's New York Times...

Marla Ruzicka, a Global Exchange field worker in Afghanistan, said the most common factor behind the civilian deaths has been an American reliance on incomplete information to decide on targets.

So what is this
Global Exchange, which Filkins describes only as "an American organization"? A look at its Web site makes clear it's a far-left outfit that opposed any military intervention in Afghanistan. Blogger Michael Moynihan has more details on Marla Ruzicka, who turns out to be a fervent admirer of Fidel Castro. There's also a "report" on the 2000 election dispute from the World Socialist Web Site, which quotes her as suggesting Republicans are terrorists..

Read the rest, she blasts Republicans "skinheads." the whole drab routine...this is old hat for her, though - an August WaPo puff pices is telling :

Ruzicka, then 25, had already forged a reputation in leftist circles. She once had disrupted a speech on AIDS by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. Another time, she was hauled off by police after she ripped off a sarong -- which inside had a protest statement -- during a speech by then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

The MSN link contains this piece of telling news:

When the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began in March 2003, Ruzicka was already in Baghdad with Code Pink, said Jodi Evans, co-founder of the women’s anti-war group.

Code Pink is here ; please to note last item on homepage raising money for the "refugees" of Falluja...didn't see anything about helping out injured American soldiers, though (just don't question their patriotism). Just so we know where her sympathies lay...

Three Points to Ponder:
1- Miss Ruzicka did not deserve to die; I'm sure she did help displaced Iraqi citizens; apparently she worked w/Senator Pat Leahy to get funding added to an appropration bill
2- even being essentially a terrorist sympathizer, in both Afganistan and Iraq, she was killed by them anyway. She was helping them, via some good works and lots of media sympathy. Guess a blonde-haired American infidel is always a target, even when they are on your side...
3- dollars to donuts says we'll have Rachel Corrie II on our hands momentarily...

UPDATE April 19th: This is one of two pieces in today's USA Today regarding Miss Ruzicka; here she talks a bit about her work :

The American public has a right to know how many Iraqis have lost their lives since the start of the war and as hostilities continue...

Recently, I obtained statistics on civilian casualties from a high-ranking U.S. military official. The numbers were for Baghdad only, for a short period, during a relatively quiet time. Other hot spots, such as the Ramadi and Mosul areas, could prove worse. The statistics showed that 29 civilians were killed by small-arms fire during firefights between U.S. troops and insurgents between Feb. 28 and April 5 — four times the number of Iraqi police killed in the same period. It is not clear whether the bullets that killed these civilians were fired by U.S. troops or insurgents.

One can debate in good faith what Miss Ruzicka's intentions were by trying to force the release of civilain combat deaths - inform the public, or inflame the public? Any number released by the American military would cause "international outrage"; be it 2,000 or 20,000. And as she herself admits, since many of the civilian deaths have been by insurgent forces (notoriously bad shots), it would be difficult to ascertain how many were actually caused by the coalition. In any case, any number released would most likely be considered 1- false, 2-an undercount.

The military should also want to release this information for the purposes of comparison with reports such as the Lancet study published late last year. It suggested that since the U.S.-led invasion there had been 100,000 deaths in Iraq.

Here is where Marla Ruzicka makes a good point; the Lancet study, which even the issuing group has admitted to being "an approximation at best", has been used as left-wing dogma, to the point where the 100,000 number is tossed about as fact on TV and radio all the time. But again - would any assertion made by the US government be believed?

She closes with:
A number is important not only to quantify the cost of war, but as a reminder of those whose dreams will never be realized in a free and democratic Iraq.

Yes, Marla, that is true. But I think of the unrealized dreams of my friends who perished when attacked on 9/11 by an enemy deliberately targeting civilians.

We regret civilian casualties, even if we don't always quantify them. Our enemies glorify in them, and relish the blood of innocents on their hands.

Big, big difference. Did Marla Ruzicka know it?

UPDATE April 20th: Interesting thoughts here - - "RantingProfs" - wondering why the media is failing to give what he (and I) believe is the whole story on Ruzica's works in the Middle East.

UPDATE April 21st: In an example of the selective information the media will disseminate, see this column lauding our angel by Herbert in the NY Times.
Marla's activities presented without context, as that might color the picture Bob Herbert is trying to paint here. This is the money quote, however:

Ms. Ruzicka, 28, was killed on Saturday in the chaos of Iraq. She and an Iraqi colleague, Faiz Ali Salim, were trapped in their car on the airport road in Baghdad when a suicide bomber attacked a convoy that was passing nearby. Ms. Ruzicka's vehicle was engulfed in flames. She and Mr. Salim burned to death.

The "chaos that engulfs" Iraq, Bob? Who uses suicide bombers, Bob? At least show some courage and denounce the terrorists (or insurgents, if you wish) that killed your hero. Or are you afraid to do that, because it would involve taking a stand against those who murdered Americans?

Marla Ruzicka deserves at least that much...

UPDATE April 24th: Alas, this is what I was expecting, in lieu of balanced discussion:

she had been traveling to and from the country since U.S.-led forces invaded, often going door-to-door to meet wounded Iraqis and gathering data for her surveys on those hurt and killed.

And what was she planning on doing with that data? Honest accounting, or propoganda? Actually, the above statement is contradicted later in the article here...

Ruzicka traveled to Iraq before the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion

Yes, read the post from the beginning - she came in before the invasion with Code Pink; but no mention of them or their far-left agenda...(now, if they had a far-right agenda, itwould be the lead, if not the headline)

The upbeat homily drew laughter from the more than 600 mourners, which included actor Sean Penn, who said he counted Ruzicka among his heroes, and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer

Two of Saddam's biggest supporters. Note how often Barbara Boxer's name shows up tied in with the radical left - again, imagine if these people were conservatives, do you think you'd hear a description like this -

...she was remembered as a force of nature, a cross between Mother Teresa and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, said Quill Lawrence, a radio reporter for the British Broadcasting Corp.

OK, THAT IS ENOUGH!! Mother Teresa???? Only in the BBC's eyes....

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