SEE THAT MY GRAVE IS KEPT WINGNUT-FREE
Marla Ruzicka was killed by a car bomb while doing humanitarian work in Iraq. In death she was praised for her work and her courage.
Don't think for a minute that that's going to prevent right-wingers from trashing her.
Today, David Howowitz's Front Page Magazine runs "Meet the Real Marla Ruzicka" by Debbie Schlussel. (That title is toned down; on Schlussel's own Web site it's "Treasonatrix Barbie: Meet the Real Marla Ruzicka.") A sample:
With her cascading blonde hair and youthful looks, Ruzicka didn’t look like your average greasy-haired, pot-smoking, hackey-sack-playing, crunchy radical. And the media swooned over her, the newly-anointed Vanity Fair pin-up in Birkenstocks.
But looks are deceiving. Marla Ruzicka was no mere peace activist.
She formed the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), the goal of which was anything but CIVIC during the War on Terror or ever. Ruzicka’s aim was to force the U.S. government to get an "accurate" count of "innocent civilian' deaths by U.S. troops and blackmail America into paying monetary settlements for each death.
But many of those dead included assorted terrorists, jihadists, and other collaborators and uprisers against Americans. Ruzicka had the gall to insist that these Afghani and Iraqi dead, terrorists or not, get recognition and sympathy equal to victims of the 9/11 attacks.
More outrageous, Ruzicka got taxpayer money to fund her aiding-and-abetting pursuits. Where was Marla Ruzicka on 9/11? Hint: Not asking al-Qaeda for money to count and compensate U.S. victims of terror.
Ah, so that's her real crime: Not locating Osama bin Laden all by herself.
The Guardian had a rather different take on Ruzicka's work:
In a typical entry from her journal, published on AlterNet on November 6 2003, she reported: "On October 24, former teacher Mohammad Kadhum Mansoor, 59, and his wife, Hamdia Radhi Kadhum, 45, were travelling with their three daughters - Beraa, 21, Fatima, 8, and Ayat, 5 - when they were tragically run over by an American tank.
"A grenade was thrown at the tank, causing it to lose control and veer on to the highway, over the family's small Volkswagen. Mohammad and Hamdia were killed instantly, orphaning the three girls in the back seat. The girls survived, but with broken and fractured bodies. We are not sure of Ayat's fate; her backbone is broken.
"CIVIC staff member Faiz Al Salaam monitors the girls' condition each day. Nobody in the military or the US army has visited them, nor has anyone offered to help this very poor family."
And Ruzicka thought this was a bad thing. The nerve!
Schlussel overlooks a rather significant point: We don't want people like this to suffer. Iraqi and Afghan civilians are the good guys. People on the left say this -- and so does everyone in the administration (President Bush says these are the people we fought the wars for). The left may root for Afghan women to cast off their burqas, but so does Laura Bush; everyone can agree that it took courage in January for Iraqis to vote.
Unlike Debbie Schlussel, the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress thinks these civilians matter. It gave CIVIC money for civilian victims. As The Washington Post reported in 2004,
... Ruzicka helped focus attention on the problem of collateral victims, and what resulted was a precedent-setting approach that moves beyond the cash payments the military favors. The $10 million is used to rebuild homes and schools, provide medical assistance and make loans.