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Anti War Protester gets blown up
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Old 19 Apr 2005, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anti War Protester gets blown up

Here, this is even a rather cheary picture of this woman.

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Volunteer killed in Iraq worked to help innocent victims

BY COLIN MCMAHON

Chicago Tribune

BAGHDAD, Iraq - (KRT) - Marla Ruzicka should have left Iraq last week. But there was too much work, too little time and too many Iraqis who had been maimed, widowed or orphaned by a conflict they did not invite but could not avoid.

Vacation could wait, Ruzicka said. The little Iraqi boy whose leg was blown off could not.

So Ruzicka stayed. And on Saturday, Ruzicka died, killed by a car bomb that was not aimed at her but took her just the same. Along with an Iraqi colleague, the 28-year-old Californian became the very figure she had gone to Iraq to help: a civilian casualty of war.

"She went from being just an anti-war activist to someone who realized that the war was a reality and that people needed to be helped because of it," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who credited Ruzicka with helping secure U.S. government funds to compensate Iraqi and Afghan civilians hurt by U.S. military operations.

"You hear of that occasional thing where one person makes a real difference," Leahy said. "This is an example. She accomplished what large organizations don't accomplish. ... In my mind she is a real hero."

What Ruzicka accomplished was simple in principle but dangerous and difficult in practice: She identified Afghan and Iraqi families who had been hurt by U.S. military actions and then helped them get medical care or financial aid.

This was not just filling out forms. In Iraq, Ruzicka worked with local doctors, hospitals and tribal leaders as well as with the U.S. military authorities who controlled the aid. She lobbied policymakers in Washington. She charmed and needled donors in New York and San Francisco.

And Ruzicka badgered reporters to do stories on her, knowing that a newspaper article or television piece about this young and endearing woman from Northern California would bring donations to her group, the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict. She wound up on network television and in publications as varied as The Washington Post and Elle magazine.

To her friends Ruzicka was full of both humanitarian impulses and human frailties. She was something of a tortured soul, a friend said Sunday. But she was famous for arranging parties that would throb with salsa music and tip toward chaos.

"She has no guile," said Catherine Philp, a foreign correspondent for the Times of London. "She has a pure sweetness and goodness that is totally inspiring, and I don't think she ever realized that."

Ruzicka's highs were unmatchable, torrents of words and energy and productivity. Her lows brought friends and family to exhaustion as they fought to pull her back to her feet. Ruzicka took medication and underwent therapy to find the right balance, and in a recent e-mail to a friend she wrote: "i can deal with this illness. there will be good days and bad days - i just gotta fight them with love."

Iraqis were sometimes taken aback by Ruzicka's mix of flower child and union steward. She passed out hugs to security guards. She called senior military officers "dude." She belittled governmental programs as too slow to provide aid and too complicated for the average Iraqi.

Other aid workers and some reporters considered her methods inappropriate and overbearing. But families who were helped by Ruzicka spoke of her as an angel. And the money she raised bought enough shoestrings to keep running CIVIC, as her group was known.

Aryeh Neier, president of George Soros' Open Society Institute, personally approved a grant of $60,000 to fund CIVIC last year. Just this month, in a decision that made Ruzicka giddy with gratitude, Neier renewed the grant.

He praised Ruzicka for finding "the right tone" to win the military's cooperation and for "making them conscious of the suffering of the families with casualties."

"On the one hand, Marla had this very naive quality about her, which made me wonder whether she would be effective," Neier said. "On the other hand she had a very direct quality. In a sense her naivete seemed to work to her advantage."

What was naivete and what was fearlessness is hard to say. A firebrand anti-war and leftist protester in her teens and early 20s, Ruzicka became almost overnight a woman who could address authority without always confronting it. She put aside stunts. She talked to power.

"She came to D.C. without knowing anything about how things work here," said Tim Rieser, an aide to Leahy who drew on Ruzicka's work in putting together a program to provide $10 million in U.S. funds to compensate civilian casualties. Military commanders now use that money to regain the trust of average Iraqis or Afghans who suffered because of a U.S. operation.

"What Marla wanted to do was help innocent families, and she would work with anyone who could help her," Rieser said. "She was not blaming anyone. She was finding ways to get a kid airlifted to a hospital in Germany."

On Saturday Ruzicka had plowed through a morning of interviews before checking in with a friend around 2 p.m. local time, a common method for foreigners to keep track of one another in a country rife with kidnappings. She and her Iraqi associate, Faiz Ali Salim, wanted to follow up on an Iraqi family and would squeeze in one more meeting.

But an hour later, the violence of Iraq that Ruzicka had tried so hard to mitigate struck. As the pair traveled Baghdad's dangerous airport road, a suicide car bomber attacked a nearby convoy of armored vehicles belonging to a different non-governmental organization. The blast killed Ruzicka and Salim, a 43-year-old pilot for Iraqi Airways who had taken a leave from his job to help Ruzicka this month. A European security guard with the other agency also died.

Ruzicka's funeral is scheduled for Saturday in Lakeport, Calif.

"With Marla there are always a couple of more interviews that should be done," Leahy said. "She never talked as if her job was finished. There would always be more to be done."

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This article barely touches on some impartant issues, like her mental health which lead her to believe she was a holier than thou modern day mother theresa. It also briefly mentions progresive Soros pidly donation to her fund, while he spends millions on trying to oust replublicans. I guess funding a phsycotic woman is less important than funding a couple of pshycotic organizations.

At any rate, it proves the theory that they do not care who they kill. It doesn't matter what your stance on the war is. It doesn't matter if you're republican or democrat. It doesn't matter if you went to iraq to give away money that should be going to our own service men, they will blow your ass up all the same. And this stupid bitch wasn't even the target, some other Non-governmental agency was. I figure if she didn't get killed like this, sooner or later she was going to walk into a house with some fukced up muslim who was going to kidnap a white bitch and chop off her head all the same.

BTW, I didn't see the afghans stepping up and sending us money for all the deaths they're responsible for in NY.
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Old 19 Apr 2005, 03:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great post.

BTW, that Soros guy is The Enemy. Everyone always talks shit about the people who fund the Republicans...but he funds just about every major Liberal campaign out there, he contributes to anything left of center...and he's getting something for it, just like all major campaign donors are. Nobody mentions the companies he owns, just his name and the foundation he runs. Of course that's because he's a Liberal Cash Cow and the media is contractually obligated to give him the red carpet treatment...

But that guy's got some dirt under his fingernails...I'd like to take a look at it...

Late.
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