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Friendly Fire

Marla Ruzicka was opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So much so that she started a group called CIVIC, the Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict. So much so that she travelled to Iraq to help and document every single civilian killed or injured by US forces. So much so that she focused, laser-like, on those killed by Americans and gave not the slightest attention to those killed by "insurgents" (the current popular term for terrorists).

Right up until those "insurgents" killed her.

Apparently Ms. Ruzicka used the same kind of logic that small children use when they cover their eyes. "If I can't see you, you can't see me!" Unfortunately, the insurgents are slightly more sophisticated than your average 3-year-old.

If her organization remains consistent, expect them to announce soon that Marla Ruzicka has died in Iraq, without any elaborating details. Perhaps they'll refer to it as a car accident.

Unless, of course, they can find a way to blame the US for her death. Perhaps the "insurgents" were targeting an American convoy, that cruelly rescheduled itself. Maybe the bomb was detonated by US jamming devices.

Yet another case of liberal racism -- she believed she could blithely flit around in war zones, magically protected by her blessed white skin and cloaked with the purity of her noble intentions. After all, the insurgents are only mainly targeting people in tan uniforms and brown skin, right?

The problem is, people are grotesquely overcomplicating the situation. The "insurgents" aren't "freedom fighters." They aren't interested in "driving out the foreign oppressors." They aren't "standing up to the invaders."

They're killers. That's their main motive. They kill because they want to, need to, enjoy it. They kill our forces because once they drive us out, they can freely kill Iraqis. They kill those who help us because it's becoming more and more expensive to try to kill us. And if they succeed, they'll start in on killing those who sided with us, those who oppose them, those that don't adequately support them, those that might oppose them one day. They killed Marla Ruzicka because they could, even though she was one of their best friends. They kill because that's what they do. They did it under Saddam, and they want those days back.

And these are the people that Michael Moore call equivalent to our Founding Fathers.

These are the people who could kill as many as they liked, as far as Marla Ruzicka was concerned.

I wonder what her opinion of them would be now?

J.


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Comments (36)

That is one of the best and... (Below threshold)
Doug Robertson:

That is one of the best and most enlightened post I have ever read. It reminds me of why you are one of my daily reads.

That is one of the best pos... (Below threshold)
Doug Robertson:

That is one of the best posts I have read. It reminds me of why you are one of my daily reads.

I spent two tours in Vietnam and those other bordering countries that we are not suppose to talk about. We left them to soon, with to little and ultimately to die by the millions. I never ever want to see the antiwar people in the US allow that to happen again. The antiwar groups saved a handful of American lives at the cost of the freedom and lives of millions. That is a trade I don't want to make again. America is the only superpower right now and just like being a father, with that comes responsibility.

This is our fault because w... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

This is our fault because we invaded Iraq. If we hadn't done that, she wouldn't have had to go to Iraq and get killed.

Of course, we would be living in fear of what Saddam would be giving to the terrorists, so I guess trading one dead whacko for removing a dictator is a good deal.

Idealism does not spare you... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Idealism does not spare you from being killed-by either side in a conflict.

Kind of reminds me of the s... (Below threshold)

Kind of reminds me of the scorpion riding across the lake on the turtle's back.

From what I've read of her ... (Below threshold)
epador:

From what I've read of her postings and interviews, she was well aware of the risks she was taking. At least she was an idealist willing to risk her life and limb for what she believed in, in contrast to some of the folks on either side of the political line who either vilify or propose sainthood.

I don't think we like reading postings about soldiers who have died that spit venom and excrement over their bodies. No need to do the same over this poor woman's body. She presented a target to the "insurgents" as a Westerner interfering with their vision of society, and a prominent personality sure to get air and web time when killed. We may be helping their cause by elevating her death over those of the other hundreds and thousands of Iraqi's she championed and the hundreds of "coalition" dead and wounded.

Wingnut euphoria!!! Another... (Below threshold)
Trollee:

Wingnut euphoria!!! Another dead woman to exploit. Yee-hawwwwwwww!

At least she wasn't dumb en... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

At least she wasn't dumb enough to stand in front of a bulldozer.

I agree with you that she w... (Below threshold)

I agree with you that she was a lefty nutjob, but she did seem to do some good, which is more than you can say for Michael Moore.

My essay on the topic:

R.I.P. Marla Ruzicka

The 'insurgents' do like to... (Below threshold)
Vit:

The 'insurgents' do like to kill, that is one and only reason that it is done, they seem to like watch things go boooom. Same happended in Serbia and around there. It boggles mind and to a normal person this sounds out of wack though it is unfortunately not so.

More "innocent" blood on Ge... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

More "innocent" blood on George Soros' hands.

"You portray this woman as ... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

"You portray this woman as some left wing fairy just because she was following her convictions for peace work in Iraq."

If she was working for peace in Iraq, why was she only documenting deaths caused by US forces? Why wasn't she concerned about the innocent victims of the insurgency? Perhaps, at least in my view, she was more interested in bashing America, and less interested in truely helping the Iraqis.

Another Darwin Award winner... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Another Darwin Award winner in the Rachel Corrie Division.

I hope her troubled mind is finally at peace.

From my understanding she w... (Below threshold)
ryan:

From my understanding she was over there doing something that wasnt being done. The US has an interest in reporting deaths caused by insurgents/terrorists, right? From what I have read this woman was over there because she felt that nobody was documenting iraqi deaths caused by US forces. She felt they were being overlooked. So she went and did something about it.

So she was working with Leahy and getting money for certain victims. Or thats what I've read.

She disagreed with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is her right. Do you really think that she was aiding terrorists by trying to help people who had been affected by US actions? I'm not so sure about that one.

Whats the point of trash talking someone who was working to help people? I dont get it.

The problem is, people are grotesquely overcomplicating the situation.

Oh, right...its not complicated at all. Glad to see that you have it all figured out. It's all just good guys and bad guys eh? I mean, its such a simple situation that we've only been there for a couple years now.

Master of None:... (Below threshold)
ryan:

Master of None:

If she was working for peace in Iraq, why was she only documenting deaths caused by US forces? Why wasn't she concerned about the innocent victims of the insurgency?

From what I have read about her organization, she was there because she felt that US caused deaths were not being documented, which may or may not have been the case. But basically it sounds like she was there because she thought that those deaths were being overlooked.

The US does have a vested interest in reporting any and all deaths that occur at the hands of terrorists. I could see how the deaths that we cause could get glossed over.

Perhaps, at least in my view, she was more interested in bashing America, and less interested in truely helping the Iraqis.

Maybe, but that seems like a long way to go just to bash America. I have a feeling that she actually gave a damn about what she was doing. She may have been biased, or a little naive, but I dont think she was over there just for political reasons. I think that she might have actually been trying to help people.

"...we are well on the way ... (Below threshold)
LJD:

"...we are well on the way to killing more (innocent) people than he did, and that the Iraq children were considerably less poor and malnutritioned under him,..."

Oh yeah- I care to differ. you might want to do some research on that one.

Doesn't anybody see the deep irony here... A woman in Iraq to expose deaths caused by the U.S. is killed by insurgents. I will say nothing against this woman, but those who think like her need to check their facts, then decide which side they're gonna be on.

Come on LJD, didn't you se... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

Come on LJD, didn't you see that part in Fahrenheit 911 where the happy Iraqi chilren enjoyed a great big bowl of Toasted Saddami O's, and then headed outside for a day of kite flying. There were no mass graves, no torture, no children dead from gas attacks. Don't you do any research????.

Joser,Follow the m... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Joser,

Follow the money, Marla's org. got quite a bit from one of Soro's wicked stepchildren.

If not for the misguided loonies that funded her misguided efforts, she would not have been within the proximity of anything more dangerous than a protest sign.

I know there'd still be ... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

I know there'd still be Sadam, but considering that we are well on the way to killing more (innocent) people than he did

Are you really that nuts?

We've killed 300,000 innocent people?

Go back to the DU where crazy statements like that fit in, otherwise you will just been seen for a lunatic who makes statements like the one above.

Hey Joser,Y... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Hey Joser,


You need to change your name to Backpedlin' Bob.

" Well on our way means tha... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

" Well on our way means that we have put a lot of little people underround, but not yet enough to compare to Sadam"

That's got to be the dumbest thing I've ever read.

Joser,I must be we... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Joser,

I must be well on my way to being elected the next Pope since I was born into a Catholic family.

In your honor I will be Pope Joser I.

Jay Tea writes: .... (Below threshold)
s9:

Jay Tea writes: ...The "insurgents" aren't "freedom fighters." They aren't interested in "driving out the foreign oppressors." They aren't "standing up to the invaders."

Bollocks. It's stupid to argue that the widespread violence in Iraq is not the product of an insurgency movement.

It's also quite telling that you have no sympathy for the deaths of Americans at the hands of insurgents in Iraq unless they are Americans with a "patriotically correct" alignment with your politics.

We should remember that the next you get all up in our grills about some poor contractor who gets beheaded on videotape just for being American in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because it depends on who writes their paychecks whether you'll be outraged or if you'll be cynical and vaguely bemused.

We should remember that ... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

We should remember that the next you get all up in our grills about some poor contractor who gets beheaded on videotape just for being American in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because it depends on who writes their paychecks whether you'll be outraged or if you'll be cynical and vaguely bemused.

The contracters are there to try to help rebuild Iraq.

Marla was there to push her own agenda and suffered the consequences of placing herself in a war zone.

Forgive me for seeing a difference.

mesablue writes: ... (Below threshold)
s9:

mesablue writes: ...Forgive me for seeing a difference.

You aren't seeking forgiveness.

I bet you would howl like a wounded dog if I were to argue that Blackwater Security consultants are in Iraq to push their own agenda and deserve no sympathy if they suffer "the consequences of placing [themselves] in a war zone." I wouldn't argue that, but then I'm not the one claiming that dead American civilians don't matter when they're killed while they're on the payroll of a "patriotically incorrect" organization.

I think the tone of the comments in this thread show quite clearly that a lot of people here feel no particular sympathy for the deaths of American civilians until they have first had a chance to review the background. Jay Tea calls her death a "friendly fire" incident. Mesablue puts scare quotes around the word innocent.

You'll forgive me if that makes me think you might be more interested in seeing me and my family killed rather than protected from killers— at least, until you've had a chance to review the political alignment of my employers.

I bet you would howl lik... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

I bet you would howl like a wounded dog if I were to argue that Blackwater Security consultants are in Iraq to push their own agenda and deserve no sympathy if they suffer "the consequences of placing [themselves] in a war zone." I wouldn't argue that, but then I'm not the one claiming that dead American civilians don't matter when they're killed while they're on the payroll of a "patriotically incorrect" organization.

I think the tone of the comments in this thread show quite clearly that a lot of people here feel no particular sympathy for the deaths of American civilians until they have first had a chance to review the background. Jay Tea calls her death a "friendly fire" incident. Mesablue puts scare quotes around the word innocent.

You'll forgive me if that makes me think you might be more interested in seeing me and my family killed rather than protected from killers— at least, until you've had a chance to review the political alignment of my employers.

Wow, that was quite a reach and quite the rant.

While I was in the military I never questioned the political alignment of anyone I was sent to protect.

Your interpretation of this comment thread is just as skewed or more than those that you accuse.

It was naivety and ignorance that got Marla killed. No one rejoices in it, just questions the thought process that put her in the proximity of those that would do her harm.

I don't see people on the right calling for people to be killed because of their "political alignment". That, you can see just about everyday at DU or Kos.

mesablue writes: ... (Below threshold)
s9:

mesablue writes: It was naivety and ignorance that got Marla killed.

How do you know she was naïve and ignorant?

Hum... an interesting take ... (Below threshold)

Hum... an interesting take here - especially with that skank about prior military service.

Let's start out with the basic premise - this Marla Ruzicka is some how an unconvicted felon, to wit, aiding and abetting an enemy in a time of war. The only possible basis by which one can get to the 'friendly fire' assertion.

So why exactly are you folks whining about the fact that the American Military Command in Iraq is so incompetent that they allow unconvicted traitors loose in Iraq?

Or do you folks hope that none of us with prior military and NGO time would point out your obvious faux paux to you?

So now. Do you guys really want to work out how exactly you want to 'support the president to support the troops' without insulting the troops, the military intelligence community, and the rest of the intelligence community in the process.

Hum?

mesablue writes: ... (Below threshold)
s9:

mesablue writes: I don't see people on the right calling for people to be killed because of their "political alignment."

No, they don't have the stones for that. But you do see them holding back their outrage over the deaths of American civilians at the hands of violent extremists when they learn that the dead were affiliated with progressives.

Will you be outraged when they kill me and my family? Or will you have to review my employment history first?

I wrote: Will you... (Below threshold)
s9:

I wrote: Will you be outraged when they kill me and my family? Or will you have to review my employment history first?

[No response.]

Yeah, that's what I thought. Outstanding.

S9 You got no response beca... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

S9 You got no response because it was ridiculous question.

I tell you what. I'll promise to be extremely outraged if terrorists kill you and your family, if you promise not to pack up the wife and kids and head down the airport road in Bagdad in a private vehicle. (or stand in front of armored bulldozers).

Sound fair?

Its hard for me to fathom t... (Below threshold)

Its hard for me to fathom the amount of bile a single person's death can generate. Marla was a friend of mine. She reflected many of the values that once made America a beacon to the world. She was tough and flirtatious, outspoken and brave. She loved the people she was trying to help, loved the principles upon which her country was founded, and aspired to represent them as best she could. She could also be a pain in the ass.
She epitomized the old journalistic credo: "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
Its very hard to know there's a bunch of bitter, empty people out there pissing on her grave as family and friends prepare to bury her today. You outta be ashamed of yourselves.

Grinch, may I ask you why y... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Grinch, may I ask you why you seem more upset with people who are discussing Martha's death than with those who killed her? Seems a little odd to me...

J.

The original poster should ... (Below threshold)
Dan:

The original poster should be ashamed. Marla risked her life to help people (and, you ill-informed moron, she tried to get money for all civilian victims of the war, harmed by whichever side. She never once spoke of "Freedom fighters" and was disgusted by the insurgency), ends up dead, and you imply that she was part of the insurgency in Iraq? How blinded by ideology are you?

You know nothing of marla's opinions about the Sunni Arab insurgents, you snivelling little coward, because you never met marla and you've never been to Baghdad. Having done both myself, i can speak with a little more authority. Don't like her politics? Fine. But Marla was a pacifist, and was as horrified by the actions of the insurgents as she was by her own country. One of the best friends of the terrorists? God, you sicken me. She couldn't stand them.

And where do you come off with this fantasy about marla believing she was "magically protected by her white skin" so that she could "flit about" the war zone. Have you ever been to war? Let me tell you, people that go to war regularly don't think this way. Marla was scared, and worried, lots of the time, and knew it could end badly, but went anyways. Call this stupid idealism if you must. But she was under no illusions as to the chances she might end up dead, probably at the hands of the insurgency. So, her attitude/opinion wouldn't be any different now (unless we're referring to the attitude you invented for her so you could tear down "straw woman" marla). "Liberal racism?" What the hell are you talking about? Thousands of poor iraqis, who don't fight on either side, are suffering, and she tried to help them. Then she was killed. And you, eating doritos and massaging your lazy man-breasts at some computer in the safe, comfy "real" world, are taking potshots? You shitheel.

So Jay, you want to make a difference? Get thee to Iraq. I don't care what your politics are. Spend some time in emergency rooms and in the poor neighborhoods. And you can come back and either: A. Find a way to help. or, B. Say with a straight face that there's no one needs helping.

For the war, against the war, I don't give a shit about your politics, just like i never did about Marla. But you seem to want to pretend that there isn't tremendous humanitarian need as a consequence of the war -- this isn't debatable. There is. Who's most at fault? Marla didn't care -- she just wanted to get as many resources for those suffering as possible.

You feeble little man.

First off, I'm currently in... (Below threshold)
ivan.sikorsky:

First off, I'm currently in the Army but I was in the Marines years ago and I'm Infantry to the core.

I recently got back from Afghanistan and I'm headed to Iraq in the very near future.

I concur with what Dan posted at April 24, 2005 04:16 AM...

You ARE a shitheel.

So Marla was a pacifist, and was horrified by both the way we are handling the war and by how the insurgents are acting....

So fucking what?
That makes it ok for you to trash her?

Trash me too, you knucklehead... I'm pretty horrified by some of the shit I've seen over there too.

Ever seen a 8 year old girl with her hands blown off at the wrists and with her face and one of her eyes peppered with shrapnel?

I have - in person.

That girl picked up a bomblet from a clusterbomb that was yellow the same as the food packs that we dropped.

Thats the horror of war and its something you are clueless about - and something that Marla not only understood but worked her ass of to do something about.

That childs family STILL said "thank you" for kicking the Talibans asses... they also said "please don't abandon us like you did after the Soviets left".

Helping the locals like Marla did (and others do) are the kinds of things that make it possible to keep these people on OUR side.

Marla at least worked to right some of those wrongs and in doing so she did America a favor in the long run.

You? You just slander and malign the dead. Thats not respectable in ANY culture.

She never malingned the troops that I know of, she may have been critical about how situations were handled but my good friend is probably more critical than Marla ever would be.

My buddies platoon shot up a bunch of civilians at a checkpoint due to lack of proper training, support and planning from higher-ups. No materials to make an adequate checkpoint, no language training, no translator and no cultural training resulted in a van loaded with a family being shot up and killed. How do you think the 19 yr old PFC is going to feel about that for the rest of his life, killing a god damn family?

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

You piss me off just as much as someone that calls one of my troops a babykiller. You're just as hatefilled and idiotic.

She is one person that made an attempt to work WITH the military instead of SNUBBING them like many people doing such things.

I'd have gladly worked with Marla to get help to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

95% of the people in Iraq and in Afghanistan never did one thing to hurt America or Americans and the more wrongs we can right and help we can bring over there, the more friends we have who WILL tell us where Osama and Zarqawi's insurgents are hiding and who will tell the radical clerics to fuck off.

People like Marla make my job and the job of my men in a war zone (pacifying the population) a hell of a lot easier.

Ass-clowns like you make my job behind the trigger a hell of a lot harder.

If you think you can do better than Marla, get your ass in the ring... she never thought she had a "free pass" due to her country of birth or her skin color and you are a moron for stating such.

"The problem is, people are grotesquely overcomplicating the situation."
No, the problem is when I came back from OEF there were too fucking many armchair patriots waving the damn flag from the window of their Escalades and chanting Bush, Bush, Bush... but when you mention enlisting to them, "Oh no not me... I have a family; My kids in college; My kid wouldn't fit into the military..." or some other lame ass excuse.

You really believe in the cause?

Then STFU and get your ass in the ring.

At least Marla had the fucking nuts to put her ass on the line for what she believed in instead of whining like a child from the sidelines.

Marla had "been there and done that" and I'd bet my left nut that most of the military people she worked with had a pretty fair measure of respect for her.

Did they like everything about her?
Probably not.

Did they agree with every little political view she held?
I doubt it.

Did they respect her for risking her life to try and help people?
I'd almost guarantee it.

I worked with quite a few NGO's and Aid organizations over there and well I don't agree with every little viewpoint or opinion I respect them a hell of a lot more than I respect someone who sits on his ass and contributes nothing more than hot air. (Like you, apparently.)

I'm a trigger puller and I can not fucking believe the tone of your post.

WTF, are you the male version of Ann Coulter?

And they "hate us for our freedom"?

No, they hate us because of assholes like you.

Fucking incredible.

I can not be as nice as Dan pointing out that you are a "feeble little man"...

You sir, are an AssClown and a putrid vulture picking at someones corpse.


~Ivan

(Dan send me an email.)


P.S. FWIW Jay, we are going to keep going and are not going to stop until we get the guys that killed Marla and who shot down the helicopter recently and who keep planting the IEDs.
I doubt the insurgents knew who they were attacking - they just look for any traffic that looks like its tied in with US military or contractors or any other westerner and try to hit us.

A Vulture... an absolute vulture.

Danivan.sikorsky - u... (Below threshold)
ivan.sikorsky:

Dan
ivan.sikorsky - us.army.mil




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