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April 18, 2005

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Interesting perspective from a military man over at Alterman's blog. Granted, he's posting on Alterman's blog and not Command Post or Little Green Footballs, but he's quite positive about Ruzicka:

"...Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), had as its mission, the cataloging of civilian deaths in this war. That is a task which the military does not pursue (nor, for what it is worth, has any military ever done so), and Ms. Ruzicka thought it important that these numbers should be counted. But more significantly, from where I sit, is the fact that she did not catalog numbers from the safety of a desk in some London office. She did not just compile news clippings and then post them on the alternet. She came here, lived here, and attached a human face to those casualties. Then she worked to relieve their suffering. She learned the systems, first agitating in Washington, DC, and eventually here. She did so even to the degree of working with the military to help distribute funds for the victims which the military has for that purpose, all of this in order to help innocent people. In the end, it seems, she left politics aside in favor of practical reality and set her shoulder to work for humans, not just ideals. Nobody I know opposes an objective such as that."

In these days when the term "hero" is applied promiscuously for the most mundane behavior, thanks, DHinMI, for putting the spotlight on a true hero, one who gave of herself with no apparent thought of reward beyond the personal satisfaction obtained from saving lives. She will no doubt never get a presidential Medal of Freedom or much of the other recognition she deserves. But she will nevertheless not be forgotten.

A good life and a long life are not the same thing.

Y'know, I think maybe it *would* be worthwhile to push for Marla being awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom -- and/or its Congressional equivalent, the Congressional Gold Medal. And the Internet is just the way to do it, too. We might be able to generate enough buzz to *shame* the Bushites and the GOP Congressional Politburo into doing the right thing.... I'd say let's go for it.

"Predictably, the attention brought about carping from the right, like James Taranto's 'Who Is Marla Ruzicka,' which reads almost like a 1950's red-baiting screed published by the John Birch Society...." [link to July 22, 2002 article].

Great example of selective "journalism". If you were interested in the truth, you might also have referenced Taranto's retraction on April 18 this year:
"From what we'd read when we wrote about her almost three years ago, Ruzicka sounded like a typical Angry Left prima donna. But an August 2004 report in the Washington Post persuades us that either we judged her too harshly or she matured in the last few years of her life:"
http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110006574

But then that might disillusion all those among your readership who believe that "carping from the right" is "predictable" "red-baiting [John Birch Society] screed".

Taranto had the guts to go back and tie up loose ends. Do you?


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