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Salute a Real Fallen War Hero
April 19, 2005 7:50 PM   Subscribe

Marla Ruzicka, RIP
Compared to the pomp and circumstance that mainstream America lavished on an NFL player pointlessly cut down by friendly fire in Iraq, the death of Mara Ruzicka has been largely ignored. Marla gave her life in Iraq fighting peacefully to protect and preserve the lives of average Iraqis--the reason we're supposed to be there in the first place. You can visit the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict to pay tribute to Marla and to the movement she's left as a legacy.
posted by Neologian (23 comments total)

 
See also...
posted by stopgap at 7:52 PM on April 19, 2005


This is the sort of thing that frustrates me the most about this whole situation.

.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:53 PM on April 19, 2005


It certainly hasn't been ignored in the Bay Area, every third news item is about her.
posted by cali at 7:56 PM on April 19, 2005


I live in Arizona. Pat Tillman is bigger than Jesus. Marla wasn't even a blip on the radar out here. And I doubt you'll see any NFL half-time shows in her honor.
posted by Neologian at 7:59 PM on April 19, 2005


Hero -- perhaps. But not a "War Hero" in any conventional sense of the term.
posted by davidmsc at 8:03 PM on April 19, 2005


Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, not Iraq.
posted by davebarnes at 8:11 PM on April 19, 2005


I had heard about her, but not about the NFL player.
posted by bingo at 8:15 PM on April 19, 2005


In my opinion there's no such thing as a "war hero."
posted by TetrisKid at 8:24 PM on April 19, 2005


Well, both Ruzicka and Tillman were people guided by their conscience to actions that wound up killing them in a rather pontless conflict. And I mourn both of them.
posted by jonmc at 8:25 PM on April 19, 2005


no war heroes, tetriskid? I'd beg to differ... I'm no fan of war, and I've been against the Iraq war from the beginning, but the selflessness of men and women in life-or-death situations always amazes me... We have heroes all around us in peacetime, but this 28-year-old woman went to Iraq unarmed to try to help Iraqis. She was the very best of America. Pat Tillman, in his own way, was as well, giving up millions of dollars to serve.

They make me feel small. And yet they fill me up with hope for what people can be, given the opportunity. And that's my definition of a hero.
posted by socratic at 8:43 PM on April 19, 2005


jonmc writes "Well, both Ruzicka and Tillman were people guided by their conscience to actions that wound up killing them in a rather pointless conflict. And I mourn both of them."

Pointless??!!

If the war is so pointless, why have Jenna and Barbara Bush and Jonah Goldberg, and Tom DeLay's daughter all joined the Army to fight to give Iraq the Gift of Democracy?

Some people really put their lives on the line for what the believe in!

(Sarcasm aside, jonmc's completely right, and his sentiment is appreciated.)
posted by orthogonality at 8:46 PM on April 19, 2005


Largely ignored?! Do you get out much? It was on the front page of my newspaper today and all over the internets since it happened. Not to mention posted here already.

I guess it's easier to blame the "mainstream" because you don't read the newspaper.
posted by photoslob at 8:48 PM on April 19, 2005


There have been many touching tributes from people who knew her in the mainstream media. Each one of these includes some sort of personal note by the author of the piece:
TIME Magazine.
CNN.
Washington Post.
USA Today prints some of her writings
MSNBC
...and many more
This has nothing to do with some perceived press bias, in fact, Marla may be one of the most discussed casualties of the war in recent months. It isn't an ignored story but it is a sad one.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:00 PM on April 19, 2005


Even if Marla was on the front page of your newspaper and on the internets, PhotoSnob, I'll bet you a magnet Support Our Troops sign that the Tillman story will continue to have legs far longer than Ruzicka's. Tillman's story has been in the news even as recently as a few days ago. Ruzicka is getting her place in the limelight now, but I highly doubt that Marla or her cause will get the same kind of coverage in a year's time.

BTW, I do get out much. I also know how to pay attention to more than one phrase in a sentence. That's where the "compared to..." part comes in, wiseass.
posted by Neologian at 9:20 PM on April 19, 2005


I respect the ultimate sacrifices made by Tillman, Ruzicka and all others who have shared their fate. However, their decisions were personal and I doubt any of them would have cared what kind of postmortem media coverage they received. They did what they thought was right.

This crap about protecting and bringing democracy to the Iraqi people, though, is a bunch of after the fact BS. It's way down on the list of reasons we invaded in the first place. The last thing we need is to glorify the deaths of these people and potentially inspire others to meet the same fate.
posted by whittenb2 at 10:13 PM on April 19, 2005


Neologian, while photosnob was being snarky, I think his point is a good one. The thrust of the FPP seemed to be very explicitly that the "death of Marla has been largely ignored," in contrast with Tillman, and is part of a long line of MeFi posts arguing that the MSM ignores the real story and panders to, as the FPP puts it, "mainstream America." This continues the back-and-forth in which righty blogs argue that the media ignores the good news from Iraq, the lefty blogs argue that it ignores the sacrifices of people like Marla.

In this case, however, the argument just doesn't hold water. Will Marla eventually be forgotten compared to Tillman? Possibly, especially since Tillman was an early casualty and already a celebrity, although it is way too early to tell. But even if she is, that doesn't remove the fact that this is an extremely intensely and deeply personally covered story in contrast to the FPP's argument (see the links above). It is always worth calling attention to people like Marla, but the implied anger and disgust in the FPP seems misplaced.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:00 PM on April 19, 2005


And here's a few heartfelt comments from the freeper community. "Friendly fire," yes. Very classy.
(via Digby)
posted by maryh at 12:26 AM on April 20, 2005


In my opinion there's no such thing as a "war hero."

Soldier gets drafted, goes to war and saves a small child from death. Would he/she be a war hero in your opinion? Or is your simplistic opinion too set in stone?

Well, both Ruzicka and Tillman were people guided by their conscience to actions that wound up killing them in a rather pontless conflict.

While a nice thought, Tillman would probably disagree with you, which is why he was there and you and I were not.

And here's a few heartfelt comments from the freeper community. "Friendly fire," yes. Very classy.

Oh please. I could give you examples from both sides that show neither shows class in many instances. Make sure you point that out the next time someone says reagan should burn in hell.
posted by justgary at 1:31 AM on April 20, 2005


Make sure you point that out the next time someone says reagan should burn in hell.

By what branch of Christianity's standards for decent human behavior should Reagan not burn in hell?

And the 'both sides are just as bad' argument is a logical fallacy.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:45 AM on April 20, 2005


neologian: I'll bet you a magnet Support Our Troops sign that the Tillman story will continue to have legs far longer than Ruzicka's.

Somehow I doubt it.

Marla's story is made for O2 network. It's the kind of thing that deeply inspires people who are willing to commit their entire lives without the possibility of external reward.

At the very least, Marla has a better chance of remaining "Marla" than Pat Tillman does of remaining "Pat". Both have been or will be remade into whatever their admirers want/need them to be. But where Tillman's personality was exposed to small groups of a fairly limiting nature (his family, the men in his unit), Marla projected hers across strata of society, across cultural boundaries, across domains of experience -- and, not insignificantly, across airwaves. All without apparent loss of committment.
posted by lodurr at 6:05 AM on April 20, 2005


And the 'both sides are just as bad' argument is a logical fallacy.

I don't think that was the argument he was making. He was pointing out that links to extreme sites aren't particularly instructive, since anyone who can type google dot com can find some person on some web site making some offensive statement on any side of any issue. Using such links to suggest that the opinions are shared by a larger ideological group -- on either side -- is itself a "logical fallacy."
posted by pardonyou? at 7:05 AM on April 20, 2005


They make me feel small. And yet they fill me up with hope for what people can be, given the opportunity. And that's my definition of a hero.

As an English teacher, I have a very hard time whenever I have to define the word "treacle." Now I have a quotation that fits perfectly.
posted by bardic at 8:14 AM on April 20, 2005


Doubled up on your saltpeter this morning, did you, bardic?
posted by lodurr at 8:53 AM on April 20, 2005


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