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by by Christian Parenti (posted by JA)
Monday, Dec. 04, 2006 at 1:04 PM
No one who was a threat -- let alone any real threat -- to the U.S. imperialist war machine would ever be gushingly and pervasively celebrated by it, the Congress, the President and the military, no less, and the political establishment's corporate media. Marla Ruzicka -- even posing for pictures on top of tanks and in group hugs with gun-posing American soldiers, let alone using the war and exploiting the misery of the Iraqi people to parlay that into a hoped-for lucrative cushy position inside the Pentagon or State Department, feathering her nest and her new career with military-industrial complex money (yet still a pittance of that spent on the bombs of war) -- served as a willing PR front for that machine. Furthermore, she was willing to collect and *give* that information directly to the US *military*, providing it with, in effect, valuable intelligence on the Iraqi people (how many males and females of which ages, including possible fighting age, in each family, and what their resources and professional/community positions were, perhaps a community critic of the US war, maybe an intellectual, a journalist, a teacher, or a doctor/nurse who could patch up Iraqi wounded resistace fighters, and who in each family might have gotten shot -- perhaps a resistance member? -- by the US military) under the guise of humanitarian relief. Here is what progressive journalist Christian Parenti had to say about the darling of the U.S. imperialist military machine:
from Christian Parenti's book:
_THE FREEDOM: SHADOWS AND HALLUCINATIONS IN OCCUPIED IRAQ_ :paragraph at the bottom of page 55 ending at the top of page 56:
Marla Ruzicka is one of the occupation's NGO groupies. She is the type who gets 10 percent of that 10 percent that trickles down to the ground. Known for her dyed blonde hair and flashy style, Marla is talking up the fact that she leveraged million from the US government so her organization CIVIC [The Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict] can "aid" victims of US military action. She and CIVIC and the US occupation authorities do not use the term "compensate" because that would imply American culpability. The US government maintains that because Iraq is a war zone, its military is not legally liable when it kills innocents, and so the operative verb is "aid". I interview Marla at the Hotel Agadeer, a dive favored by Eastern European journalists and broke American freelancers. It turns out that Marla hasn't actually received million; USAID captured the grant, and the money will not actually be disbursed as aid to the survivors of US military actions but will instead be spent on unspecified development projects that will _indirectly_ "aid" war victims. When I press Marla further it turns out that CIVIC is serving only five families who have been "negatively impacted" by US military operations.
For other direct or indirect criticisms of Marla Ruzicka's views (sometimes pretty naive and twisted) on the US-Iraq war as the US's great "humanitarian war" full of [trigger-happy] American soldiers who are remorseful of their many atrocities (like in Fallujah and other cities), often devastating or wiping out entire families research what Dahr Jamail, Patrick Cockburn, Alexander Cockburn of CounterPunch, Norman Solomon of Media Beat, Robert Fisk of the UK Idependent, and Rahul Majahan (Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond) have to say about that.
If Marla had been posing for pictures on top of police cars and sharing group hugs with the cops in the US, how many blacks or browns in the ghetto/barrio do you think would have really trusted her, as she passed out a few crumbs to the victims of police brutality, beatings, killings and torture, while otherwise collecting intelligence on the families in the black/brown community? Or as Tracey James of Slave Revolt Radio said, what if she had hypothetically been working for the Nazis during WWII? Could we all see through it then for what it was?
This might be a clue into Marla's naivite and even twisted views on US military "humanitarianism", as well as her blind blonde ambition, as author Jennifer Abrahamson writes in her fawning, sometimes superficial, book on Marla, _Sweet Relief: The Story of Marla Ruzicka_ : "...despite her sunny demeanor, bright ["all-American girl"] California good looks, and fierce ambition, Marla was struggling with her own personal demons. While everyone thought Marla was on top of the world, she was in fact a diagnosed manic-depressive who battled an eating disorder, and a string of peaks and valleys in her love life." Maybe, instead of Iraq, Marla needed psychological therapy so that she could get her head and personal life together first.
Lastly, hear a (mp3 archived) great 2-part radio analysis by Tracey James of Slave Revolt Radio. (You can just google or yahoo search "Slave Revolt Radio" and "Marla Ruzicka".) See the 06-03-05 program, "critique of the recently deceased "humanitarian" Marla Ruzicka", and 05-13-05 program, "Madcats on the Right & Humanitarian Imperialism":
Liberals, of course, (and some leftists) can get pretty sappy and silly, sometimes, about the functional, witting or unwitting, charlatans they pick as s/heroes in those charlatans' style over substance ruses. Marla got tired of fighting the enemy (the imperialists) as a little fish among leftists -- she even said so. So, she struck out on her own and joined the enemy -- the imperialists -- as a big fish, The Great White Hope of Iraq: exoticizing and leading the swarthy unlifted natives in the imperialist's PR ruse. This, as she would supposedly have tossed out what African American left media activist Tracey James calls a few 'donkey chips'.
(My only disagreement with James is that Ruzicka was not necessarily brave -- just *foolhardy*: one of those white people who thinks that she can go anywhere in the 3rd World, any time she wants, no matter what's happening to such people, because, basically, those kinds of whites -- even liberals -- also still think that they are entitled to the whole world at any time.)
To sustain and reinforce her visibility, Ruzicka probably would have been up on Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign platform, instead of protesting imperialist candidate Hillary 'Hawk' Clinton as Medea Benjamin and Code Pink would probably do if the war lasts that long.
What's ironic is that the President, the military, the Congress and the media would have never mourned the deaths of Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange (Ruzicka's organizational mentor which she headlong/headstrong broke away from in her drive for greater ambition and popularity), or Barbara Lubin of Middle East Children's Alliance, for their work in Iraq (as well as other parts of the Middle East), or any of the *Iraqi* women humanitarians who've been killed (by the U.S. military or its white-ops henchmen) whose names we should know, and it certainly didn't mourn the death of Rachel Corrie.
See: "Marla Ruzicka, Rachel Corrie and "Credibility"
Iraq: War, Aid and Public Relations --- Beyond the Media Coverage of Marla Ruzicka --- Did slain aid worker Marla Ruzicka end up aiding the occupation?
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