DHinMI's obituary for Marla Ruzicka, the aid worker murdered in Iraq yesterday, is an essential read, remembering her is the least we can do. Actually, that's not true, learning from her is the least we can do. Because Marla lived a lesson that many of us desperately need to learn. She understood that great good could come in the aftermath of great evil, and that the perpetrators of the latter could be your best allies in achieving the former.
Ruzicka was no fan of the war, that much is sure. But once it had been engaged, she saw that the chaos it left had to be filled with something more positive, more beneficial, more sound. And so she set about trying to actualize that, and did a hell of a job right up until her death. She enlisted all available allies, from NGO's to liberal organizations to the Senate right up to the US Army. No group, no matter how culpable, was off-limits in her quest to heal the country. And every group, no matter how culpable, joined her in her efforts.
The roadside bomb that killed her was a murder, a cold-blooded execution that lacked any moral justification whatsoever. Whether it was aimed at the troops who had no say in the decision to enter war or whether it was a simple strike meant to tear apart the fabric of normalcy, it was just one more of the insurgency's indiscriminate attacks. Shrapnel makes no differentiation between sinner and saint, and those who use it don't either, which makes them nothing but killers. And let that be the discussion on that.
After the war, Marla believed that the space Saddam needed to be filled. She brought together Americans and Iraqis, soldiers and civilians, and set about filling in the hole. And she worked on that project right up until her death. So if you want an indictment of the insurgency, here it is: they killed Marla Ruzicka. And if you want a reason for hope in Iraq, here's another: there was a Marla Ruzicka, and because of her, there will be more. Some will be American, some will be the Iraqis she personally touched, but there will be more. Marla Ruzicka may have been murdered yesterday, but those she met comprise her memorial and the example she set should serve as her epitaph. All we can do is try and follow.