Mourn an American We Can Be Proud Of: Victims’ Crusader Marla Ruzicka Killed in Iraq


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A close friend of mine just called in tears with the news that I had missed in the Washington Post this morning.
A mutual friend of ours, Marla Ruzicka, who has been at the New America Foundation many times and who came to the holiday party at my Dupont Circle home in December, was killed in Iraq by a suicide bomber on Saturday. Marla was introduced to me by my colleague, Peter Bergen.
Behind her physical beauty and seeming fragility, she had a tenaciousness and commitment to do good things for people that charmed the most crusty skeptics and inspired genuine awe. I am having a hard time believing that we have lost another great soul in this mess in Iraq.
All I can say right now is that Marla Ruzicka was someone Americans could be proud of. She convinced Congress to set aside money to help tend to accidental, innocent victims of these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Her non-profit organization, CIVIC Worldwide moved mountains.
She was the face of the best, most inspired side of American foreign policy abroad — she was a metaphor for the kind of inspired engagement we as a nation should be about.
And if she was that, what is John Bolton’s nomination all about?
He can’t come close to comparing with this brave woman.
— Steve Clemons