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Originally posted by Regenmacher
...an aid worker that was helping them.
Carroll works (we will use present tense) as a steadily employed free-lancer for the Christian Science Monitor, a newspaper that over generations has been respected for its thoughtful and measured reporting of international affairs. Carroll was attempting to inform a global audience about the afflictions suffered by the Iraqi people, and she had a reputation for doing that work without fear or favor.
So, Jill Carroll was not foolhardy. She answered the call of the brave. Idealists, people of generous spirit and brave nature do this work because they believe it serves a higher purpose.
They want to feed or comfort the afflicted. They want to be peacemakers. They want the world to have a full and fair report of the sufferings of others. And for this there is great risk, and for this the thankless reward is that the ultimate price of that pure intention might be a horrifying death. The military who are serving in Iraq should be respected for the work they do, trying to restore sufficient safety so the unicorns will no longer be hunted and killed.
Last April 18, for example, Jill Carroll published an account of the death of an American aid worker, a report much noted last week because of similarities to her own situation.
Marla Ruzicka was a Californian, attached to an NGO, attending to the needs of desperate Iraqis. She and her driver were killed when they were caught in a crossfire between a suicidal insurgent and US soldiers. Marla Ruzicka was Jill Carroll's friend, and her story is infused with grief. But the story also takes careful note of Ruzicka's driver, who, in Carroll's account, is no mere anonymous Iraqi functionary, another unnamed fatality. Carroll gives his name, Faiz, hints at his history as an airline pilot, and establishes her own connection with him by noting his work as an interpreter for journalists. To Jill Carroll, the death of this Iraqi man weighed as much as the death of her American friend.
"...its drama, whatever the conclusion, puts a human face on a tragedy that is inevitably abstract for those at some remove."
Except for them, the world public would depend on the manipulations of interested parties, from the ''coalition" to the Iraqi government to networks of thugs, for all of whom the distinction between propaganda and news matters little.
... Reckoning with this war is the most urgent duty of US citizenship now, and Jill Carroll epitomizes the heroism of those who make that possible.
The Human Face of Tragedy
by James Carroll
February 11, 2006 · The kidnappers of American journalist Jill Carroll have set a new deadline for authorities to comply with unpublished demands. Any response to a kidnapping forces good people to choose between their pain and their conscience.