Ex-U.N. Am­bas­sador Jeane Kirk­patrick dead at 80

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Ralph Z. Hallow

Jeane J. Kirk­patrick, Pres­i­dent Rea­gan’s fa­vorite Demo­crat and his out­spo­ke­nam­bas­sador­totheUnited Na­tions, died Dec. 8 at 80.

Mrs. Kirk­patrick passed away in her sleep be­tween 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. at her Bethesda, Md. home, aide An­drea Har­ring­ton said.

The first wo­man to serve as U.S. am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions, Mrs.Kirk­patrick­wasal­ife­longcru­sader against com­mu­nism and ad­vo­cated crush­ing the Soviet-led move­ment to­ward global to­tal­i­tar­i­an­ism rather than con­tain­ing it.

“She de­fended the cause of free­dom at a piv­otal time in world his­tory,” Pres­i­dent Bush said. “Jeane’s pow­er­ful in­tel­lect helped Amer­ica win the Cold War.”

She was courted per­son­ally by Mr. Rea­gan and his Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nat­ing team in 1980 to serve as a for­eign pol­icy ad­viser,and­sh­e­sup­port­ed­his­e­lec­tion. Mrs. Kirk­patrick won Se­nate con­fir­ma­tion as chief U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tiveattheUnit­edNa­tion­sin1981but re­mained a Demo­crat through­out Mr. Rea­gan’s first term. She switched par­ties only af­ter leav­ing pub­lic of­fice in 1985.

Mrs. Kirk­patrick said part of the rea­son­sh­eswitched­par­tieswas­be­cause“Democratwel­fare­pol­i­cynot only was not work­ing but was dam­ag­ing to the peo­ple who were the sup­posed ben­e­fi­cia­ries. I be­lieve in self-reliance.”

In­tensely averse to minc­ing words, she shared some pol­icy and per­son­al­ity traits with John R. Bolton, who re­cently re­signed as U.N.am­bas­sado­rand­whowept­pub­licly on Dec. 8 in re­call­ing his years of friend­ship with Mrs. Kirk­patrick as a col­league at the Amer­i­can En­ter­prise In­sti­tute think tank.

“I ben­e­fited very greatly. It re­ally is very sad for Amer­ica. [. . . ] She will be greatly missed,” Mr. Bolton said.

In the months be­fore her death, Mrs. Kirk­patrick’s for­eign-pol­icy views did not con­form to those of ei­ther party.

“I don’t think we have an obliga- tion­to­en­gageinanewim­pe­ri­al­ism,” she said, adding that she is “skep­ticalof­na­tion­build­ing.Iti­sex­tremely dif­fi­cult for one na­tion to se­ri­ously re­make an­other na­tion.”

She­calledMr.Bush’sfor­eign­pol­icy “a lit­tle too in­ter­ven­tion­ist for my taste, frankly, but not across the board.Iamvery­much­in­fa­vo­rofhis ac­tions in Afghanistan and have not op­posed them in Iraq.”

PatBuchanan,aidetoPres­i­dents Rea­gan, Nixon and Ford, said Mrs. Kirk­patrick “put her pen, voice and in­tel­lect all at the ser­vice of her coun­try for all the decades I knew her.She­wasalioness­in­fight­in­gand win­ning the Cold War.”

Her oc­ca­sional lib­er­tar­ian in­stincts con­flicted at times with her Chris­tian morals.

“Look, I am a se­ri­ous Chris­tian,” she told The Wash­ing­ton Times last spring. “No, I don’t fa­vor the con­sti- tu­tional amend­ment [ban­ning ho­mo­sex­ual ‘mar­riage.’] On the other hand, I don’t want to pro­mote same­sex mar­riage.”

She re­cently told The Times that she be­lieved gov­ern­ment has an im­por­tantro­le­to­play­in­help­ing­peo­ple.

And peo­ple seemed to re­late to Mrs. Kirk­patrick, who had the abil­ity to speak to like-minded vot­ers, such as the ones who crossed party lines to twice elect Mr. Rea­gan.

Her­itage Foun­da­tion Pres­i­dent Ed­win J. Feul­ner, for ex­am­ple, re­called a day when a truck driver spot­ted Mrs. Kirk­patrick on the street while she was serv­ing as U.N. am­bas­sador. The driver leaned out ofhiswin­dowandyelled,“‘Give‘em hell, Jeane!’ ”

“Be­foreJeane,wen­ev­er­hadsuch a bold and bril­liant rep­re­sen­ta­tive for free­dom in the United Na­tions, anam­bas­sador­whoearned­sup­port from pol­icy-mak­ers and truck driv­ers alike,” Mr. Feul­ner said.

She was a close ide­o­log­i­cal and per­sonal friend of the late Ann Crutcher, the first edi­to­rial page ed­i­tor of The Times. While U.N. am­bas­sador, she flew back to Wash­ing­ton, pen­ning on the back of an en­ve­lope a mov­ing eu­logy that she de­liv­ere­datMrs.Crutcher’sfu­neral.

Mrs. Kirk­patrick, who shared a cer­tain im­pe­ri­ous qual­ity with for­mer Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Mar­garet Thatcher, pleased some con­ser­va­tives as a forth­right, of­ten acer­bic critic of the U.N. bu­reau­cracy and its dom­i­na­tion by mem­ber states com­mit­ted to nei­ther democ­racy nor hu­man rights. Yet Mrs. Kirk­patrick made it clear that ratherthanpullingth­eUnit­edS­tates out of the United Na­tions, she want­ed­to­p­re­servethe­in­sti­tu­tionby im­prov­ing it.

“Al­ways ar­dent and of­ten provoca­tive, her com­mit­ment to an ef­fec­tive United Na­tions was clear dur­ing her ten­ure and in her later ca­reer,”U.N.Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­alKofi An­nan said.

Mrs.Kirk­patrick­grewupinDun­can, Okla., where her fa­ther drilled for oil and her mother kept books. Sh­es­penttwoyearsatStephen­sCol­lege in Columbia, Mo., then earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Barnard Col­lege in New York and even­tu­ally adoc­tor­atein­govern­ment­fromColumbia Univer­sity.

Mrs. Kirk­patrick au­thored three books: “The Right Ver­sus Might,” “The With­er­ing Away of the To­tal­i­tar­ian State [. . . ] and Other Sur­prises”and“Le­git­i­ma­cyandForce.”

She is sur­vived by two sons. Her hus­band, Evron, a for­mer U.S. in­tel­li­gence­of­fi­cerand­scholar,diedin 1995.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Pa­triot: For­mer U.N. Am­bas­sador Jeane J. Kirk­patrick, out­spo­ken cru­sader against com­mu­nism and Pres­i­dent Rea­gan’s fa­vorite Demo­crat, died Dec. 8 in her Bethesda, Md. home.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.