|Jeane Kirkpatrick's official portrait|
|16th United States Ambassador to the United Nations|
|Preceded by||Donald McHenry|
|Succeeded by||Vernon A. Walters|
|Born||Jeane Duane Jordan
December 19, 1926
|Died||December 7, 2006
|Political party||Democratic (until 1980)
|Spouse(s)||Evron Maurice Kirkpatrick|
|Children||Douglas Jordan Kirkpatrick
John Evron Kirkpatrick
|Alma mater||Stephens College
University of Paris
|Profession||Professor, Diplomat, Politician|
Jeane Duane Jordan Kirkpatrick (December 19, 1926 – December 7, 2006) was an American ambassador and an ardent anticommunist. After serving as Ronald Reagan's foreign policy adviser in his 1980 campaign and later in his Cabinet, the longtime Democrat-turned-Republican became the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
She is known for her "Kirkpatrick Doctrine," which advocated U.S. support of anticommunist governments around the world, including authoritarian dictatorships, if they went along with Washington's aims—believing they could be led into democracy by example. She wrote, "Traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies." She put this doctrine into practice most clearly in Central America, by supporting the Contras in Nicaragua and the military Juntas in Guatemala and El Salvador, all of which perpetrated massive human rights violations while countering a perceived communist threat.
Kirkpatrick served on Reagan's Cabinet on the National Security Council, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Defense Policy Review Board, and chaired the Secretary of Defense Commission on Fail Safe and Risk reduction of the Nuclear Command and Control System.
Jeane Duane Jordan was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, the daughter of an oilfield wildcatter, Welcher F. Jordan, and his wife, the former Leona Kile. She attended Emerson Elementary School there and was known to her classmates as "Duane Jordan." She had one sibling, about a decade younger than she, Jerry Jordan. At age 12, her father moved the family to southern Illinois where she graduated from Mt. Vernon Township High School in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. In 1948, she graduated from Barnard College after receiving her Associate's Degree from Stephens College (then only a two year institution) in Columbia, Missouri. In 1968, Kirkpatrick received a PhD in political science from Columbia University. She spent a year of post-graduate study at the Institut des Sciences Politiques at the University of Paris, which helped her learn the French language. She was also fluent in Spanish.
Though she ultimately became a conservative, as a college freshman in 1945 she joined the Young People's Socialist League, the youth wing of the Socialist Party of America, influenced by her grandfather who was a founder of the Populist and Socialist parties in Oklahoma. As Kirkpatrick recalled at a symposium in 2002, "It wasn't easy to find the YPSL in Columbia, Missouri. But I had read about it and I wanted to be one. We had a very limited number of activities in Columbia, Missouri. We had an anti-Franco rally, which was a worthy cause. You could raise a question about how relevant it was likely to be in Columbia, Missouri, but it was in any case a worthy cause. We also planned a socialist picnic, which we spent quite a lot of time organizing. Eventually, I regret to say, the YPSL chapter, after much discussion, many debates and some downright quarrels, broke up over the socialist picnic. I thought that was rather discouraging."
Professor at Georgetown
She became active in politics as a Democrat in the 1970s, and was involved in the later campaigns of former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey. Along with Humphrey, she was close to Henry M. Jackson, who ran for the Democratic nomination for President in 1972 and 1976. She was opposed to the candidacy of George McGovern. In 1976, she joined with Richard V. Allen and others to found the Committee on Present Danger for the purpose of warning Americans against the Soviet Union's growing military power and the dangers of the SALT II treaty. She also served on the Platform Committee for the Democratic Party in 1976.
Kirkpatrick published a number of articles in political science journals reflecting her disillusionment with the Democratic Party with specific criticism of the foreign policy of Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Her most well known piece was "Dictatorships and Double Standards," published in Commentary Magazine in November 1979. In that piece, Kirkpatrick mentioned what she saw as a difference between authoritarian regimes and the totalitarian regimes such as the Soviet Union; sometimes it was necessary to work with authoritarian regimes if it suited American purposes. She wrote: "No idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime and anywhere, under any circumstances. ... Decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits. In Britain, the road [to democratic government] took seven centuries to traverse. ... The speed with which armies collapse, bureaucracies abdicate, and social structures dissolve once the autocrat is removed frequently surprises American policymakers."
This piece came to the attention of Ronald Reagan through his National Security Adviser Richard V. Allen. Kirkpatrick then became a foreign policy adviser throughout Reagan's 1980 campaign and presidency and, after his election to the presidency, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, a position she held for four years. She had never been around a Republican before. On the way to her first meeting with him, she told Allen, "Listen, Dick, I am an AFL-CIO Democrat and I am quite concerned that my meeting Ronald Reagan on any basis will be misunderstood." She asked Reagan if he minded having a lifelong Democrat on his team; he replied that he himself had been a Democrat till age 51, and in any event he liked her way of thinking about American foreign policy.
She was one of the strongest supporters of Argentina's military dictatorship following the March 1982 Argentine invasion of the United Kingdom's Falkland Islands, which triggered the Falklands War. Kirkpatrick had a "soft spot" for Argentina's President Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri, and favored neutrality rather than the pro-British policy favored by the Secretary of State Alexander Haig. The British ambassador Sir Nicholas Henderson described her as "..more fool than fascist..she appears to be one of America's own-goal scorers, tactless, wrong-headed, ineffective, and a dubious tribute to the academic profession to which she [expresses] her allegiance". The administration ultimately decided to declare support for the British, thus forcing her to vote yes to UN resolution 502.
At the 1984 Republican National Convention, Kirkpatrick delivered the "Blame America First" keynote speech, which re-nominated Reagan by praising his administration's foreign policy while excoriating the leadership of what she called the "San Francisco Democrats"—the Democrats had just held their convention in San Francisco—for the party's shift away from the hawkish policies of former Democratic presidents such as Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy to a more strident anti-war position that the left-wing of the Democratic Party had pushed since Vietnam. It was the first time since the 1952 speech from Douglas MacArthur that a non-party member had delivered the Republican convention keynote address.
Kirkpatrick, a member of the National Security Council, did not get along with either Secretary of State Haig or his successor, George Schultz. She disagreed with Schultz most notably on the Iran-Contra affair, in which she supported skimming money off arms sales to fund the Contras. Kirkpatrick and Schultz were most at odds over whether to find extra funding for Nicaraguan contras, with Schultz telling Kirkpatrick that it was an "impeachable offense" due to the massacres perpetrated by that group. Kirkpatrick wished to be Secretary of State or head of the National Security Council, which did not help either. Shultz threatened to resign if Kirkpatrick was appointed National Security Adviser. Kirkpatrick was more closely allied with Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and head of the CIA, William J. Casey.
Kirkpatrick's foreign policy, while applauded by conservatives, has been strongly criticized by some historians and intellectuals, chiefly on the grounds that she worked solely for the interest of American corporations in Central America, and for this reason actually worked to undermine democratic government in Nicaragua and to suppress democratic movements in El Salvador and Guatemala. Noam Chomsky, for example, referred to her as the "Chief sadist-in-residence of the Reagan Administration" and went on to sharply criticize what he called the hypocrisy of supporting brutal military regimes that showed no respect for human rights or democracy, while claiming to be protecting the region from communism. Lars Schoultz has argued that her policy was based on her stated belief that "Latin Americans are pathologically violent," and goes on to criticize this belief for being founded on prejudice and having no factual basis.
Ambassador to the UN
Kirkpatrick once said, "What takes place in the Security Council more closely resembles a mugging than either a political debate or an effort at problem-solving." Still, she finished her term with a certain respect for the normative power of the United Nations as the "institution whose majorities claim the right to decide - for the world - what is legitimate and what is illegitimate." She noted that the United States had increasingly ignored this significance and became increasingly isolated. This was problematic, because "relative isolation in a body like the United Nations is a sign of impotence," especially given the ability of the United Nations to shape international attitudes. Kirkpatrick was ambassador to the U.N. during the Sept. 1, 1983 Soviet shooting down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 near Moneron Island. KAL 007 had carried 269 passengers and crew including a sitting congressman, Larry McDonald from Georgia. She played before the Security Council the audio of the electronic intercept of the interceptor pilot during the attack, after which the Soviet Union could no longer deny its responsibility for the shootdown.
According to Jay Nordlinger, on a visit with American dignitaries, Soviet human rights activist Andrei Sakharov said, "Kirkpatski, Kirkpatski, which of you is Kirkpatski?" When others pointed to Kirkpatrick, he said, "Your name is known in every cell in the Gulag," because she had named Soviet political prisoners on the floor of the UN. Kirkpatrick said she would only serve one term at the UN and stepped down in April 1985.
Views on Israel
She was a staunch supporter of the State of Israel. During her ambassadorship at the United Nations, she considered its frequent criticism and condemnation of the Jewish State as holding Israel to a double standard. She attributed it to hostility and considered it as politically motivated. In 1989, Mohammed Wahby, press director of Egypt's Information Bureau, wrote to the Washington Post saying, "Jeane Kirkpatrick has, somehow, consistently opposed any attempt to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict." Kirkpatrick had warned Secretary of State James Baker and President Bush, in an op-ed, not to get involved in the conflict, because any intervention "will fail." Kirkpatrick was a Board Member of the American Foundation for Resistance International and The National Council to Support the Democracy Movements as the primary organizations that helped to bring down Soviet and Eastern European Communism. Along with Vlaidmir Bukovsky, Martin Colman and Richard Perle she worked tirelessly to organize the democratic revolution against communism.
Kirkpatrick frequently expressed disdain for what she perceived to be disproportionate attention on Israel at the expense of other conflicts. She "declared that what takes place in the Security Council "more closely resembles a mugging than either a political debate or an effort at problem-solving."
Anti-Defamation League President Abraham Foxman issued a press release upon her death saying that "She will be fondly remembered for her unwavering and valiant support of the State of Israel and her unequivocal opposition to anti-Semitism, especially during her tenure at the United Nations. She was always a true friend of the Jewish people."
- "Authoritarian regimes really typically don't have complete command economies. Authoritarian regimes typically have some kind of traditional economy with some private ownership. The Nazi regime left ownership in private hands, but the state assumed control of the economy. Control was separated from ownership but it was really a command economy because it was controlled by the state. A command economy is an attribute of a totalitarian state."
Explaining her disillusionment with international organizations, especially the United Nations, she stated:
- "As I watched the behavior of the nations of the U.N. (including our own), I found no reasonable ground to expect any one of those governments to transcend permanently their own national interests for those of another country."
- "I conclude that it is a fundamental mistake to think that salvation, justice, or virtue come through merely human institutions."
- "Democracy not only requires equality but also an unshakable conviction in the value of each person, who is then equal. Cross cultural experience teaches us not simply that people have different beliefs, but that people seek meaning and understand themselves in some sense as members of a cosmos ruled by God."
About socialist activism, she said:
- "As I read the utopian socialists, the scientific socialists, the German Social Democrats and revolutionary socialists — whatever I could in either English or French — I came to the conclusion that almost all of them, including my grandfather, were engaged in an effort to change human nature. The more I thought about it, the more I thought this was not likely to be a successful effort. So I turned my attention more and more to political philosophy and less and less to socialist activism of any kind."
After the Reagan administration
In April 1985, Kirkpatrick became a Republican, a move which The Economist called her "only recourse" after her speech at the 1984 Republican convention. She returned to teaching at Georgetown University and became a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, and a contributor to the American Freedom Journal. In 1993, she co-founded Empower America, a public-policy organization. She was also on the advisory board of the National Association of Scholars, a group that works against what it regards as a liberal bias in academia, with its emphasis on multicultural education, and affirmative action.
Kirkpatrick briefly considered running for President in 1988 against George H.W. Bush, because she believed he was not tough enough on Communism. Kirkpatrick endorsed Senator Robert J. Dole of Kansas, who was the runner up to Bush. Despite a strong showing in the Iowa caucuses, Dole's campaign quickly faded after he lost the New Hampshire primary in February 1988. Kirkpatrick was an active surrogate campaigner for Dole even as he was losing, as was her old foe, Al Haig, who endorsed Dole after ending his own 1988 campaign several days before the New Hampshire primary.
Along with Empower America co-directors William Bennett and Jack Kemp, she called on the Congress to issue a formal declaration of war against the "entire fundamentalist Islamist terrorist network" the day after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
In 2003, she headed the US delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Kirkpatrick was appointed to the Board of Directors of IDT Corp. in 2004. It was revealed after her death that in 2003, she was sent as a US envoy, to meet an Arab delegation and attempt to convince them to support the Iraq War; she was supposed to argue that pre-emptive war was justifiable, but she knew this would not work and instead argued that Saddam Hussein had consistently gone against the UN.
On February 20, 1955, she married Evron Maurice Kirkpatrick, who was a scholar and a former member of the O.S.S. (the World War II-era predecessor of the CIA). Her husband died in 1995. They had three sons: Douglas Jordan (1956–2006), John Evron, and Stuart Alan. She had been diagnosed with heart disease and had been in failing health for several years. Kirkpatrick died at her home in Bethesda, Maryland, on December 7, 2006 of congestive heart failure. Her remains were buried at Parklawn Memorial Park in Rockville, Maryland.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Jeane Kirkpatrick|
- "When Marxist dictators shoot their way into power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies. They blame United States policies of one hundred years ago. But then they always blame America first."
- "Russia is playing chess, while we are playing Monopoly. The only question is whether they will checkmate us before we bankrupt them."
- "Americans need to face the truth about themselves, no matter how pleasant it is."
- "I don't think the government (of El Salvador) was responsible. The nuns were not just nuns; the nuns were political activists. We ought to be a little more clear-cut about this than we usually are. They were political activists on behalf of the Frente and somebody who is using violence to oppose the Frente killed them"
Awards and honors
Kirkpatrick received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard created a Kirkpatrick Chair in International Affairs in her honor. Kirkpatrick received an *honorary doctorate degree from Universidad Francisco Marroquín in 1985, she also received an honorary doctorate at Central Connecticut State University in 1991. She was also awarded an honorary degree by Brandeis University in 1994, but her honor was met with protests from some professors and students. 53 professors (of 350 total Brandeis faculty) opposed this award, one such critic said "We oppose the degree because she was the intellectual architect of Reagan administration policies that supported some of the Latin-American regimes with the most repressive records."
In 1995 she received the Walter Judd Freedom Award from The Fund for American Studies for her work advancing the cause of freedom in the United States and abroad. - See more at: http://www.tfas.org/Page.aspx?pid=267#sthash.K5DcnhSe.dpufIn 2007, Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) honored Jeane Kirkpatrick with the creation of the Jeane Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award. The first recipient was Marine Corps reservist and correspondent Matt Sanchez. Kirkpatrick was inducted in the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame in 1984.
In popular culture
In Berkeley Breathed's daily comic strip Bloom County, Kirkpatrick becomes former Meadow Party Presidential candidate Bill the Cat's love interest before he is exposed as using that relationship to perform espionage for the Soviet Union.
In an October 1987 sketch on Saturday Night Live, Kirkpatrick (portrayed by Nora Dunn) is a contestant on a game show called "Common Knowledge" (in which answers to questions are determined by 17-year old high school seniors).
- Making War to Keep Peace, 2007 (ISBN 0-0611-9543-X)
- The Withering Away of the Totalitarian State—And Other Surprises, 1992 (ISBN 0-8447-3728-3)
- Legitimacy and Force: National and International Dimensions, 1988 (ISBN 0-88738-647-4)
- International Regulation: New Rules in a Changing World Order, 1988 (ISBN 1-55815-026-9)
- Legitimacy and Force: Political and Moral Dimensions, 1988 (ISBN 0-88738-099-9)
- Legitimacy and Force: State Papers and Current Perspectives 1981–1985, 1987 ISBN 9999962750
- The United States and the World: Setting Limits, 1986 (ISBN 0-8447-1379-1)
- The Reagan Doctrine and U.S. Foreign Policy, 1985 (ISBN 999650591X
- Reagan Phenomenon and Other Speeches on Foreign Policy, 1983 (ISBN 0-8447-1361-9)
- U.N. Under Scrutiny, 1982 (ISBN 99938-872-9-3)
- Dictatorships and Double Standards: Rationalism and Reason in Politics, 1982 (ISBN 0-671-43836-0)
- Presidential Nominating Process: Can It Be Improved, 1980 (ISBN 0-8447-3397-0)
- Dismantling the Parties: Reflections on Party Reform and Party Decomposition, 1978 (ISBN 0-8447-3293-1)
- The New Presidential Elite: Men and Women in National Politics, 1976 (ISBN 0-87154-475-X)
- Political Woman, 1974 (ISBN 0-465-05970-8) - This was the first major study of women in American political life. It includes interviews with 50 successful political women, representing 26 states.
- List of U.S. political appointments that crossed party lines
- Dictatorships and Double Standards
- List of notable Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
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- "Middle Israel: The new world order". The Jerusalem Post. 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Chomsky, Noam (1985). Turning the Tide. Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press. pp. 1–85. ISBN 0-89608-267-9.
- "Jeane Kirkpatrick, Former United States Ambassador to The United Nations, Joins IDT Corporation Board of Directors". IDT Europe. 2004-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- "Jeane Kirkpatrick and the Cold War (audio)". NPR. 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Cornwell, Rupert (December 11, 2006). "Jeane Kirkpatrick". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- "Socialism: What Happened? What Now?". symposium transcript. Notesonline and the New Economy Information Service. June 27, 2002. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
- Allen, Richard V. (2006-12-16). "Jeane Kirkpatrick and the Great Democratic Defection". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- William, Buckley (August 10, 1984). "Prime time for Mrs. Kirkpatrick?". National Review. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Jeane Kirkpatrick, "Dictatorships and Double Standards," Commentary Magazine Volume 68, No. 5, November 1979, pp. 34–45. & Related book
- The Times. 28 December 2012. p. 8.
- O'Sullivan, John (December 31, 2006). "She was right: Jeane Kirkpatrick, statesman and intellectual". National Review. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Chomsky, Noam (1985). Turning the Tide. Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press. p. 8. ISBN 0-89608-266-0.
- Chomsky, Noam (1985). Turning the Tide. Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press. pp. 8–37. ISBN 0-89608-266-0.
- Schoultz, Lars (1998). Beneath the United States. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 374–80.
- Kirkpatrick, Jeane J., Legitimacy and Force Vol. 1 (Oxford: Transaction Books, 1988), xvi.
- Kirkpatrick, Jeane J., "Standing Alone" in Legitimacy and Force Vol. 1 (Oxford: Transaction Books, 1988), 193–194.
- Kirkpatrick, Jeane J., "Standing Alone" in Legitimacy and Force Vol. 1 (Oxford: Transaction Books, 1988), 195.
- Kirkpatrick, Jeane J., "The UN as a Political System" in Legitimacy and Force Vol. 1 (Oxford: Transaction Books, 1988), 222.
- "EMPOWER AMERICA: Twenty facts about Israel and the Middle East". 2002-04-24. Archived from the original on 2002-06-01. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- "Jeane Kirkpatrick's Mideast Warning". Washington Post. 1989-12-27. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- "The United Nations and Israel by Mitchell Bard". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- "ADL Mourns the Passing of Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick". Archived from the original on 2007-03-04. Retrieved 2006-12-08.
- "Toward Humane Governance (Interview)". Religion & Liberty 2 (2). March–April 1992. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
- Hartson, Merrill (December 8, 2006). "Jean Kirkpatrick, Ex-Ambassador, Dies". Forbes.com. Archived from the original on 2006-12-10. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
- "Former U.N. envoy Kirkpatrick dies". Politics (section) (CNN.com). Associated Press. December 8, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
- "http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=16961644". Find a Grave.
- Speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention
- Speech given during the 1988 Barrick Lecture Series at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- , Commission on the Truth for El Salvador, footnote 163, New York, 1 April 1993, referencing Tampa Tribune, 25 December 1980. Retrieved on 8 June 2012.
- "EDITORIAL: Jeane Kirkpatrick". Pueblo Chieftain. December 14, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Honorary Doctoral Degrees at Universidad Francisco Marroquín
- "Jeane Kirkpatrick: hated, but right. (Originated from Boston Globe)". Knight-Ridder News Service. May 12, 1994. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- "CPAC 2007 Agenda". CPAC. March 7, 2007. Archived from CPAC 2007 Agenda the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Honorary Doctoral Degrees, Universidad Francisco Marroquín
- Jeane Kirkpatrick, Reagan’s Forceful Envoy, Dies—The New York Times
- Spartacus Educational Biography
- Kirkpatrick hit liberals for blaming America first - short political bio
- Empower America – official site of the Empower America organization
- Senior Fellow at the AEI, The American Enterprise Institute
- Profile: Jeane J. Kirkpatrick
- ADL Mourns the Passing of Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick Press release from the Anti-Defamation League
- The Cold War series: interview with Jeane Kirkpatrick, The National Security Archive, February 28, 1999.
- Jeane Kirkpatrick advocates war, The Oprah Winfrey Show, October 1, 2001.
- The National Association of Scholar's Board of Advisors
- Jeane Kirkpatrick interviewed by Peter Krogh On American Interests,1982
|U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Vernon A. Walters