Ex-U.N. Ambassador Kirkpatrick, 80, Dies; Crusaded against Communism

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Byline: Ralph Z. Hallow, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, President Reagan's favorite Democrat and his outspoken ambassador to the United Nations, died yesterday at 80.

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

The first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Mrs. Kirkpatrick was a lifelong crusader 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 yesterday. "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, and she supported his election. Mrs. Kirkpatrick won Senate confirmation as chief U.S. representative at the United Nations in 1981 but 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 reason she switched parties was because "Democrat welfare policy not 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. ambassador and who wept publicly yesterday 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 obligation to engage in a new imperialism," she said, adding that she is "skeptical of nation building. It is extremely difficult for one nation to seriously remake another nation."

She called Mr. Bush's foreign policy "a little too interventionist for my taste, frankly, but not across the board. I am very much in favor of his actions in Afghanistan and have not opposed them in Iraq."

Pat Buchanan, aide to Presidents Reagan, Nixon and Ford, said yesterday that Mrs. Kirkpatrick "put her pen, voice and intellect all at the service of her country for all the decades I knew her. She was a lioness in fighting and 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 constitutional amendment [banning homosexual 'marriage.'] On the other hand, I don't want to promote same-sex marriage."

She recently told The Times that she believed government has an important role to play in helping people. …