December 8, 2006
WASHINGTON, DECEMBER 8, 2006- Edwin J. Feulner, the President of The Heritage Foundation, issued the following statement on the death of former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick:
"Whenever I think about Jeane Kirkpatrick, I'm reminded about a story that her husband, Kirk, once told.
"He and his wife, who was U.N. ambassador at the time, were strolling around Manhattan when a truck pulled up besides them. The driver, whom they never seen before, looked at Jeane, smiled, stuck out his head and cheered, 'Give 'em hell, Jeane!'
"Before Jeane, we never had such a bold and brilliant representative for freedom in the United Nations -- an ambassador who earned support from policymakers and truck drivers alike.
"And at the end of the Carter administration, we needed one. At that time, Marxist Sandinistas were running Nicaragua. The Soviets had invaded Afghanistan. Iranian revolutionaries held American hostages for more than a year -- and it seemed we couldn't do a thing about it. Many believed that the light of American freedom in the U.N. -- and the world -- was dimming.
"Jeane didn't think so. With complete support from her friend, President Ronald Reagan, she developed foreign policies that pushed back against Soviet bullying in the U.N. and across the globe. She made the United Nations more effective, less anti-American and a better instrument to deliver people their God-given right to freedom.
"That truck driver probably told her to 'give 'em hell' because that's what she did best. She gave the Soviets hell in the United Nations by speaking forcefully when they shot down Korean Airlines Flight 007. She gave the Sandinistas hell by actively backing the Contras. She also gave hell to their misguided American supporters, famously defining them as the 'blame America first' crowd back in 1984.
"The world is completely different now than it was in the 1980s, thanks in large part to Jeane, her ideas and her skill in making them work. In Great Britain, they call Lady Margaret Thatcher 'the Iron Lady.' In America, they should call Jeane Kirkpatrick 'the Steel Lady'-- U.S. steel to be exact -- for rebuilding an American foreign policy that's so strong, we still stand on it today."