Friday, December 08, 2006

Kirkpatrick Through a Kristol Ball

When I heard that Jeane Kirkpatrick died in her sleep, I couldn't help but think of the hundreds of thousands who were not so fortunate - but instead were butchered by the armies and in the torture chambers of the "mildly repressive" authoritarian regimes that Kirkpatrick so loved during her sorry tenure on this planet. Does NPR mention even one of her bloodthirsty darlings -- Pinochet of Chile or the "Dirty War" generals of Argentina? Not a peep! The closest to criticism of Kirkpatrick NPR can come is to say "hers was a sharp and sometimes biting voice" (Steve Inskeep) or "a blunt and forceful advocate of the administration's policies" (Deborah Amos).

On Morning Edition after a brief tribute, NPR trots out the discredited William Kristol to share feelings about Kirkpatrick. Kristol has nothing but praise for Kirkpatrick's thesis that authoritarian regimes are so much better and likely to become democratic than any tainted with "socialism" (which gets slurred as totalitarian). Kristol claims that it is the US that gets credit for the democratization of Korea and the Phillippines (not the activists and radicals who fought the dictatorships there)!

Then on ATC Robert Siegel talks to Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institute (again!--click on "Brookings" label below). From Siegel we hear that "we knew her as the ambassador and vigorous speaker" while Mann tells us that she was "a formidable individual" and "did make a difference in that regard."

Here are a few Kirkpatrick gems I would have liked to hear:
  • In her "famous" paper "Dictatorships and Double Standards" she wrote of Somoza and the Shah "both rulers, therefore, sometimes invoked martial law to arrest, imprison, exile, and occasionally, it was alleged, torture their opponents."
  • Speaking of the four Maryknoll nuns raped and murdered by the army in El Salvador she said, "The nuns were not just nuns, they were political activists, and we should be very clear about that."
Kirkpatrick was disgusting when alive, and this whitewash of her legacy is pretty revolting too. I guess NPR is just warming up for the Kissinger-fest that will follow his death.


Anonymous said...

I can't vomit enough to express my disgust over this pathetic, cringing obituary of Kirkpatrick. Normally I would allow a decent interval to pass before saying anything. But if this is going to be NPR's summing-up of the life of Jean Kirkpatrick, I'm gonna blow!

Porter Melmoth said...

Boldly and accurately stated, all. Kirkpatrick was one of the most repulsive figures in public life. She is one of many who, now that we are rid of them, stand to be further exposed as the hideous creatures that they were. Tragically, such corrective legacy explanation is too little, too late. Namby Pamby Radio such as NPR may make their bozo eulogies, but there are more important investigative reporters out there than NPR, doing good work in telling the truth about the Jeannes of the world. Further proof (if any is really needed) that NPR is hardly a source to turn to for anything profound. (Although they did have a rather interesting head lice story the other day, and at least Daniel Zwerdling and others like him are still on the payroll.)

And why ever would NPR even THINK to call for commentary from the likes of Bill 'Howdy-Doody' Kristol, already tediously over-exposed in the media, if there weren't some corporate convenience of cooperation between them?

Anonymous said...

Go to Hell, Jeanne and Augosoto, and take Kristol with you.

Anonymous said...

Long Live St. Jeane! She helped bring down the commies who killed a whole lot more than the righties. Look at Pinochet's legacy - a free, prosperous nation. Look at Fidel's legacy a poverty stricken shit-hole with his dipsomaniac septagenarian brother taking over. Long Live Pinochet!