(ABC News) -- Margaret Thatcher, Britain's "Iron Lady," who died today at 87, was a trailblazer. The first women to be the head of government of a Western democracy, her presence on the world stage sent a powerful message. But Thatcher was far from a prop on that stage. She was major player, talking as tough as she walked. With words she comforted a nation in the wake of terror attacks and emboldened women to chart their own destinies. But with words too, she launched a war and eviscerated her opponents.