It has become fairly commonplace in recent months for Westerners to observe that the U.S./NATO Libyan war contributed greatly to the ruin of that country, but it's worth remembering just how arrogant and triumphalist its supporters were in the immediate aftermath of Gaddafi's overthrow and death. Libyan war supporters could not contain their enthusiasm to lecture opponents of the war about how wrong they had been in those early days following Gaddafi's demise, which only confirmed how oblivious they were to the harm they had done. As we can all see now, the Libya hawks were extremely premature in their celebrations, and they have been desperately trying to evade any responsibility for the suffering they helped to cause ever since.
Libya hawks have since claimed that the intervention was not to blame for the chaos that followed regime change, but that it was rather the "failure" to stabilize the country afterward. This is a bit like an arsonist pleading innocence because a fire truck didn't arrive in time to save the building he set on fire. It also ignores the fact that interventionists in the spring of 2011 insisted that no such stabilization effort would be needed, and that Libya would be nothing like Iraq. Except for the unnecessary war, regime change, and ensuing chaos, they were right that it was not like Iraq. It was its own special kind of foreign policy disaster, and its supporters wrapped it all up in self-righteous rhetoric about the "responsibility to protect" at the same time that they blatantly ignored the requirements of the doctrine they claimed to be upholding. Libya was a "model" intervention, they told us, and it has indeed become a perfect example of what outside governments should not do when faced with another country's internal conflict.
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