I guess you could say that Brendan O’Neill wasn’t a fan of the NATO intervention in Libya:
Not since Winston Smith found himself in the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984, rewriting old newspaper articles on behalf of Big Brother, has there been such an overnight perversion of history as there has been in relation to NATO’s intervention in Libya. Now that the rebels have taken Tripoli, NATO’s bombing campaign is being presented to us as an adroit intervention, which was designed to achieve precisely the glorious scenes we’re watching on our TV screens. In truth, it was an incoherent act of clueless militarism, which is only now being repackaged, in true Minitrue fashion, as an initiative that ‘played an indispensable role in the liberation of Tripoli’.
Normally it takes a few years for history to be rewritten; with Libya it happened in days. No sooner had rebel soldiers arrived at Gaddafi’s compound than the NATO campaign launched in March was being rewritten as a cogent assault. Commentators desperate to resuscitate the idea of ‘humanitarian intervention’, and NATO leaders determined to crib some benefits from their Libya venture, took to their lecterns to tell us that their aims had been achieved and they had ‘salvaged the principle of liberal interventionism from the geopolitical dustbin’. In order to sustain these bizarre claims, they’ve had to put the real truth about NATO’s campaign into a memory hole and invent a whole new ‘truth’.
Over the past few days every aspect of NATO’s bombing campaign has been, as Winston Smith might put it, ‘falsified’. Since everybody now seems to have forgotten the events of just five months ago, it is worth reminding ourselves of the true character of NATO’s intervention in Libya. It was incoherent from the get-go, overseen by a continually fraying and deeply divided Western ‘alliance’ and with no serious war aim beyond being seen to bomb an evil dictator. It was cowardly, where all alliance members wanted to appear to be Doing Something while actually doing as little as possible. This was especially true of the US, which stayed firmly on the backseat of the anti-Gaddafi alliance. And it was reckless, revealing that military action detached from strategy, unanchored by end goals, can easily spin out of control.