President Barack Obama says he's intervening to prevent atrocities in Libya. But details of behind-the-scenes debates at the White House show he's going to war in part to rehabilitate an idea.
My main argument was that if Gaddafi committed large-scale human rights violations against his own people he would provide an opening to those in the administration who wanted to rehabilitate the doctrine of humanitarian intervention eight years after the Iraq war discredited U.S.-led military actions abroad. As it turns out, Gaddafi hasn't done enough to justify humanitarian intervention - despite their rhetoric to the contrary, the administration and human rights organizations admit that reports of potential war crimes remain unconfirmed. Instead, interviews with senior administration officials show that the rehabilitators convinced Obama to go to war not just to prevent atrocities Gaddafi might (or might not) commit but also to bolster America's ability to intervene elsewhere in the future.
Overcoming the 'Iraq syndrome', and reviving imperialist ideology. It's like, I say it here, it comes out there. As people keep saying on Twitter and Facebook, now would be a good time to review your copies of Liberal Defence.