Everyone says the Libya intervention was a failure. They’re wrong. – Vox

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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11 Responses

  1. Damon says:


    Gee, if the purpose of the NATO intervention was to save civilian lives, helping put an end to the rebellion would do that. NATO could have sided with Qaddafi and help put it down.

    “I didn’t want to live in an America where we would stand by silently as a brutal dictator — using that distinct language of genocidaires — announced rather clearly his intentions to kill.” Nah, but you’d live in it when Tutsis and Hutus were butchering each other and no one did anything. You’d sit by and watch the death squads in south america and not want to intervene.

    “couse he failed to discuss the impacts to countries other than Libya too.Report

    • James K in reply to Damon says:


      The big problem with “we can’t just stand here and do nothing” is that it only has moral force if the US can actually intervene in a way that doesn’t make things even worse. Because with an option to do something that would actually help, standing there and doing nothing is exactly what the US government should do.Report

      • Damon in reply to James K says:

        I don’t think it matters whether or not our intervention would improve things. Lot’s of people think we should be doing something, anything, to show, you know, that we’re doing something….

        Action for action’s sake. Hell, it’s not like it’s their life, their blood, their treasure.Report

      • trizzlor in reply to James K says:

        I think the point of the article is that demonstrating that Libya is now more unstable than it was is necessary but not sufficient to concluding that intervention. A building catches fire, the fire department comes and puts it out but half the building is still charred rubble, is it sufficient to point at the charred rubble and conclude that the firefighters made things worse?

        Or, put another way, let’s imagine an alternative universe where we had intervened in Rwanda, destroyed the radio stations, and prevented all out genocide. However, the racial resentment remained and the country was still plagued by relatively small outbreaks of unrest. Without having our universe to compare to, would your analytical tools conclude that the intervention was worthwhile or not?Report

        • InMD in reply to trizzlor says:

          Ah the magic Rwanda counterfactual, the greatest war America and its allies never fought. Funny that’s always the go-to for warmo- I mean “interventionists.” I wonder why they never wrestle with the fact that the Iraqis were able to ethnically cleanse their country just fine even with 100,000 American soldiers on the ground. It’s almost like they need a fake war to defend their theories.Report

  2. notme says:

    If I take the conclusion of this article, that NATO’s intervention in Libya was a success, to it’s logical end, then NATO should intervene in Syria.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    I appreciate that Vox is trying to get Hillary elected.Report

  4. aaron david says:

    Everyone says the Libya intervention VOX was a failure unbiased . They’re wrong. – VoxReport

    • Burt Likko in reply to aaron david says:

      I know of no one who says VOX is unbiased. At least, not with sobriety.Report

      • aaron david in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Well, all joking aside, all media sources have biases. Its just a matter of wether we can descern them and then live with them. That said, I do believe that VOX initially held itself out as being technocratic and above the fray. That they aren’t even trying to put that face on things is, well, a bit sad.

        Then again, this is one of the problems with technocratism in my eyes. I am willing to bet that they feel, given all of the informantion at their fingertips, that they are above the fray, and are unbiased and see the truth of things. The problem with that is no one has all of the facts, there is always one more piece of data that can change all of the above facts, or a different viewpoint to consider.Report

  5. notme says:

    At first I figured this article was some blather by Elias Isquith.Report