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Lessons for the West from Libya

“[I]t clearly can be in the US and the west’s strategic interest to help social revolutions fighting for the values we espouse and proclaim. The strategic interest in helping the Libyan opposition came from supporting democracy and human rights, but also being seen to live up to those values.

“This value-based argument was inextricable from the interest-based argument. So enough with the accusations of bleeding heart liberals seeking to intervene for strictly moral reasons.”

We also now know how different intervention looks when we help forces who want to be helped. East Timor, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Libya – all cases where force evened out odds between a brutal government and a widespread and legitimate social or national movement.

- Anne Marie-Slaughter, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and a former director of policy planning for the US state department.

See her comment in the Financial Times here.

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