Pondering this week’s gruesome beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians by an ISIS which has newly found a foothold in post-“liberated” Libya, it is hard to stop the mind from wandering back to Bernard-Henri Lévy, the swaggering French philosopher who almost single-handedly sired the 2011 western attack on Libya.
Back then Lévy donned the sanctimonious persona of the human rights champion to goad then-French president Sarkozy into leading the charge into Libya. The western attack on Libya was “inevitable” the war’s beaming champion said at the time. He personally undertook to semi-secretly bring the then-rebels from Benghazi in Libya to meet Sarkozy and receive his blessing as the legitimate new rulers of Libya. Then…bombs away.
Here is what he told Sarkozy, according to a new article in the New Yorker magazine:
There are people here, good people; these people hold the same values as we do, and they’re going to die to the last one if we allow Qaddafi to go on to the conclusion of his criminal logic. Would you accept to receive them in Paris and thus send a strong signal to the butcher?
Yes. Good people. Share our values.
“[L]et’s take down Qaddafi,” he told the Christian Science Monitor just before the 2011 bombings of Libya began. “If he (Qaddafi) is beaten, a fair wind of democracy will blow once again – and even harder,” he added.
Lévy’s “fair wind of democracy” has a funny way of blowing. It blew down the US ambassador in Benghazi. It blew the country’s infrastructure to the stone age. It blew the economy to the prehistoric age. It blew in al-Qaeda and ISIS. And, yesterday, it blew off the heads of 21 Egyptian Christians.
One might think Lévy would be a bit chastened by the stench emanating from the “fair wind” he released, but that is not his style.
In the New Yorker article this month he was asked why he picked up the cause of the Libyan rebels in 2011. Here is an excerpt:
“Why? I don’t know!” he said. “Of course, it was human rights, for a massacre to be prevented, and blah blah blah—but I also wanted them to see a Jew defending the liberators against a dictatorship, to show fraternity. I wanted the Muslims to see that a Frenchman—a Westerner and a Jew—could be on their side.”
Lévy said that he returned to Paris and told President Nicolas Sarkozy that humanitarian intervention wasn’t enough. “The real objective had to be to topple Qaddafi,” he told me. Sarkozy agreed, and Lévy became his emissary. Lévy accompanied a Libyan opposition leader to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to lobby for U.S. involvement. “It was hard to convince the Americans,” he said. “Robert Gates was totally opposed. Obama as usual was hesitating. But Hillary got it.”
Lévy’s reputation as a humanitarian and human rights activist is certainly misplaced. Indeed, everywhere he appears, chaos, murder, and destruction follow. He is not unlike the lead character in the Rolling Stones’ old tune “Sympathy for the Devil,” appearing wherever blood is to be spilled.
He was there in 1999, lobbying for a NATO attack on Yugoslavia.
He was a resolute supporter of US-backed Saakashvili’s suicidal war on Russia in 2008.
He was among the loudest voices demanding western support for the rebels seeking to overthrow the Assad government in Syria — “freedom fighters” who, as in Libya, soon donned the black flags of al-Qaeda and ISIS. He praised the warmongering Sen. John McCain at a 2012 event held by the neoconservative “think tank” Foreign Policy Initiative (successor to the discredited PNAC). The American attack on Libya “saved” America, said Lévy at the FPI event:
America was saved, the honor of America was saved by your President — of course, Obama — but by three women. Three women: Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton.
Ah yes, Hillary again.
At the same 2012 FPI event on Syria, Lévy went on to urge a US attack on the country, promising the same great results as were produced by his attack on Libya:
[I]t is more doable today in Syria than it was doable yesterday in Libya.
And he was there in Maidan Square in Kiev last year, addressing the mob with slogans such as a John McCainian “we’re all Ukrainians now!” And once his Ukrainian coup produced an impoverished, desperate country cut off from its natural trading partner next door, he penned an op-ed in the New York Times with George Soros demanding untold billions from the US and western taxpayer.
The blood of the 21 Egyptians is on the hands of “humanitarian” Bernard-Henri Lévy as it is on those who did the cutting. Like the other interventionists, “humanitarians,” and neocons who urge the use of force overseas, his every promise of a cakewalk has produced a death march. His every analysis has been wrong. His impulses are malevolent and self-centered. His blazing sartorial splendor masks the true nakedness of the humanitarian would-be emperor.
Will anyone notice the stench of Bernard-Henri Lévy’s “fair wind”?
I am on Twitter.5:23 pm on February 17, 2015 Email Daniel McAdams