Libya Is Not Iraq – Why I’m Leaving “The Reality Based Community”

For all I know, by the time this book is published my view of the Soviet régime may be the generally-accepted one. But what use would that be in itself? To exchange one orthodoxy for another is not necessarily an advance. The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment.

– George Orwell, from the unpublished introduction to Animal Farm.

A Libyan man

A Libyan man, with his son in the background, holds part of a rocket fired by forces loyal to Gaddafi that blew holes through three walls of his house.

There is an overwhelming consensus among Western pundits, on the Left and Right, that the conflict in Libya was “a disaster”. The consensus goes beyond that too. It includes the view that the conflict was, first and foremost, a campaign led by the United States aimed at toppling a hostile government, and that this US adventurism had disastrous consequences for the US, the region, and most of all for the people of Libya. It’s a line of attack that shortcuts past the need for any factual detail by using the phrase “regime change” to invoke the memory of Iraq and associating any opponents with that war – even if they, like me, were vocally against it at the time. Continue reading