Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has doubled down on his decision to use British military assets to intervene, alongside France, in Libya in 2011.
The intervention toppled the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, leading to the death of the one-time fair-weather friend of the United Kingdom and United States.
Arguably however, the intervention also gave way to the takeover of Libya by Islamic State terrorists, and prompted major, trans-Atlantic incidents such as the Benghazi scandal, and contributed to Europe’s migrant crisis.
But Mr. Cameron appears to have no regrets about his major role in sparking these crises. In an interview with the Spectator magazine’s Christmas edition, he claimed: “I would say that Libya is better off without Gaddafi. What we were doing was preventing a mass genocide.”
And despite taking to the streets of Benghazi to celebrate in September 2011, Mr. Cameron now claims: “It takes time. There just aren’t any easy answers with any of these things. Whether you are looking at Libya or Syria or Iraq or Nigeria or Somalia, you have to try and build governance and government.”
He was asked: “Knowing what you know now, would you have gone ahead with the Libyan operation?” to which he replied, “Yes because Gaddafi was going to massacre his own people.”
The Spectator noted:
Libya has been in the news again over Christmas: the UN Security Council has endorsed a new government but as Peter Oborne found out when he visited Benghazi, the city that David Cameron addressed after his 2011 bombing campaign (video above), there isn’t much government to speak of. The World Food Programme says that 2.4m Libyans will need humanitarian assistance; the country’s population is 6.2m. Its economy shrank by 25pc last year alone and private enterprise is collapsing: the state now employs 80pc of Libyans. At the height of the 2011 uprising there were about 17,000 militiamen: today they number in the hundreds of thousands and they’re tearing Libya apart.
His comments haven’t been received well by readers of the magazine, traditionally a Conservative Party supporting audience.
One Facebook user responded: “Self- justification. Ask Blair and Bush whether it was right to invade Iraq and Afghanistan and you know what the answer is going to be”, while another added: “Cameron, Blair…both unprincipled, treacherous cowards.”