It's as if the bloodbaths of Iraq and Afghanistan had been a bad dream. The liberal interventionists are back. As insurrection and repression has split Libya in two and the death toll has mounted, the old Bush-and-Blair battle-cries have returned to haunt us.
The same western leaders who happily armed and did business with the Gaddafi regime until a fortnight ago have now slapped sanctions on the discarded autocrat and blithely referred him to the international criminal court the United States won't recognise.
While American and British politicians have ramped up talk of a no-fly zone, US warships have been sent to the Mediterranean, a stockpile of chemical weapons has been duly discovered, special forces have been in action, Italy has ditched a non-aggression treaty with Tripoli and a full-scale western military intervention in yet another Arab country is suddenly a serious prospect.
Egged on by his neoconservative lieutenants, David Cameron went furthest. Fresh from his tour selling arms to Gulf despots, the British prime minister talked excitedly about arming Libyan rebels, and only staged a hasty retreat when he found himself running ahead of the US administration...
Seamus Milne in the Guardian pointing out both the lunacy and the hypocrisy of the interventionist position on Libya.