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"In March, 2011, the well-connected French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy arrived in the city and took it upon himself to make sure that the rebels got aid. In Paris recently, I asked Lévy why he’d adopted the Libyan cause. “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.”"