So writes Juan Cole "one of the left's leading advocates of American involvement in the war in Libya". There you go. The goal of Juan Cole is worth the sacrifices in life and treasure.
"The Libya intervention is legal and was necessary to prevent further massacres and to forestall a threat to democratization in Tunisia and Egypt, and if it succeeds in getting rid of Qaddafi’s murderous regime and allowing Libyans to have a normal life, it will be worth the sacrifices in life and treasure. If NATO needs me, I’m there."
The goal of Muammar Gaddafi to keep himself in power is not worth it. Therefore when ole Muammar kills people it is called a massacre. When USAF kills people it is not a massacre being that Juan Cole's goal of installing the opposition in Gaddafi's place is on the contrary worth it. It is all about who has a worthy goal. If you have a worthy goal, then it is OK to kill Libyans.
Gaddafi's goal is not worthy because it is selfish. He wishes only to stay in power. Cole's goal on the other hand is not selfish. He only wishes for liberals such as himself to be once more able to feel good about their government.
Of course that may take some sacrifice on the part of a certain number of 20-year old conscripts, stay-at-home moms and schoolchildren to be blown up by NATO. But at least they will be massacred for a cause that is worthy. Imagine if they were instead sacrificed by Gaddafi for the sake of his staying in power. Terrible!
The problem with "absolute anti-imperialists" is they don't understand how worthy a goal of making liberals feel good about themselves really is. Forestalling a phony threat to democratisation in Tunisia and Egypt? Why that alone has to be worth 10,000 maybe 50,000 dead Libyans!