But I also felt wary for a more grounded reason: I had just seen Bernard Henri-Levi's new documentary -- about himself, and Libya, and himself -- at its premiere at Cannes. The film details BHL's (as he is called, familiarly, in France) pivotal role in lobbying Western forces to intervene in Libya to protect civilians and bring Gaddafi down. In a nutshell: stirred by moral imperative, BHL snuck into Libya through Egypt in the height of the rebellion, met with the NTC (the National Transitional Council) and then, with one phone call to his buddy Sarkozy, he arranged for key NTC leaders to be flown to the Elysee palace in Paris, where, on March 10, 2011, France promptly recognized the NTC as the legitimate governing body of Libya.
This recognition spurred, the documentary suggests, the resolution a week later, on March 17, by the Security Council to declare a no-fly zone for Libya, and on March 19, NATO began bombing, with French jets the first to enter the fray. Gaddafi fell in August 2011.