The policy of liberal intervention was discredited after the debacle in Iraq and may have been part of the reason why President Obama took sometime coming behind the view that was pushed by France and the UK. However, there are other parallels that need to be borne in mind and which show the correctness of the resolution reached. Firstly, the fact of the second Gulf War itself is based largely on the failure of the resolution of the first one. When President Bush senior failed to support the Kurdish and Marsh Arab uprisings in 1991 he not only ensured the continuance of Saddam Hussein's regime but did so on the basis of Hussein murdering his opponents. Similarly, irresolution in Bosnia in the 1990s created the basis for the Serbian slaughter of civilians in Srebnica, something prevented in Kosovo later as the lesson was learned of the need to intervene in the Balkans. Sierra Leone and Rwanda also point to reasons for thinking there remains a case for liberal intervention.
The defeat of Gaddaffi is something that should be taken to be a goal worth achieving. The UN has recognised in recent years the doctrine of a "responsibility to protect" (R2P) and this is the core of the resolution that was passed. Anyone who thinks war is a "good" thing is clearly crazy but in this situation the prima facie case is clearly for intervention as the failure to intervene would most assuredly have been tragic.