In his remarks regarding the dictator’s capture and gruesome death in October, Obama asserted that “the dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted” from Libya. He urged the citizens of that country to “build an inclusive and tolerant and democratic Libya that stands as the ultimate rebuke” to the former oppressor. Ivo H. Daalder, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, and Adm. James Stavridis were equally enthusiastic. Describing the intervention as “an extraordinary job, well done,” they called it “an historic victory for the people of Libya who, with NATO’s help, transformed their country from an international pariah into a nation with the potential to become a productive partner with the West.”

Much of the American news media chimed in about the glorious outcome of the U.S.-NATO intervention. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof was euphoric about how the people he encountered in Libya loved America. “Americans are not often heroes in the Arab world, but as nonstop celebrations unfold here in the Libyan capital I keep running into ordinary people who learn where I’m from and then fervently repeat variants of the same phrase: Thank you, America!”

There were only a few dissenting voices from the celebration.