- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
Last spring, it seemed like everyone was hating on French philosopher/public intellectual/serial chest-hair exhibitionist Bernard-Henri Lévy. It was bad enough that he had helped push President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government into an intervention in Libya that appeared to be settling into an endless quagmire. Then in May, he was pilloried for going on record to defend his friend Dominique Strauss-Kahn from sexual assault charges that he compared to a lynching and the Dreyfus Affair. Some even went as far as to wonder whether the Libya invasion would have happened if the Strauss-Kahn affair, and the damage to BHL’s reputation that ensued, had come first.
This week, Muammar al-Qaddafi’s regime fell with relatively little blood and treasure expended by the countries that intervened (Lévy has already been out in front, communicating with both Sarkozy and the National Transitional Council), and tomorrow, the charges against Strauss-Kahn are likely to be dropped. What’s next? An acquittal for Roman Polanski? A global button shortage?
Of course, this week’s events don’t necessarily mean Lévy was right about either issue: We’ll never really know what happened in Strauss-Kahn’s hotel room, and the future of Libya is obviously still far from settled. And his detractors may still feel justified in considering him a shameless self-promoter, overrated writer, and absurdly sloppy researcher. But he’s still probably entitled to spike the ball this week.