What were the dominant themes within media narratives during the UN sanctioned NATO intervention in Libya and the non-UN sanctioned NATO intervention in Kosovo?
An analysis of print media discourses.
The recent NATO intervention into Libya had many similarities and some key differences to the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999. Both interventions were justified by NATO and its allies and also in the Western media as ‘humanitarian’, as necessary to prevent a ‘genocide’ or ‘massacre’ from occurring and to remove an undemocratic dictator from power. Both interventions involved an aerial bombardment on the enemy, and the support of a non-state actor in an internal conflict. The differences lay in the fact that the NATO intervention into Libya had UN Security Council sanction, whilst the intervention into Kosovo had not received the same sanction. Since the Kosovo intervention, the concept of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) had come into being, in many ways as the direct result of the controversy of NATO’s illegal intervention into Kosovo. R2P as a growing international norm had now legitimised an intervention into Libya.