Prominent French-Jewish intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy played an extremely outsize role in fomenting the Western intervention in Libya. Specifically, the Financial Times reports, French President Nicolas Sarkozy decided to be the first and most ardent supporter of an internationally enforced no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians and rebels in the city of Benghazi after Lévy—whose most recent book began as an open letter to the president, his friend—called Sarkozy from Benghazi and told him, in the FT’s words, “that French flags were everywhere. He told him if he allowed a bloodbath there the blood would stain the French flag.” FrumForum notes that Lévy has a history of acting the intellectuel engagé.