Reason Number One: Regime change.
This was announced as the real objective the moment French president Nicolas Sarkozy took the extraordinary step of recognizing the rebels in Benghazi as “the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people”. This recognition was an extraordinary violation of all diplomatic practice and principles. It meant non-recognition of the existing Libyan government and its institutions, which, contrary to the magical notions surrounding the word “dictator”, cannot be reduced to the personality of one strongman. A major European nation, France, swept aside all those institutions to proclaim that an obscure group of rebels in a traditionally rebellious part of Libya constituted the North African nation’s legitimate government.