President Obama told the United Nations that the United States was right to participate with international partners in the overthrow of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, despite the eventual terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi.
Obama addressed Libya while making the case for international intervention to prevent humanitarian atrocities, a problem that he noted the United Nations may struggle to address given its design:
I know that some now criticize the action in Libya as an object lesson. They point to the problems that the country now confronts — a democratically elected government struggling to provide security; armed groups, in some places extremists, ruling parts of a fractured land. And so these critics argue that any intervention to protect civilians is doomed to fail -- look at Libya. No one is more mindful of these problems than I am, for they resulted in the death of four outstanding U.S. citizens who were committed to the Libyan people, including Ambassador Chris Stevens — a man whose courageous efforts helped save the city of Benghazi. But does anyone truly believe that the situation in Libya would be better if Qaddafi had been allowed to kill, imprison, or brutalize his people into submission? It’s far more likely that without international action, Libya would now be engulfed in civil war and bloodshed.
That last question reflects a sentiment pretty similar to the defense offered by Obama's predecessor when the United States couldn't find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
"There is no doubt in my mind the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein," President George W. Bush said in 2004. "America is more secure, the world is safer, and the people of Iraq are free."