There was plenty of condemnation around in 1956; the West condemned Russia's use of force against unarmed civilians in Hungary, the East and the US condemned Britain and France's use of force in Suez. In the event it was Nasser who triumphed and Nagy who was put up against a wall and shot. Still, no-one who has heard the recording of those last, desperate appeals for Western help from the Budapest radio station operated by the rebels can be unmoved by the plight of the Libyan insurgents as their revolt is cruelly crushed. But the reality is that we can no more send military force to face Gadaffi's T72s than we could to face Khrushchev's T54s.
The sacrifice of the insurgents in Hungary in 1956 and the despotism of the Soviets led to something infinitely precious in Europe; the destruction of the Communist Party as a credible political force in the West. Until then, the Italian communists had been close to government; after, they were split and destroyed. The CPGB bled members by the thousand and became no more than an irritable little colonic polyp on the seat of British politics. In France, being a Communist was a badge of shame.
The crushing of the Libyan insurgency will be terrible to watch and I shall avoid it. However, somehow, somewhere, the pain will not have been worthless, and freedom from Gadaffi will come for the Libyans, just not yet.