I wondered how long it would be possible to maintain the no military intervention line as we find ourselves asking; is the Iraq or is this Srebrenica?

The answer seems to be ‘when we’ve seen that Gaddafi is prepared to use overwhelming force with no regard for the wellbeing and safety of civilians, when he uses torture with impunity, when he has abandoned any pretence of moral authority’ it becomes the latter.  We must surely have reached that point.

We have it in our power to tip the banace in this conflict decisively in favour of those who oppose him through the use of air power.

It is not ideal.  It makes the opposition look dependent on Europe and the US rather than maintaining their stance as a popular and independent Arab movement.  But if the alternative is the grinding annihilation of towns held by the opposition and the inevitable disappearance of all those who have struggled for freedom then do we have a real choice?

We should seek UN authorisation; let Russia and China have their say.  However if they block a no fly zone we should seek a consensus in the Arab world and act on that.  History will judge.  Let us hope its judgement is not too harsh.


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