A duty to end inhumanity – before it’s too late?

The Arab League has agreed to support a no-fly zone over Libya. This is more than the West could have hoped for, and yet it continues to dither, frightened of being accused of selective intervention and being dragged into yet another conflict. Quite rightly it would prefer not to have any involvement in the Arab ‘revolution’ and run the risk of being accused of only acting in its own self-interest, but it’s not that simple.

The nature of the Libyan ‘revolution’ has changed. From a relatively peaceful uprising it has turned into a brutal put down by Gaddafi’s forces. In the last two weeks he has committed gross acts of inhumanity against his own people. If he is not stopped now and prevented from entering Benghazi, there will be a massive loss of life.

By his actions Gaddafi has forfeited his legitimacy to remain in power. NATO, the EU and the Arab League are agreed on this. Would the imposition of a no-fly zone not be a just and respectful way of intervening to prevent further acts of inhumanity in Libya? I believe it would. The problem is one of time. Unless there is a swift response, and by swift I mean days, the opportunity to prevent a major human catastrophe will have been lost.

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