The UN Security Council voted to establish a “no fly zone” in Libya.  I know Obama had been pushing this, and I would really like to know how he got Germany, Russia, and China to abstain rather than veto.  Obama has his international cover.

Gadhafi made it easier by talking like a psycho.

The United Nations authorized military strikes to curb Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, hours after he threatened to storm the rebel bastion of Benghazi overnight, showing “no mercy, no pity.”

“We will come. House by house, room by room,” Gaddafi said in a radio address to the eastern city late on Thursday.

With a Rwanda type massacre in the works, I actually have mixed feelings.  Unlike some who post here, I am not a pacifist.  I do respect pacifism.  But I do believe that war which violates national sovereignty is sometimes justified under three conditions:

1.  National defense against attack.

2.  Defense of a fellow nation under attack.

3.  Prevention of genocide.

I would have supported WWII to prevent the Holocaust.  In retrospect, I would have supported military action to prevent Kmer Rouge’s “year zero” genocide, and perhaps Rwanda.

The “no fly zone” strategy was effective in Serbia.  Much less so in Iraq.  I have no idea how it’ll play out here.  Will it drag us in further to a long term war, or can the coalition tip things in favor of the opposition.  Do we even have the capacity for a third war front, justified or otherwise?  Is it even going to happen in time to prevent Gaddafi’s attack on Benghazi?

But please, spare me the “it’s all about oil” cliches.  It’s such an oversimplification that it’s not even really true anymore if it’s true.  The motives to fight the Nazis a half century ago weren’t all pure either, nor are most ventures of any sort.  Mass genocide is indeed bad for most business, but that’s really beside the point.  The question for me is whether this intervention will save lives.

Is the violation of national sovereignty principles and the perpetuation of the notion of the US (even in coalition with other countries) as the perpetual cop of the world a greater or lesser evil than the pending massacre?  You tell me.

Addendum: A very powerful photo slide show on Libya.