Better late than never, the United States and the United Nations have taken many of the right steps to push Moammar Gadhafi from power in Libya.
But passing sanctions and freezing assets is the easy part.
Should the international community also make clear to Gadhafi it is prepared to use force, including a "no-fly zone," to prevent him from engaging in further slaughter of his own people? Is this a Kosovo moment, where an aversion to non- intervention allows a potential war criminal to go on a genocidal rampage?
These are difficult questions, but the fast-moving events in Libya do not allow for patient deliberation. Gadhafi has already loosed mercenaries, had his air force strafe civilians and has threatened to turn his country "red with fire." Nearly two weeks into the uprising, after more than 1,000 deaths, anti-government forces control much of eastern Libya, while Gadhafi remains entrenched in the capital of Tripoli.
The international community is upping pressure on him to surrender power after 40 years. The European Union adopted an arms embargo and other sanctions Monday; France said it was dispatching doctors, nurses and medical supplies to rebel-held Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city. The U.N. Security Council passed sanctions late Saturday and referred Gadhafi to the war crimes tribunal, a day after the United States froze his assets.
Now, the international community needs to do all it can to close off the pipeline of mercenaries coming to Libya to fight for Gadhafi.
The Pentagon said Monday that it is repositioning ships and planes closer to Libya, and the White House said a no-fly zone is a possibility. "Nothing is off the table," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
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