The doctrine of non-intervention into the internal affairs of other countries when matters of genocide and mass killings are concerned is dead and should be buried, before the corpse starts to stink to high heaven.
At this point in history, it is the duty of all nations to prevent systematic atrocities committed by a criminal government against its own citizens. This duty falls on international institutions like the UN, but when these fail, as they so often do, the duty falls on individual nations or groups of nations. To its credit, the Arab League, comprising 22 Arab nations, did come out unequivocally for military intervention against Qaddafi -- though not against other Arab tyrants, some of whom voted for the resolution.
Centuries ago, it was accepted that every nation is responsible for the capture and trial of pirates, irrespective of where and against whom their crimes were committed. This principle should be applied now to crimes committed by regimes against their citizens. Muammar Qaddafi should be caught and put on trial.
Humanity is moving towards a civilized world order. Non-intervention is the very opposite.
Thursday's hurried Security Council resolution was a historic step in this direction. In my imagination I saw French planes rolling off the airstrips minutes after the votes were counted. That has not happened. But Libya is saved and Qaddafi's fate is sealed.
In international parlance, non-intervention has indeed become a dirty word.
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