UN Security Council Backs Intervention Against Gaddafi

It's been heartbreaking to follow the news out of Libya, knowing that civilians fighting for democracy were being slaughtered. So I guess there's some satisfaction in seeing them get some help. But I'm going to be a cynic here and point out that our intervention is most likely driven by Libya's oil reserves. You don't see American officials calling for us to intercede in the Sudan, where wholesale slaughter has been going on for a long, long time.

Still, I don't mean to dismiss the heart-stopping complexity of competing national interests at play in this decision. I suspect it will turn out badly; these interventions usually do. But this may be the least bad of some very bad options:

BARACK Obama has called the leaders of France and Britain to coordinate Libya strategy after the UN Security Council backed military action against Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

The council meeting voted to permit "all necessary measures'' to impose a no-fly zone, protect civilian areas and impose a ceasefire on Gaddafi's military.

The US President's move came amid calls for immediate enforcement of the no-fly zone "before it is too late'' for civilians.

[...] Diplomats indicated that air strikes from a coalition led by Britain, France and the US could be imminent as Gaddafi's troops close in on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

Enforcement will rely on air power as the resolution rules out sending ground troops.

Celebratory gunfire immediately rang out across Libya's main rebel-held city of Benghazi. Tracer bullets streaked across the night sky as preachers at mosques shouted "God is greatest!'' over loudspeakers.

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