As it happens, the girl has been trying to get away from a long-standing, abusive relationship, which is over, but not really, because it's never really over. The day of the prom arrives and you still haven't asked her out. You wait all day and most of the evening, because you're still not sure you can muster the courage. Finally, at 11:45 p.m., you decide to surprise the girl and show up at her doorstep with a corsage. As you approach the door, you realize that she is lying in the front yard of her home with a butcher knife in her abdomen.
Kinda gruesome, you say? Well, yeah. And not much different than declaring a no-fly zone in Libya at this point:
The UN resolution imposes a "ban on all flights in Libyan airspace", with aid flights the only exception.
It authorises member states to "take all necessary measures" to "protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack", including in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, short of an putting an "occupation force" on the ground.
It also calls for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the violence, measures to make it more difficult for foreign mercenaries to get into Libya and a tightening of sanctions.
As it happens, the initial draft of this resolution also called for strengthening the hand of the rebels by allowing them to sell the raw silk that comes out of Ban Ki-moon's butt, but apparently the UN thought better of it.
Jeebus. Where to begin? Well, let's start with the obvious: if the UN, or NATO, or whoever the hell is authorizing this pointless exercise, is unwilling to put boots on the ground, there's no reason to believe that Gaddafi is going to blink. He's spent the last two weeks pounding holy hell out of the rebels and has killed thousands of people. But now, at this late date, he's supposed to answer the call for a ceasefire and end to the violence, even though he knows that he doesn't face any real danger, especially of losing? We shall write you a letter!
The more important point is this: we, and by that I mean the United States, since no acronym-bearing organization can wield any power without the United States, need to decide whether we are going to be the world's policeman or not. The Europeans were willing to provide bupkis until now, apparently. Given our current commitments elsewhere, I'm hardly convinced that the United States has the capability of solving the Libyan conflict by deposing Gadaffi, but if we were so inclined, the time to make that decision passed a long time ago now. We didn't, which is a defensible (if unsightly) decision. But going in now is a fool's errand.