The phrase sounds so proper, so right, and so timely. Unfortunately, it is the invitation for those who believe they know best to do anything, anywhere they want. By using this small phrase, world "leaders" through the United Nations (UN) can declare a group of citizens in a country in danger and thereby authorize taking any action to protect those endangered from harm. Sounds harmless, sounds like good leadership, sounds like something we should all strive for, right? Unfortunately, I fear not.
These words are being used in Libya, a country run by a madman who was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing, the killing of American servicemen in Germany and of late, the threatened killing of the rebels. Now you will get no argument from me that Gadaffi is bad, however we must remember, he is involved in a civil war with others who are trying to overthrow him like other governments in Egypt and Tunisia .
It could be said that this is justified by Gadaffi's actions and that might be correct. So where was the worlds' indignation in Darfur, the Sudan, Cambodia and other areas of the world where millions have been killed? Is it that Libya has 2-3% of the world's oil? Is that the reason Saddam was overthrown? Does it mean that a dictator can do anything as long as he has no oil? Are we that callous?
Even if these actions in Libya are justified, the justification, or shall we say rationalization, scares me. Once these actions are taken there, how long will it be before other countries are also "attacked" to cure what the UN perceives as ills?
Should Ireland be attacked when there is some sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants? What if the United States killed a few hundred illegal immigrants who streamed across the border? Or China invaded Taiwan? Or (and this would never be considered by the UN) the Israelis responded to rockets fired from Gaza, the West Bank or Lebanon by invading the offending area or country?
My opinion is that the first three instances are remote, however, the fourth is a very distinct possiblity. Israel is one of the UN's favorite whipping boys and has never been shy to condemn her. Until recently Libya was on the UN Human Rights Council and from that position continually made assertions that Israel should be denounced for its treatment of the Palestinians. Gadaffi even said that when he spoke to the General Assembly last year.