The time for UN resolution was two weeks ago, when Col. Gaddafi was weak and losing town after town to opposition forces. Since then he has regrouped and launched brutal attacks on his own people. The UN and the World watched from a distance while he took back Zawiya, Ras Lanuf and several other small towns. Hundreds of opponents captured by Gaddafi forces have disappeared and most probably executed by now.
The time for a UN resolution was two weeks ago when Gaddafi was week and cornered. At that time, he could have been pressured to leave Libya, but now that he has retaken some of the towns, he is in ascendancy once again and unlikely to quit.
One thing the UN resolution may do, is save the people of Ben Ghazi from a certain massacre. But what happens after that? Ben Ghazi cannot be a separate country and cannot be hived off Libya for any length of time. What is needed is a reunification of Libya under new and democratic political leadership.
The no fly zone does not accomplish this. We have seen that the outcome of no fly zones in Iraq was a disaster. Also, UN sanctions prevented medicines and food getting into Iraq resulting in malnutrition and death of a large number of children. Surely, we don't want a repeat of that in Libya.
The need is to ensure that Gaddafi leaves as soon as possible and Ben Ghazi and other areas currently under the control of opposition forces are reunited with Libya. However, accomplishing this seems difficult in the near future. The UN and the Wold has lost an opportunity to make a difference in Libya.
Some Western countries are interpreting the UN resolution as carte blanche to invade Libya or attack Libyan installations. This is certainly very dangerous. No matter how cruel or dictatorial Gaddafi is, UN neither has the mandate nor the authority to implement a regime change. Imagine what havoc George W. Bush and his cohorts would have wreaked on the world, had they had a UN authorised regime change resolution in their hands!
The UN, Arab League and the African Union must get together and apply extreme diplomatic pressure on Gaddafi to quit. After losing the momentum of last two weeks, this may be the only option left.