The UN has a critical role to play in stabilizing the middle east, and it starts with making an example of authoritarian regimes that employ dirty tactics to destabilise democratic protests that are occurring in their countries. When Hitler committed mass genocide, it started with citizens of his own country. The same is true of most genocidal conflicts - they erupt locally, as in Bosnia and Rwanda. Sovereignty is no excuse to stand by and watch a humanitarian disaster unfold while the international community has the power and influence to intervene directly to prevent the gross violations of human rights that are unfolding. Sovereignty belongs to the people of Libya and not it's errant and estranged rulers.
Gaddafi and his retinue must face charges in the international arena, and own up to the disastrous decision-making that has unfolded from the Libyan regime over the past few days. This is desperately needed in order to set an example to other authoritarian regimes that embark upon a path of violence upon their own citizens. This is especially so as political protests spread across the middle east.
It is true that the precedent that intervening may set may in fact prove dangerous for stability in the region, but the cost of not intervening may prove far costlier. The same people who are suffering extreme violence and a sense of isolation, will soon be electing their leaders, reshaping their constitutions and deciding on how their foreign relations should be conducted. It is time for the West to put its money and effort where it's mouth is. A protection force is desperately required in Libya, and by all accounts, the Libyan regime needs to be ended now, whether through internal or external action.