A new opinion piece by Christopher Hitchens argues that NATO should go directly after Qaddafi. He reasons that Qaddafi is no longer the legitimate leader of Libya because he has turned against his own citizens, as evidenced by the continuing indiscriminate shelling of Misrata, among other atrocities.
I fully agree that Qaddafi should be considered no different than Osama bin Laden. Anyone committing mass-murder should be a legitimate target of attack for the international community, which seems to be taking more of a stand on attacks by leaders on their on citizens, albeit reluctantly. Western leaders are probably afraid of the potential reaction from other autocrats, who I think could be most dangerous if they fear for their lives. The potential backlash from a coup d’etat by NATO is a political consequence only, however. The moral consequence is a likely end to the devastation that is ongoing in Libya.
I really recommend checking out the Hitchens article on Slate.