"Denying historical facts, especially on such an important subject as the Holocaust, is just not acceptable. Nor is it acceptable to call for the elimination of any State or people. I would like to see this fundamental principle respected both in rhetoric and in practice by all the members of the international community," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon back in 2005.
Civilian protection requires simple, straightforward dialogue and negotiation with the people who can control whether other people are safe or not. It also works, say Tim Wallis of Nonviolent Peaceforce. As soon as we bring guns, tanks and air support into the picture, we are talking about something which more often than not does not work, and often makes things worse.
Is humanitarian military intervention correctly characterised 'lesser evil'? John Heathershaw considers five questions about the nature and the prospects of intervention in Libya. He asks poignantly where the responsibility is in the much-vaunted ‘responsibility to protect’?