The press is currently making great play of an apparent difference between General Richard and Liam Fox on whether or not Gaddafi can be targeted. The whole debate
flags up one of the absurdities of international legal convention. If it is legitimate to hit a Libyan tank crew moving on Benghazi, why it is not legitimate to target the person who is ultimately
giving these orders?
Given the whole nature of the Libyan state, the fastest — and, I would say, most humane — way to end this conflict would be to kill Gaddafi. Anne-Marie Slaughter, until recently the
head of policy planning at the State Department, argued back in 2003 that the UN Security Council should be able to
authorise the assassination of dictators as this would be the most effective way of ending many conflicts.
I suspect that the issue of whether or not Gaddafi can be targeted will be one of the issues that dominates this afternoon’s Commons debate on Libya.