It remains unconfirmed (by trustworthy sources) but if the story is true, that a NATO air strike killed Gaddafi’s younger son Saif and some of his grandkids, it’s all sorts of bad.
First and foremost, dead kids are not good. The defensive comments of this action, that Gaddafi deserves it because of the Lockerbie bombing, is nonsense and immorality of the worst kind. What, we had to kill some innocent kids to send Gaddafi a message? Nice.
Saif, while having a reputation for being a bit of a twat, was not on an Uday level really, so his death (again, if true) is not good either. All it does is, I imagine, piss Gaddafi and his loyalists off and makes any peaceful solution more difficult. Vengeance is a powerful motivator, as the renewed attacks in Misrata today show.
And the actual tangible results are already evident, a NATO air strike resulting in the UN being chased out of Tripoli. Not good.
And of course, the whole operation, trying to take Gaddafi out, is misguided anyway. He still has other sons, other high ranking supporters who could step in. His death turns him into a martyr for his loyalist followers, and will not end the war, only make it more bitter.
Of course, maybe the Gaddafi administration would collapse without the guy at the top. Hello power vacuum, hello more chaos, hello Iraq 2004-2009, and good to see you again.
And all of this can be traced back to the mindless calls for an NFZ, calls made without any kind of adequate forethought for these kind of scenarios. How much longer is it going to take for the west to call it quits?