The UN Security Council today authorized its member states to take “all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan civilians against Qaddafi forces. The resolution’s sweeping language and the use of the diplomatic code words “all necessary measures” in effect authorizes military action against Qaddafi, including a no-fly zone, and strikes on his air force, tanks and heavy artillery. The Qaddafi forces have advanced within 100 miles of the opposition capital of Benghazi after defeating the rebels in towns west of the city and in the process killing many anti-Qaddafi activists, sympathizers and ordinary citizens. Benghazi erupted in celebration at news of the resolution’s passage. The UN resolution is numbered 1973.