I hold no brief for the supineness and passivity of Barack Obama in this matter. At best, he has presided over weeks of mere drift. And the involvement of the UN makes me wary. The United States must reserve the right to act on its own, without prior UN approval, and I would have thought the Europeans would wish to reserve the same right for themselves.

But for the first time in decades, European democracies–France appears to be working particularly closely with the United Kingdom and Italy–have taken responsibility for a grave problem, engaging in a justified and judicious use of force.

Why should conservatives gainsay that?