By Sean Maguire
In the world of international politics or law it's dangerous to do anything without the risk of setting a precedent that others will use as an argument for similar actions to be taken in similar situations.
As Laurent Gbagbo the disputed President of the Ivory Coast is captured by French forces and as Gaddafi looks close to collapse, a precedent is being set - repressive dictators that inspire mass rebellion will be met by the West.
The question we have to ask though is whether this seemingly positive precedent will spread elsewhere?
Bahrain tried but was too close to the Saudi sphere, North Korea is too crackpot for the West to get involved, Zimbabwe seems off the radar and Iran and Saudi Arabia seem too big and too ruthless to be threatened.
So what's the lesson?
If you're a brutal dictator hope that your crazy or crazily rich enough to stay in power?