For the first time in my life, I am not proud of my country.

Libyan strong man Moammar Gadhafi is on the ropes, fighting for his despicable life. He’s a guy whose regime makes Hosni Mubarak’s look mild by comparison. The Libyan ambassador to the U.S. has begged the United States to denounce Gadhafi.  Yet the President of the United States remains silent.

Bill Kristol calls the U.S. response “pathetic:” “The secretary of state steps up to the plate-and whiffs.”

Secretary Clinton’s statement should shame all Americans:

The world is watching the situation in Libya with alarm. We join the international community in strongly condemning the violence in Libya. Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been lost, and with their loved ones.

You are right, Mrs. Clinton, the whole world is watching.

How should a great nation respond to Libya? From the Wall Street Journal today:

The British have been somewhat better, with Foreign Secretary William Hague saying Saturday “that just because there aren’t television cameras present at the scenes that are going on in Libya, that does not mean that the world is not watching, and that doesn’t mean that the world is going to ignore the way in which protesters and demonstrators are treated.” A day later, the U.S. finally mustered up a denunciation against the use of force.

It’s time for the West to drop its studied neutrality and help Libyans topple one of the world’s most loathsome regimes. Paul Wolfowitz has some useful suggestions nearby, starting with humanitarian aid and support from Western capitals to keep communications open inside the country. Mr. Dabbashi, Libya’s rebelling minister to the U.N., recommends a “no fly zone” to prevent Gadhafi from importing mercenaries.

We’d go further and tell the Libyan armed forces that the West will bomb their airfields if they continue to slaughter their people. Arming the demonstrators also cannot be ruled out. The Libyan government is already blaming the protests on foreign help, and the protesters are facing a life or death struggle. The worst policy would be to encourage the demonstrators without giving them the tools to prevail.