The head of the Arab League, who supported the idea of a no-fly zone, has criticised the severity of the bombardment.
"What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians," said Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.
Arab League support was a key factor in getting UN Security Council backing for the resolution authorising the move.
Whether Amr Moussa actually believes the western powers have crossed the line is besides the point. He feels the need to say it, and that says something about the mood in the region. Though unwilling or unable to sort out this mess themselves, the Arabs are likely to resent a protracted western intervention. This is exactly what Gaddafi is promising.