While one vote doesn't really seal anything, this is potentially a crucial moment. NATO has made regional support a key condition of a no-fly zone – and now it has it, officially. Those who have been sniffing around for alternatives to the UN and its resolutions will regard this as a positive step. If a coalition can be built around the Middle Eastern countries, the EU, NATO and the African Union, then the West's aircraft may be called into action yet.
Question is, will it be too late to count? Although he is hardly a reliable source, there is still something sobering about Saif Gaddafi's claim, today, that his father's troops are now in control of "90 per cent of the country". Perhaps Syria and Algeria – the only two Arab League members to vote against a no-fly zone – see a future in which the Mad Dog still features.