The truth can be difficult. That doesn’t make it any less true. And so we support the decision by the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court to bring charges of genocide against Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, for his role in masterminding Darfur’s horrors. There is legitimate concern that Sudan’s government may vent its ire — even more than it has on aid workers, United Nations peacekeepers and the people of Darfur. But the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is fulfilling his internationally mandated responsibilities.

While the court’s judges now weigh whether to issue an arrest warrant, the Security Council must use that time and that threat to pressure Bashir. He must call off his militias, stop obstructing the deployment of a peacekeeping force in Darfur and begin serious peace talks in Darfur. If Bashir decides to cooperate, the Security Council can still suspend the ICC prosecution.

The Bush administration has accused Bashir and his government of genocide. If the Security Council will not impose a no-flight zone — to ground the planes and helicopters Khartoum uses to bomb civilians and supply militias — Washington should turn to NATO. Bashir, and any others who may be tempted to follow, need to know that there is a price for committing genocide — and eventually no place to hide.