This is not Iraq. Nothing like it. I am not Blair. Nothing like him.
That was the central message running through a politically adept and remarkably assured Commons performance by the prime minister.
His performance was low key rather than impassioned. It came in a debate which will end with a proper vote (rather than the vote on the Iraq war which ended with a more technical parliamentary voting procedure). It followed the publication of legal advice.
The key to it, though, was David Cameron's invitation to a series of potential critics to ask him questions and raise their doubts. Whether they were left-wing Labour MPs, the leaders of the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens, or backbench Tory sceptics, he told them that they had made a very important point and sought to reassure them. It took all the potential heat from the occasion.
He stressed that this was not his war but one to enforce the will of the UN. Its aims were limited to enforcing a no-fly zone and protecting civilians. It would not involve "knocking down" the government of Libya, nor occupying their nation. This seemed to settle nerves in the Commons for now about possible mission creep. Even his long term critic Dennis Skinner declared himself satisfied that the objective was not regime change and would not involve an invasion.
The result was not just widespread parliamentary consensus but a sense that everything had been said before the leader of the opposition stood up. Ed Miliband also made a powerful speech but the cruelty of opposition is that few will notice.
PS: What, though, of the confusion about whether Gaddafi can be targeted? Here's my understanding.
Yes, he can be, providing that ministers could show that it was "necessary" - in the words of the UN resolution - to protect civilians.
General Richards misspoke this morning when he said it was illegal. However he was trying to reassure those with concerns that the objective of the military action was regime change - to stick in line with the US military and to avoid undermining support at the UN, in the Arab world and, indeed, in Libya itself.
Gaddafi is not currently being targeted as it would be politically counter-productive to do so. But that could change and ministers want to keep him guessing.
This is what David Cameron said this afternoon: "Targets must be fully consistent with the UN Security Council resolution. We, therefore, choose our targets to stop attacks on civilians and to implement the no-fly zone but we should not give a running commentary on targeting and I don't propose to say any more on the subject than that."
He also said: "The UN resolution is limited in its scope. It explicitly does not provide legal authority for action to bring about Gaddafi's removal from power by military means."
PS Thanks to the colleague who pointed out that my post gave the impression that the vote on the Iraq was a vote on the adjournment. It was - like today - a substantive motion. The conflict in Afghanistan began controversially without what many MPs regarded as a proper vote.