When Israel bombed Gaza at the end of 2008 in a brutal action which killed 1,300 people and destroyed 20,000 buildings, there was no question of the US allowing the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza to protect its people, 50% of which are children. Those who support the UN security council's authorisation of a no-fly zone over Libya (Britain, France and US line up for air strikes against Gaddafi, 18 March) need to reflect on the selective nature of UN intervention throughout the world and in the Middle East in particular.
The UN will not be intervening in the Libyan revolution to protect civilians from Gaddafi's brutality. It will go in to further the interests of the world's major powers in the region. It will be an imperialist action, not a humanitarian one. After the bloodshed it produced in Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan, the doctrine of "humanitarian military intervention" should be discredited beyond rehabilitation. The west is a major source of the problems of the Middle East and north Africa. It's not part of the solution, even when its troops wear blue helmets.