Reason behind US/UK intervention in Lebanon Conflict?

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Dizzieblonde | 12:44 Tue 25th Jul 2006 | News
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I might be missing the point completely, but does anyone know why the US, UK, and the West in general seem reluctant to intervene with the current fighting?

I'm not making any kind of political statement, and don't have such a good grasp of the politics of it all yet, but it seems a bit odd that the West has intervened without question when there's been conflicts around the world before, but seems reluctant to this time? Is the US in particular supportive of Israel? Is there some reason they don't want to upset either side? *confused*


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There is a large jewish vote in America and in general they are very supportive of Israel.

The UK has always been generally very supportive of America although recently as someone has put it the special relationship is beginning to seem a little too special.

I'm not sure that the west always intervenes in conflicts in other countries. In general it tends to get involved only if it thinks it's interests are threatened. Hence stability in the Middle-East (where the oil comes from) is important but stability in Africa is less so
It's because they know that what Israel's doing is criminal, and any intervention would have to include making them stop. Therefore they'll bury their heads in the sand until it all goes away.
On a more realistic note, it's for the same reason that Israel refrained from retaliation when Saddam Hussein rocketed Israel during Desert Storm (remember Hussein's invasion of Kuwait?). Had Israel counter- attacked, the entire Middle East region would have gone up in flames. Israel is seen, even in many Arab countries, (at least at the moment) as being justified in it's attempt to secure its borders, prevent further incursions and seek release of the kidnapped soldiers. jake is the closest is observing that the U.S. (nor the U.N., in Africa incidentally) doesn't always intervene, at least militarily (usually humanitarian, though). In this case, the U.S. and perhaps the U.K. proffer supplies, strategic information from satellites and other valuable but unobtrusive support.
I'd be remiss though, if I didn't point out that Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Angola, Gabon, Congo, Cameroon, Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cote d'Ivoire all are either producing significant oil or will in the near future. (75 billion, with a b barrels proven reserves). To my knowledge, the U.S. hasn't invaded or otherwise asserted dominance in the area. Granted, most of the oil exploration and devlopement funding is coming from U.S. and western sources... (along with significant funding for hospitals, schools and infrastructure)...
they don't want to intervene because they feel Israel is doing fine on its own (I think they may be mistaken). They already have thousands of troops tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan; the US, like the UK, is not a particularly militarised society and has only so many soldiers available. The US has always been strongly supportive of Israel, though as I recently said on another thread, I don't think it's the strength of the Jewish lobby in the USA (they vote Democratic) as much as just an American feeling that it's the right thing to do. America is chummy with repressive Arab regimes (like Saudi Arabia) that have oil, but has no great interest in people like the Lebanese and the Palestinians, who don't.
True Clanad. But I have Lybia and Nigeria at 39 and 35 billion of proven reserves compared to 264 billion for Saudi Arabia.

The United States and the UK have been surprisingly supportive of Saudi Arabia which is a undemocratic country with a pretty bad human rights history.

I can't imagine the story would be the same without the oil.

Consequently American foreign policy is particularly concerned with not upsetting the Saudis whilst maintaining domestic Jewish support.

Not an easy job
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I was just reading the BBC News site trying to get an angle on it, and apparently the UK Foreign Secretary has today accused Syria and Iran of supporting the Hezbollah fighters and implying that the whole conflict was "very convenient" for them.

Other than being geographically close, what has Syria and Iran got to do with it?! It struck me a lot of the tenuous links which were made between Afghanistan and Iraq, as a justification for invasion - Does anyone with a better understanding of the subject think that perhaps the West will invade Iran and Syria next, with this as their reason? :o\
Well it's highly likely that Syria and Iraq are supporting them in one way or another.

Many countries support rebellions, coups, terrorists in other countries without officially sending troops. This could be money, arms or "military advisers".

The classic case was during President Regan's tenure when arms were sold to Iran (I believe breaking a self imposed embargo) in order to fund contra rebels in Nicaragua. - Officially this was never sanctioned by the US administration.

But the US is certainly not the only country to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries like this. There are accusations that the UK funded an group who attempted to assassinate Qadaffi in Lybia

It's another of those irregular verbs

I am supporting freedom fighters
You are a state sponsor of terrorism

Intervene and do what. They cannot tell israel what to do as Israel does what it likes and very few countries hold sway over its actions (exception could be when Saddam fired missiles during the gulf war and USA (i think) successfully persuaded israel to hold back despite the provocation).
just to add to jake's post: in the 1980s the USA supported Afghans rebelling against the Soviet invasion of their country. It rather seems as though one of the people they trained and armed was Osama bin Laden. Oops.
israel is doing it's part and the west is running interference on the international front in their continuing struggle to install (friendly) goverments in all the middle eastern countries. pipeline politics under the guise of the war on terrorism. nothing is happening by accident.

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