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According to the media portrayal of the Libya war, the "rebels" are running the show, while NATO is crouching in the wings. Yet it is from NATO’s control room that the war has been planned and conducted and that the framework for the country’s future is being decided.

The NATO mission is "important, effective and still necessary", stated spokesperson Oana Lungescu. How could anyone doubt it! In five months of “unified protection”, 21 000 air raids were carried out, including 8,000 bomb and missiles attacks, while missile and helicopters attacks were launched from tens of warships controlling Libyan territorial waters to enforce the embargo against the government and secure supplies to the CNT in Benghazi. At the same time, agents and special forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and other countries have played a key role on the ground by marking out air strike targets, in addition to preparing and conducting the attack against Tripoli. NATO played a crucial role without which the rebels would never have been able to enter Tripoli, as confirmed by the German General Egon Ramms.

Our mission, said the Secretary General of the Alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, will continue "as long as the attacks and threats continue" (sic). Does that mean that, once the “mission” is accomplished, NATO will leave Libyans to decide on the future of their country? No way! It will move to phase 2 of the “mission”. There is simply no military solution to this crisis, underscored an Alliance press release, but a political process is needed to ensure a peaceful transition to democracy in Libya. And NATO, says Rasmussen, is ready to play a supporting role.

Though still unclear, a general plan - mostly decided in Washington, London and Paris – is already at hand. Details have filtered through the statements of various officials. Formally at the request of the new government (led by politicians backing the interests of major Western powers), NATO will continue to control Libyan airspace and territorial waters ... ostensibly to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid and to protect civilian personnel under the UN banner. This will involve the unhindered access to Libyan harbours and airports which will be de facto converted into NATO military bases even if they fly the red, black and green flag - the very same that belonged to the regime of King Idris who, back in the 1950’s ceded to Great Britain and the US the use of its territory for the establishment of military bases, such as Wheelus Field airbase on the outskirts of Tripoli ... currently an ideal location for the Headquarters of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM).

NATO keeps saying it does not intend to send troops to Libya, but does not rule out that some of its individual members may do so or even the European Union, which already has battle groups ready for rapid deployment.

At the same time, NATO will train and arm Libyan “security forces." A totally relative concept! The Tripoli security chief, appointed by NATO, is Abdel Hakim Behladj, who on his return from the anti-soviet Jihad in Afghanistan, created the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). The CIA captured him in Malaysia in 2004 but, after normalizing relations with Tripoli, sent him back to Libya, where (following an agreement between the two secret services) he was freed in 2010. It is he who, decked out as president of the Tripoli Military Council, will guarantee the peaceful transition to “democracy” in Libya.

Source: Il Manifesto