Playing the role of a sovereign state, Matteo Renzi’s government has «authorised, on a case by case basis» the departure of armed US drones from Sigonella (Sicily) towards Libya and beyond. We already know that in 2011, a Predator Reaper drone, guided from Las Vegas, took off from Sigonella and attacked, in Libya, the convoy in which Mouamar el-Kadhafi was travelling, forcing him into the hands of the Misrata militia.

Italy thus takes its place on the official list of US attack drone bases under the exclusive command of the Pentagon, along with countries such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Niger, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, specified that «the use of these bases does not require any particular communication with the Parliament», and assured us that «this does not constitute a prelude to a military intervention» in Libya. In reality, the intervention has already begun. Special forces from the US, the UK and France – as confirmed by the The Telegraph [1] and Le Monde [2]— are already running secret operations in Libya.

C-130 transport planes (probably belonging to the United States) take off incessantly from the airport hub in Pise, close to the US base of Camp Darby, transporting military equipment to the southern bases, and perhaps also to bases in North Africa.

A number of US KC-135 planes arrived at the base in Istres, France (Bouches-du-Rhône), for the airborne supply of fuel to French hunter-fighters. The operation not only concerns Libya. Istres is the base for «Opération Barkhane », the campaign that France is waging with 3,000 soldiers in Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Tchad and Burkina-Faso.

In this zone, and also in Nigeria, US special forces are now operating in concert with a drone base in Cameroon - always with the official motive of fighting Daesh and its allies. At the same time, in the Aegean Sea, NATO has deployed the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, under German command, including AWAC radar planes (flying command centres for the management of the battle ground), with the official mission of «supporting the response to the refugee crisis» (which was provoked by the US and NATO wars against Libya and Syria).

To this operation we must add «Dynamic Manta 2016», a NATO exercise in the Ionian Sea and the Sicilian Straits with aero-naval forces from the USA, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Greece, Turkey and also Italy, who supplied the bases of Catane, Augusta and Sigonella.

This constitutes the preparation for the «peace-keeping operation under Italian control» which, on the pretext of freeing them from Daesh, aims at occupying the most important economical and strategic coastal regions of Libya.

All that is lacking is the «invitation», which could be issued by a ghost Libyan government. Hillary Clinton is applying pressure for the intervention in Libya. She is a candidate for the Presidency, and - writes the New York Times in a long enquiry [3] - «has the most aggressive approach to international crises». It was Hillary Clinton who, in 2011, persuaded Barack Obama to stop hesitating. «The President signed a secret document authorising a secret operation in Libya and the supply of arms to the rebels», while the State Department directed by Clinton recognised them as the «legitimate government of Libya». The weapons, including Tow anti-tank missiles and anti-battery radars, were sent by the USA and other Western countries to Benghazi and certain airports. At the same time, NATO, under US command, carried out aero-naval attacks, dropping tens of thousands of bombs and missiles, thus destroying the Libyan state from the outside and the inside.

When, in October 2011, Mouamar el-Kadhafi was killed, Hillary Clinton screamed with joy - «Wow!» - and exclaimed «We came, we saw, he’s dead!». We don’t yet know which condottiere she’ll be quoting for the second Libyan war. But we do know who’s dragging us into it.

Pete Kimberley
Il Manifesto (Italy)

[1US Special Forces thrown out of Libya after secret mission revealed”, Richard Spencer, December 18, 2015; “France special forces waging ’secret war’ against Isil in Libya”, David Chazan, February 24, 2016; “British ’advisers’ deployed to Libya to build anti-Isil cells”, Ruth Sherlock, February 27, 2016, The Daily Telegraph.

[2«La France mène des opérations secrètes en Libye», «La guerre secrète de la France en Libye», Nathalie Guibert, Le Monde, 24 février 2016.

[3Part 1: “Hillary Clinton, ‘Smart Power’ and a Dictator’s Fall”, Part 2 : “A New Libya, With ‘Very Little Time Left’”, Scott Shane & Jo Becker, The New York Times, February 27, 2016.