The G8 announced in Paris last week that one element of any settlement in Libya is that Col. Gaddafi "must go" and his "reign of terror" must end. That's a little more than "protecting the civilian population". And when at today's press conference, NATO's spokeswoman said that military operations will continue "as long as necessary". We know we're in for the long term.
The NATO military spokesman in Naples who praised NATO members' efforts to refuel airplanes participating in the operations credited especially the United States, which has recently added 30% refueling capability to the refueling process. He also describes it as the most "expensive" refueling operation in NATO's history. We know it's going to cost us a lot of money.
After Al Jazeera TV caught six British men in civilian clothes in the Misrata suburb Dafniyah, The Guardian reported that the men were former "Special forces veterans" who, according to well-placed sources quoted by the Guardian, who "are passing details of the locations and movements of Muammar Gaddafi's forces to the Naples headquarters of Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, Canadian commander of Nato forces..."
According to the Guardian, "Former soldiers are there with the blessing of Britain, France and other Nato countries...They're likely to be providing information for the pilots of British and French attack helicopters who are expected to start firing at targets in or around Misrata later this week."
The Al Jazeera piece showed that the men in Dafniyah were armed and were "seen talking to rebels and quickly leaving after they realized they were being filmed." At today's press briefing, when the military spokesman was questioned about the presence of those men, he replied that "Nato has no boots on the ground." Perhaps that's technically so, because the Guardian reports that the "private soldiers are reported to be paid by Arab countries, notably Qatar." Qatar is on the record as a supporter of NATO efforts in Libya.
The Libyan conflict seems headed in the same direction as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- the truth is supplanted by lies and half-lies and we sink once again into a sea of obfuscation. We know we'll never get the real truth.