One of the many myths of the Libya war is the claim that the Americans took a ‘back seat’. Discerning observers will acknowledge that U.S. niche capabilities such as Predator drones for bombings and intelligence gathering have played a crucial role. On top of this, political skulduggery on the parts of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have played a huge part in expediting the war, in tandem with CIA assets on the ground since very early on.(1) These factors, coupled with a very revealing recent development, completely blow the ‘back seat’ myth out of the water.
The October 20 assassination of Muammar Gaddafi was preceded by an airstrike on his convoy, which was travelling in the Sirte area. An American Predator drone performed the first strike, with a follow-up attack by French jets.(2) In a revealing November 04 Department of Defense press release,(3) Barack Obama admits that American pilots flew French jets in Libya:
“He noted that American pilots flew French fighter jets off a French carrier in the Mediterranean Sea during the operation. “Allies don’t get any closer than that,” he said.”
Thus, it is highly probable that the airstrike on Muammar Gaddafi’s convoy was an entirely American operation, as were many of the ‘French’ airstrikes on Libya.
This is all the more significant because, as of August 4, French planes had flown a whopping 33% of all strike sorties.(4)
Further underscoring U.S. involvement in the airstrikes on Libya, an October 30 New York Times report(5) finds that American planes flew 25% of all sorties, while ‘French’ and British aircraft provided 33% of total sorties:
“While U.S. planes flew a quarter of all sorties over Libya, France and Britain flew one third of all missions – most of them strikes,”
The notion that the Americans took a ‘back seat’ in the war can now be added to the long list(6) of big lies that have characterised the criminal, genocidal destruction of Libya.