Lies and deception have always been a weapon in military conflicts. The strange story of Libyan rebels' unsuccessful attempt to take the capital, Tripoli, by storm offers a striking example of deliberate misrepresentations in war.
The Libyan war will inevitably become the basis for the script of an action movie eventually, so in anticipation, let's just imagine what this might look like.
On the set of the film, "Looking for Col. Gaddafi"
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been conspicuously absent from all international media reports about this week's rebel offensive on his stronghold in Tripoli. In fact, he has not been seen in public since June, except in occasional video footage. It has become clear that the Libyan leader has disappeared. This is not uncommon in times of war.
This scene opens with a close-up shot of a crater created by a bomb explosion. The site is Bab al-Azizia in Libya, where Gaddafi has been allegedly hiding out in a bunker since the war broke out six months ago. The camera respectfully fades away from the sight of human remains scattered near the crater, stopping to hover around the figures of Western-looking personnel in white overalls working on the ground.
A voice-over narration: "Several weeks ago, rebels in Benghazi mistakenly detained a group of British agents that was dispatched here. London said that they were diplomats. Later, Britain's The Telegraph reported that those diplomats had assisted the rebels in the Tripoli offensive. As it turned out, there happened to be specialists in forensic medicine among them, which are hard to come by in Libya."
Now we see one of the diplomats raise a test tube, with some mysterious reddish liquid in it, up to the light. "It's him," he says. "No doubt about it. Gaddafi is no more." The film director, cursing angrily, demands a re-write of the script.
The shot is of a hospital-like structure sitting among ruined buildings; paramedics are covering a person lying in bed with a blanket, drawing it up over his head. We hear voices whispering, "It's him."
In a news reel, Barack Obama appears before the camera in a button-down shirt with no necktie and declares an end to Gaddafi's 42-year rule. The U.S. President is speaking from the Martha's Vineyard holiday retreat in Massachusetts. A narrator solemnly confirms Obama's statement that the onslaught in Tripoli has indeed brought an end to the Gaddafi era.
We see a small boat approaching a submarine on the open sea, and an old man is lifted aboard. Steven Seagal slowly emerges from the submarine's hatch. 'The journey won't take long, Colonel," he says.
A man, dressed in a brown Arabian hooded cloak looks out at the dunes, listening carefully to the murmur of the sand.
Voiceover: "All documents regarding Muammar Gaddafi's financial and political deals with EU and U.S. leaders burned up during the Tripoli offensive."
Once upon a time there lived a father with his two clever sons...
There are some high-profile celebrities whose death has been reported so many times that one cannot help wondering about the secret behind their apparent immortality.
If you count the number of times Gaddafi's two sons, Saif al-Islam and Muhammad, have appeared in the news since the start of the Libyan war, you will come to understand that Muammar himself is not the main protagonist. The real hero will be one of his sons with whom the Benghazi Transitional National Council will choose to sign peace agreements.
According to Auric Goldfinger, an eponymous and worthy villain of the James Bond franchise, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."
As for the Gaddafi brothers, Muhammad was arrested during a live Al-Jazeera broadcast, but was set free by Gaddafi loyalists shortly thereafter. And Saif - the one who spoke to reporters at Tripoli's Rixos Hotel Tuesday - had been taken prisoner earlier by rebels, but allegedly escaped.
So far, this looks like coincidence, especially given the number of reports claiming the death of the two men.
Voiceover: The father was a villain, but his children are innocent.
Then, the muffled voice of the director suggesting Spiderman should appear before the camera and haul Saif up a vertical wall.
Curiously, the storming of Tripoli by two poorly coordinated rebel groups - attacking the capital from the east and from the west - coincided with the summer holiday season. While high-profile vacationers, such as Obama, are relaxing at resorts, Libyan rebels are slogging away trying to seize government strongholds.
Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin has written a letter to the alliance's secretary general, highlighting the loss of life among Libya's civilian population as a result of Allied bombings. But Rogozin's message was never delivered. It turned out everyone was away on vacation.
Narrator: "Early last autumn, the U.S. Administration began discussing possible unrest in the Middle East that might not necessarily be beneficial for the United States. It seemed equally disagreeable either to support or condemn the riots. After lengthy deliberations, it was decided that the lesser evil would be to represent the events there as a fight for democracy. But what is now happening in Libya does not really fit in with the whole picture..."
The film director cuts abruptly, shouting: "What's with all this conspiracy stuff? Get Steven Seagal and Spiderman back on the set right now!"
The views expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.