There is something mystical about these three events that happened almost at the same time:
- In Washington, US Secretary of State Colin Powell made a sensational confession on NBC: CIA agents had deliberately misled their bosses and him about the presence of WMD in Iraq. His dramatic speech in the UN on February 5, 2003, featuring slides and other multimedia tricks to prove Iraq's possession of mobile biological weapons labs, has proved to be nothing but the involuntary untruth of a deceived man.
- A bombing carried out by guerrillas in Baghdad killed the head of Iraq's Governing Council, Ezzedine Salim, a philosopher and the author of over 40 books. The explosion also deprived members of the future provisional government of the hope that their new offices will not become the main target for the resistance forces. The provisional government, which the US intends to form before June 30, has already been called a doomed one.
- Another bomb, this time intellectual, has exploded at the Cannes Film Festival, with the premiere of the documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11 directed by Michael Moore, who won an Oscar last year. The film exposes some little known facts, including the close business ties between the Saudi bin Laden family and the US Bush clan, which includes the current and former incumbents of the White House.
This business self-interest prompted George Bush Jr. to allow many members of the bin Laden family to leave the United States shortly after the September 11 terrorist act, the film suggests. Meanwhile, each of the escaped bin Ladens could have become a valuable source for the investigation.
Moreover, the president began the war mostly to distract attention from the dubious ties between gas and weapons producing companies of the Texan Bush clan and the Saudi relatives of international terrorist No. 1. The audience found Mr Moore's idea fairly convincing.
These three events that took place in three different parts of the world at the same time now make a coherent picture of US foreign policy based on lies and self-interest.
Today, the world has further confirmation that Saddam Hussein posed no danger to humanity. In an interview with CNN, Mr Powell hinted that some Iraqi engineer, a CIA agent and a person empowered to act for the Iraqi National Congress - an emigrant group which pushed Bush to topple Hussein - had made up the threatening story about the mobile biological laboratories.
The engineer had managed to convince the CIA, and the latter convinced Mr Powell who persuaded the future "voluntary coalition" countries at the UN. This is how the Iraq war was launched.
The end of this war is nowhere in sight. The death of Ezzedine Salim was a serious blow to the US plan for transferring power to the Iraqi provisional government in six weeks. The number of those who want to have this authority is decreasing in the wake of recent events.
So far, the United States has no more or less clear plan to form a representative and truly legitimate government on the national scale. Any US puppet will be treated as a traitor and could well meet the same fate as Ezzedine Salim.
The fact that there is no clear plan can be seen in the desperately chaotic statements from Washington.
The US president has promised a quick withdrawal, but has asked Congress for millions of dollars to send reinforcements to Iraq.
Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Iraq, has stated that all the soldiers of the coalition can leave Iraq after July 1 if the new Iraqi leaders ask them to do so.
But this is a cynical statement, to say the least. The leaders will not ask them to do this, because they are not suicidal. And if they do, the coalition will hardly pull out because this would leave the Iraq campaign as a complete fiasco for the United States and Great Britain, no matter what their true motivations were.
As for the goals, perhaps Michael Moore used an excessively contrasting black-and-white format when confining all the cause and effect ties in present Iraqi history to the business ties between the Bush and the bin Laden clans. Of course, talented people have the right to artistic hyperbole. But the message of the director laid down in the name of the film is unambiguous. Fahrenheit 9/11 plays on the title of Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451, which is the temperature when paper burns.
Washington's Iraqi war, its false prerequisites, dubious arguments and repulsive circumstances, such as the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib, have brought global public opinion to the point when the moral authority of the US is being reduced to ashes.
Russia may terminate all kinds of military and military-technical relations with Israel, including the agreement on the exchange of reconnaissance data
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea