29 November 2008


I am not certain how I missed it, but this address by LtCol Tim Collins, 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment, on the eve of the Iraq War demonstrates the difference between our Anglo-American culture and that which plants car bombs in crowded markets. It is one of the finest I have heard, comparing with that of BGen Tom Draude, USMC, to our troops just before the Kuwait Liberation.

The actual address was never filmed or recorded, but an embedded war correspondent (you see her portrayed briefly in this clip) took it down in shorthand. This depiction, featuring Kenneth Brannagh, is from a BBC production titled "Ten Days To War."

The speech is filled with Biblical references, and is clearly the product of an educated mind and warrior spirit. It ought to end, for once and for all, the idea that some have that soldiers want war. This is clearly a leader who knows that he has a job to do against a reprehensible foe, but who also wants to ensure that his troops understand that they are representatives of their Nation and, I would suggest, of Christendom.

As an aside: Unfortunately, Col Collins was later smeared by an American Major, a reserve Civil Affairs officer who was a social worker in civilian life, who disobeyed a direct order from Col Collins and was upbraided appropriately. Apparently this REMF (rear echelon....well let's leave it at that) was offended by language that would be familiar to any warrior, so he tried to put Collins on report for "allowing" his battalion to maltreat Iraquis.

It was later discovered that this clown reported things that he had been told by others, none of which he had either witnessed or could substantiate in any way. After an in-depth investigation, Colonel Collins was exonerated.

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