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Allow wav "Stand By Me" to open - worth listening to
and saying  "Yes" We'll Stand By You


 

"Our Bussines Now Is North" 
      
      Lt. Col. Tim Collins, 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish after
addressing his troops 
   22 March 2003 

   With one phrase, Lt. Col. Tim Collins, commander of the 1st
Battalion of the Royal Irish, summed up the task in hand for the British
forces waiting to remove Saddam Hussein from Iraq. 

   Collins was addressing his 800 men, an arm of Britain's 16 Air
Assault Brigade, at Fort Blair Mayne, a Kuwaiti desert camp 20 miles
south of the Iraqi border. Here is as much of his extraordinary speech
as has been reported. 

   "We go to liberate not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in
their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag
which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for
them. 

   "There are some who are alive at this moment who will not be alive
shortly. Those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send.
As for the others I expect you to rock their world. Wipe them out if
that is what they choose. But if you are ferocious in battle remember to
be magnanimous in victory. 

   "Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden,
of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham. Tread lightly there.
You will see things that no man could pay to see and you will have to go
a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the
Iraqis. You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they
have nothing. Don't treat them as refugees for they are in their own
country. Their children will be poor, in years to come they will know
that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you. 

   "If there are casualties of war then remember that when they woke
up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to die this day.
Allow them dignity in death. Bury them properly and mark their graves. 

   "It is my foremost intention to bring every single one of you out
alive but there may be people among us who will not see the end of this
campaign. We will put them in their sleeping bags and send them back.
There will be no time for sorrow. 

   "The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his nemesis and that
we are bringing about his rightful destruction. There are many regional
commanders who have stains on their souls and they are stoking the fires
of hell for Saddam. He and his forces will be destroyed by this
coalition for what they have done. As they die they will know their
deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no pity. 

   "It is a big step to take another human life. It is not to be done
lightly. I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other
conflicts, I can assure you they live with the mark of Cain upon them.
If someone surrenders to you then remember they have that right in
international law and ensure that one day they go home to their family.
 

   "The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please. 

   "If you harm the regiment or its history by over-enthusiasm in
killing or in cowardice, know it is your family who will suffer. You
will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest for your deeds
will follow you down through history. We will bring shame on neither our
uniform or our nation. 

   "[Regarding the use by Saddam of chemical or biological weapons]
It is not a question of if, it's a question of when. We know he has
already devolved the decision to lower commanders, and that means he has
already taken the decision himself. If we survive the first strike we
will survive the attack. 

   "As for ourselves, let's bring everyone home and leave Iraq a
better place for us having been there. 

   "Our business now is north." 
   

(I could not have said it any better! May their honor on the battlefield
bring them glory forever.)