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
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.
-Lieutenant Colonel Tim Collins, to the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, days ago.