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Iraq War "Incompetent or Cynical" - Bush's Favorite British Colonel

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It was an inspirational speech delivered on the eve of war. Colonel Tim Collins addressed the forces who'd be operating under him, cautioning them to be "ruthless in battle", yet "magnanimous in victory". They were there to "liberate, not to conquer".


So inspired were the colonel's words, it has been said a copy of his speech hung on the wall of the Oval Office. But now, having left the Army, Colonel Collins has been reflecting on the conflict, how it was waged and the way the occupation was handled.


For him, there's little doubt that the liberation of Iraq was, to this very day, still "the right thing to do". But it's what happened once 'major combat operations' were completed that's given him more pause for thought.


"The evidence would show, in hindsight, that the preparations for a free and fair Iraq weren't made," he told John Humphrys.


"The simple fact is that nature abhors a vacuum and so does politics. If you knock something down, you must be prepared to put something in its place or live with the consequences of that which fills the vacuum."


For Colonel Collins, what he sees as a lack of planning for the aftermath of the conflict has prompted him to question the very reasons the war was fought.


"Either it was a war to liberate the people of Iraq , in which case there's gross incompetence, or it was simply a cynical war that was going to happen anyway to vent some form of anger on Saddam Hussein's regime," he argued.



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