View Full Version : The right attitude?

1st May 2003, 13:22
This is an article from last weeks Flight International mag.


The British troops morale-boosting speech on the eve of the advance into Iraq by Lt. Col Tim Collins:
"If you are ferocious in battle, remember to be magnanimous in victory. We go to liberate, not to conquer. We are entering Iraq to free people, and the only flag that will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Don't treat them as refugees, for they are in their own country. If there are casualties of war, then remember 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. You will be shunned unless you conduct is of the highest, for your deeds will follow you down in history. Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birth place of Abraham. Tread lightly there."

The US speech given by Vice Admiral Timothy Keating:
"When the president says 'go', look out - It's hammer time" (followed by "We Will Rock You" at high volume)


Given the circumstances, situation etc, which 'leader' would you follow?

DX Wombat
1st May 2003, 16:05
That reminds me very much of the TV news item I saw shortly after the start of the Gulf War. A USAF pilot and a RAF pilot were interviewed. I cannot remember the exact words used at the time but the interviews went roughly as follows: the USAF pilot was dancing around laughing and uttering such things as "Yeh, we whupped 'em, we whupped 'em good." He appeared to take great delight in the fact that people had been killed. The RAF pilot, whose interview was the first shown, was just the opposite. Quietly, but very professionally, he stated that they had had a job to do and had done it to the best of their ability. There was no rejoicing about the apparent loss of life, rather a respect for the fact that the people involved on all sides were human beings. It would appear that very little has changed in the intervening years.

simon brown
1st May 2003, 19:07
Sums up the difference in attitudes nicely doesnt it....

1st May 2003, 19:19
Didn't I read somewhere that Bush has a framed copy of this speech in his office, or was this just media hype?

1st May 2003, 19:36
It IS a great speech, enormously moving and one that reminds even moderate peaceniks like myself that wars are an inescapable fact of life, but that war and civility need not be mutually exclusive.

But I can't help feeling a little uncomfortable at the juxtaposition of the two "speeches" as archetypes of their respective countries' attitudes. It's just too neat and pat. Extremely effective, mind you, but generalisations of that magnitude make me uneasy.

For a more complete and utterly spine-tingling version of the speech, see another PPRuNe link to the same topic. (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=86523)

I would imagine it has probably been raised in the Military forum as well, but that is not a place I visit.

Evening Star
2nd May 2003, 20:50
Sadly, this difference in attitude might go some distance in explaining the accusations of 'cowboy' like behaviour in some friendly fire incidents.

Agree that Collins' speech is utterly spine tingling. Real leadership.