Tim Collins (Ex-army)

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

N.B. Last updated in 2010. Colonel (retd) Tim Collins OBE (born Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 1960) is a former officer in the British Army. He gained prominence around the time of the the Iraq War following an eve-of-battle speech which the media declared 'inspirational'. The speech received much praise -- not least from Tim Collins himself -- and a copy of reportedly hangs in the White House's Oval Office.[1] The speech's theme of liberation vs. conquest, and its oft quoted line ('If you are ferocious in battle remember to be magnanimous in victory'), however, appear to be borrowed from a speech by Comte de Bourmont who on the eve of the colonization of Algeria in May 1830 perorated in front of the amassed troops: 'merciless in combat, you must be compassionate and magnanimous after victory...the Arab will see you as liberators'.[2]

By 2005 he was to make a complete about-face on his assessment of the invasion, arguing it has 'acted as the best recruiting sergeant for al-Qaeda ever'. He called it a "catastrophe" and a "right-rollicking cock-up".[3]

More recently Collins has engaged in pro-Israel propaganda activities including attempts to white-wash Israeli war crimes in Gaza during its 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead.[4] The film, in which he (literally) compares bullet holes in the walls of the Israeli town of Sderot with wholesale destruction in Gaza he ends by giving Israel a clean bill of health because 'it is not as bad for instance as Fallujah, and certainly not as bad as Ramadi'.[5] The VNR was produced for the BBC's flagship Newsnight by a company called ConflictZones, yet the company has produced nothing besides this short film. Curiously, the company has no other information available on its website (which is a single page about the film) beside a generic email address. The company has also employed a domain anonymizing service to register its domain name, an odd precaution for a film-maker.[6]



  1. Iraq war colonel awarded OBE, BBC News, 7 April 2004
  2. Text of de Bourmont's speech in Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilization (Harper Collins: London 2005) p.636
  3. Tim Collins, This is a mess of our own making, The Observer, 18 September 2005
  4. Celebrated Iraq war veteran's view of the Gaza conflict, BBC News, 19 January 2010
  5. Celebrated Iraq war veteran's view of the Gaza conflict, BBC News, 19 January 2010
  6. ConflictZones accessed 1 February 2010
  7. HJS Statement of Principles