The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Wiping Out The Opposition
Aine Fox • December 2003

On Friday the 28th November, if anyone can recollect, it was a cold damp day that led to an even colder night but that did not stop anti-war activists including myself answering the call from Belfast Anti-War Movement to mobilise and protest the presence of Lt.Col. Tim Collins at Queens University. Collins was present at the invitation of Queen’s Graduate Committee as a guest speaker at the committee’s annual dinner.

Now there may be people wondering why there was a protest at such an event and to these people I would say that they must not know what type of human being Tim Collins is. Lt Col “Wipe them out “ Collins was most recently seen at a screen near you with his globally televised pre-invasion speech to young British troops. This speech so apparently enigmatic that it hangs in the Oval Office of President George Bush Jr. His ray ban concealed face accompanied by cigar was one of many images thrown onto mainstream media and Collins was further used as a poster boy for Bush and Blair’s illegal war.

Now what they did censor from us was what was really going on behind the scenes of this propaganda led invasion and occupation of Iraq. We were all led to believe that Saddam was sitting on top of a mass of chemical and nuclear weapons and that he was ready to rock our world as we knew it. We were all in grave danger – so much in danger that an international allied force was needed to carpet bomb Iraq and pave the way for the international corporations to buy Iraq and therefore create a free and democratic Iraq beneficial to all.

So meanwhile back at base camp Collins was preparing his young cannon fodder for their impending doom and it was here that he thought he would outline the essential requirements for battle. Amongst other things Collins told his soldiers: “If someone surrenders to you then remember they have that right in international law.”However, not adhering to his own advice he was witnessed and further accused by his US counterparts of mistreating Iraqi people and prisoners including pistol whipping, starvation and mock executions. (Taking into account any investigation or dismissals of these claims were completed by Collins' own people.)

These circumstances are illegal as outlined by the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the treatment of Prisoners of War where it states in article three what acts are considered unlawful:

i) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
ii) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment”

In parallel to that the Fourth Geneva Convention specifies law in accordance to the protection of civilians - this too has been broken.

When we listen to the words of Collins, 'I expect you to rock their world. Wipe them out if that is what they choose.' It should not come as any surprise the “collateral damage” (This word means innocent dead civilians, dead babies, dead children, dead young people, dead middle aged people, dead old people) that the regiments he led left in their trail.

The death toll of this conflict will never be transparent. Neither will the actions perpetrated upon the Iraqi people in the name of their Freedom – thousands where killed maimed and brutalised. And as their deaths continue, the world media like a pirate blind sees only from one side of its face. The deaths of occupied forces are in comparison to that off an estimated 44 Iraqis killed daily.

Collins stated: 'As for ourselves, let's bring everyone home and leave Iraq a better place for us having been there.' Iraq today is defiantly not a better place, maybe the statues of Saddam are gone but with an invasion and occupation resistance against the occupiers is growing everyday and most civilians have no access to what one would consider the basics of life, food, shelter, emergency medicines, running water and electric, no education system or health system

So as Lt Col. Tim “ Wipe the Out” Collins returns from his bloody trail and is stood before us as a sterling example of a Queen’s Graduate, I ask, Is that the most appropriate image for a prestigious educational institution to display? A war criminal that is also under investigation after a young soldier, Paul Cochrane from Drumadd Barracks, took his own life after extensive brutal bullying whilst under the direct care of Collins. 17 apparent investigations are pending.

“Paul, only wanted to be a soldier and make his country proud of him - his family were already proud of him so he had nothing to prove to them. The scandalous actions of a Commanding Officer, led to this young boys death. Col. Collins, knew what was taking place within his command and chose to do nothing.

In any decent human being's eyes, Col. Collins' inaction made him the leader of the pack, for who is the most guilty, the one who does the bullying, or the one who stands by and watches but does nothing? Tim Collins was this young boys surrogate parent, his leader, his teacher, HIS PROTECTOR!

What Leader of men watches whilst one of his own men is tortured beyond endurance? This man did. And from his own mouth, he admitted that he knew he had a male rapist in his command and he kept him there. Why was this man not sent back to the home base before Paul died, why was he left to rape again? Only Colonel Tim Collins can answer that, and one day he shall meet his maker and will have to answer to him.” - From family of R.I.R Soldier Paul Cochrane.

Lt Col Tim Collins is a man of no integrity or respect for the human rights of others; he should not be stood out as anything but a disgraceful example of the human race.

Anti-war protestors successfully showed a presence of opposition to Collins. Banners whistles and chants along with a few indiscriminate eggs met guests as they exited the main building of Queens and made the short journey across the path. The noise made by protestors carried and Collins, I am sure, heard the shouts as he was hurried in through the back door of The Whitla Hall to join his fellow guests at dinner. Those guests were encouraged to take leaflets from two anti-war activists who where permitted, due to a prior arrangement with Queens and the Belfast Anti War Movement, to stand at the entrance that dinner guests were going through. Approximately half those entering the dinner in their formal wear and champagne glasses took leaflets after myself and Liz who where handing out the leaflets assured them it was only information on why there was a protest going on and to our knowledge information is not dangerous and could not directly harm them. Maybe a few may even take the time to read them.

With our job done and opposition expressed we walked past the barriers placed all around the entrance of the university, said goodbye to the privately hired security, thanked the media for attending and made our way across the now muddied grass and under the chain link fence that maybe was supposed to be enough of a deterrent to stay off the grass?

The thought that stayed with me that night, as I made my way home across Belfast, was did Lt. Col. Collins and his colleagues in the US/UK war machine even care that opposition to their world view exists?



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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

4 January 2004


Other Articles From This Issue:


Anthony McIntyre


New Years Statement 2004

Óglaigh na hÉireann


New Year Greetings
Jimmy Sands


In Memorium
Brian Mór


Is This The Real IRA?
Liam O Ruairc


Dec. 16th Dail Questions



Provos/SDLP/Dublin Securing Partition
Liam O Comain


The Patriot Game
Kathleen O Halloran


Wiping Out the Opposition
Aine Fox


They Will Never Get Us All
Sean Matthews


The Letters Page has been updated.


17 December 2003


An Autopsy on the Provos
Sandy Boyer


The PSNI Threat

Anthony McIntyre


Seize the Opportunity, Seize the Moment
Liam O Ruairc


Happy Xmas from Little England
Eamon Sweeney


Dublin Cover-up Was Government Policy
Father Sean Mc Manus


Warm (Flat) Earth
Michael Youlton




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