Night of the Long Knives

From Holden:

Yes, it’s another Hitler comparison. The Night of the Long Knives was the culmination of a German Army Staff officers’ plot to kill Hitler via briefcase bomb, an attack that der Fuhrer survived only because a heavy mahogany table leg shielded him from the blast.

Things aren’t quite so bad for der Dubyer, but with the former commander of the Marines who attacked Fallujah publicly criticizing Bushes personal order for a vengance attack on the troubled city, the head of the Army Reserves complaining that his people are not prepared to fight Bush’s war, and a British Colonel who Bush lauded as a war hero calling him incompetent, it’s close:

A senior British army officer, lauded for his stirring speech on the eve of the U.S.-led invason of Iraq, has accused Britain and the United States of “gross incompetence” in failing to plan for peace.

Colonel Tim Collins, who urged his men to be “ferocious in battle, magnanimous in victory”, said the war had created a dangerous power vacuum.

“There was very little preparation or thought given to what would follow on after the invasion itself,” Collins told BBC radio in an interview.

“Nature abhors a vacuum and so do politics, and if you knock something down you must be prepared to put something in its place.”

Collins, who left the army after being accused and cleared of mistreating Iraqi prisoners, questioned the reason why the United States invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of former President Saddam Hussein.

“Either it was a war to liberate the people of Iraq, in which case there’s gross incompetence,” he said. “Or it was simply a cynical war that was going to happen anyway to vent some form of anger on Saddam Hussein’s regime.”


Collins, former commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment, said the international community was “dismayed” by the situation in Iraq.

A copy of Collins’s speech to his troops was reportedly tacked to the wall of President George W. Bush’s office. Prince Charles praised it as “stirring, civilised and humane”.