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Tim Collins

20 November 06 17:51 GMT

We asked former soldier Tim Collins who led our troops into Iraq for his Take Of The Week.

" When I led my men into Iraq in March 2003, I was in no doubt that Saddam's regime was one that should be removed.

But nothing prepared us for the sheer brutality that we found there.

This was a country where beastliness had become commonplace and where Saddam's sons used wild animals to tear his victims apart - a practice he encouraged.

Saddam Hussein was the architect of two bloody wars and in one of them - the Iran-Iraq war - over a million people died.

For all of his crimes and because it's the will of the Iraqi people, I'm in no doubt that Saddam must hang as a result of his trial.

35 years of hell

The people of Iraq have been through 35 years of hell, no more so than the last three years.

They now need to close that chapter. They need a national catharsis and Saddam Hussein's execution could be that national catharsis.

Indeed, Donald Rumsfeld's resignation yesterday came at a perfect time to bring together the elements that will end the mistakes of the last 35 years and the last three years and allow the Iraqi people as a whole to move on.

Maybe we should learn from the people of Iraq

Tony Blair says that he's against the hanging of Saddam Hussein.

That's rich coming from someone who led the British people to war against Iraq and has cost many lives including the lives of 121 British servicemen.

Maybe we should learn from the people of Iraq who have been through this particular mill.

Maybe we need capital punishment here in the UK and seen from these shores.

According to Tony Blair we're at war too. Perhaps we need some form of protection, some form of deterrent to prevent those who would attack us in our homeland.

"

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