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Hoon speaks on BW deaths

#1
It seems Hoon's first contribution to this matter is to defend himself and seek to deny that he had any responsibilty for the move of 1BW:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3984885.stm

Hoon rejects Iraq death 'anger'

Three Black Watch members were killed in Iraq
Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has hit back at critics who say UK troop deaths in Iraq will spark new anger at government "duplicity".

Three Black Watch soldiers were killed on Thursday in a suicide attack.

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond says the soldiers' bravery contrasted with the "chicanery" of the politicians who had sent them there.

Mr Hoon accused Mr Salmond of sinking to new depths and insisted the Black Watch mission was not impossible.

And paying tribute to the Black Watch, Tony Blair said the regiment was doing a crucial job to prepare for Iraqi elections.

At a news conference with Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, Mr Blair expressed his deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the dead soldiers.

He also voiced his "pride and gratitude to the Black Watch for the extraordinary and heroic job they are doing there, which is of crucial importance to making sure democratic elections can go ahead in Iraq".

The continued training of Iraqi forces would be a priority, he added.

'Alarming period'

The deployment of the 850-strong Black Watch force into the US-controlled zone close to Baghdad was criticised by MPs on all sides.

Many were concerned they were moving into a more dangerous area of operations south of Baghdad to free up US forces for an assault on the troubled insurgent-held town of Falluja.

The deaths of Sgt Stuart Grey, Pte Paul Lowe and Pte Scott McArdle came just hours after the Black Watch force extended their area of operations to the east of the River Euphrates, south of the Iraqi capital.

Troop deaths are usually greeted only with condolences by MPs but the SNP have already been outspoken in their criticisms.

Mr Salmond said the troops' move had clearly been politically-motivated and linked to the American presidential elections.

Grief over the deaths would give way to "a wave of anger as Scotland and Black Watch families compare and contrast the bravery of our Scottish soldiers with the duplicity and chicanery of the politicians who sent them into this deployment", he predicted.

Mr Hoon said anger over the deaths was unjustified.

"I'm afraid the leader of the Scottish nationalists' comments demonstrate there are clearly no depths to which he will not sink," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

The defence secretary described the killings as a "terrible incident".

But he stressed the US request had been made by military chiefs and had not been discussed with his American counterpart Donald Rumsfeld.

He said he did not accept that the Black Watch's job was "impossible".

"This job was looked at very carefully by senior military officers.

"Can I emphasise that these judgments are made by highly experienced, highly professional military officers.

"This is not something in which politicians would seek to interfere."

Mr Hoon also denied claims there had been "mission creep" when the troops extended patrols to the east of the Euphrates.

The move was needed to halt rocket attacks at Camp Dogwood from across the river, he explained.

The Black Watch soldiers are due to return home by Christmas and Mr Hoon said it was unlikely they would be replaced by British troops - although he could offer no guarantee.

Earlier, Conservative shadow Defence Secretary Nicholas Soames said the latest troop deaths marked a "very bad day" and he extended his "deepest condolences".

He said he was sure the battalion members would redouble their efforts in the task ahead.

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy said it must be a "worrying and alarming time" for soldiers' families.

His party's defence spokesman, Paul Keetch, added: "Whatever our views on the war in Iraq, our armed forces are performing a difficult job under very difficult circumstances; our thoughts are with them."
 
#2
There is a rising anger amongst the UK over the death's of these three BW soldiers and TCH is trying to deflect any of the criticism coming his way. However as Sec of State Def, he (and the Dear Leader!) are ultimately responsible for any deaths coming from a politically motivated move such as this.

Alex Salmond has slated TCH, possibly a bit low so soon after the deaths, but he does praise the BW in comparison to the trickery and double standards exhibited by the Government. I for one felt that something like this would ultimately happen, I hope it is the last but I am a realist and am preparing myself for more losses from this purely political redeployment.
 

X-Inf

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#5
Politicians are not my favourite type of human being, but That Cnut Hoon makes most of the politicos look like really nice people!.

During my fairly long life I have tried hard not to hate anyone (not always succeeded - esp in NI) but in TCH's case I make absolutely no effort and the find I am actually hating someone I have never even met.

If he were to be slotted tonight, I would lose not one wink of sleep over it or shed one tear. Of course, if TBliar were to get rid of him now he would probably be put in the House of Lords to carry on with his damaging ways saying 'Not my fault Guv'.
 
#6
TCH - on the initial decision to deploy 1BW:
"This is not something in which politicians would seek to interfere."
Oohhh right, he had played no part in the decision at all, despite being Defence Secretary. :roll: :roll:
 
#7
TCH. Useless, 24-carat, snot-gobbling, oxygen-thief apology for a human being. I'm sure his kind words of self-justification and Pontius Pilate-like hand-cleansing will be a great comfort to the families and colleagues of the BW lads who died yesterday. :twisted:
 
#11
Mr Hoon said anger over the deaths was unjustified.
UNJUSTIFIED!!!!!!!!

You are an absolute disgrace - both as a Sec Def and as a human being - how else are the families supposed to feel - it's not as if we are all falling over ourselves to fight in this ill advised adventure in political double dealing is it?

You really are a spineless, snivelling, lieing sack of S.H.I.T.

I just hope that one day you get what you deserve.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#12
I must apologise for an earlier post when we were told that the Black Watch would be going to Dogwood.

I was in rant mode and stated that I could not believe that TCH could sink so low as to pull such a slimy political stunt.

He has proved that he has neither honour nor concience.

The man, (and I use the term in it's loosest possible context,) reaches deeper levels of low-life strata and keeps digging.



I'm sorry to have been so naive.
 
#14
I am reminded of a scene from Shrek, when Lord Farqard stands on the balcony and says he is sending his troops off on a task to free the princess, but it is a risk he is willing to take.

One day maybe politicians will start to take responsibility for their actions and decisions. It beggars belief that he can stand there and say that anger is unjustified. How out of touch is he in his office in whitehall?
 
#16
It was all that senior commanders could do to keep Churchill away from the front line during the recent unpleasantness.

Funny how political trends change. :roll:
 
#17
Stickybomb I am reading another Churchill book and everybody even his strongest political opponents had nothing but the highest admiration and respect for his actions and attitude when he was leading Britain in WW2. Bliar must tremble with fear when he walks up the stairs at no 10 and goes past his portrait, I am surprise maggies does not kick him in the spuds as he slithers :evil: past.
 

X-Inf

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#19
claymore said:
TCH. Useless, 24-carat, snot-gobbling, oxygen-thief apology for a human being. I'm sure his kind words of self-justification and Pontius Pilate-like hand-cleansing will be a great comfort to the families and colleagues of the BW lads who died yesterday. :twisted:
Careful Claymore - we are Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard and I doubt if we could persuade any of the guys to guard that Turd..
 
#20
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3986231.stm


Tony Blair has paid tribute to the heroism of the Black Watch in Iraq, expressing his deep sympathy to the families of three dead soldiers.
Sgt Stuart Gray, 31, Pte Paul Lowe, 19, and Pte Scott McArdle, 22, were killed in a suicide bomb attack, east of the River Euphrates, near Falluja.

The bomber drove his car at them on Thursday, detonating a device.

The mother of Sgt Gray said he was a loving husband, father, son and brother and a proud Black Watch member.

An unnamed Iraqi interpreter was also killed.

Mr Blair, speaking from Brussels where he stood alongside Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi ahead of an EU summit, hailed the bravery of the dead men but said securing peace in Iraq was "absolutely crucial".
"I would like to express my deep sympathy and condolences to the families of those soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq yesterday," he said.

"I would also like to express my pride and gratitude to the Black Watch for the extraordinary and heroic job they are doing there, which is of crucial importance to making sure democratic elections can go ahead in Iraq."
I think it must just be me, that finds Blair speaking these words , with the BW threatened with the chop , whilst standing beside a man who knew his way around a pair of alligator clips and a truck battery back in the good old days (allegedly) "distasteful"?

One question , if Allawi is only the interim leader, why is he being wheeled out on the World stage , in an effort to give him credibity, at such regular intervals?

After all, isn't he out of a job in 8 weeks? (allegedly)
 

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