Regiment plans to be rushed through

#1
http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/26923.shtml

Regiment plans to be rushed through

IAN BRUCE and MICHAEL SETTLE October 28 2004

THE government plans to bring forward the announcement creating a single Scottish super-regiment by two weeks to November 30 in the hope of ending opposition by campaigners and deflecting criticism of the deployment of the Black Watch to a more dangerous part of Iraq.
Senior military sources said the decision to confirm the new set-up followed a meeting of the council of Scottish colonels near Edinburgh yesterday.

In the UK, a source said the government felt it dangerous to delay the announcement on regimental reorganisation while the Black Watch was marching into danger.
The source said: "If there were to be casualties while the regimental issue is still in doubt, then there could be a serious political backlash. The government is already shaken by the strength of feeling north of the border and the threat to marginal seats.
"The thinking behind it is to present it as a fait accompli before the Black Watch come home just before Christmas so that their experiences south of Baghdad cannot be used as an emotional lever to force a change of heart on army reorganisation."
The original plan was for an announcement in the House of Commons on December 15 after the Army's executive board met for the formality of approving the colonels' recommendation.
This was aimed at rubber-stamping a reorganisation that will involve the merger of the Royal Scots and the King's Own Scottish Borderers and the lumping together of the four other Scottish infantry units into a single formation.
No-one at army headquarters in Scotland could be contacted for comment last night.
Jeff Duncan, organiser of Save the Scottish Regiments, said last night: "I would be very, very angry if this is happening for reasons of political chicanery while Scottish soldiers are risking their lives in Iraq.
"If Labour thinks it can silence opposition by bringing a decision forward to a less embarrassing time and presenting soldiers with a cut-and-dried solution, it has another think coming."
In Iraq, the Black Watch battlegroup with Warrior infantry combat vehicles and Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles on flatbed trucks moved in strung-out packets of men and machinery to reduce exposure to ambush along the route from their base in the southern city of Basra to a far more dangerous area near Baghdad.
The regiment was warned by Iraqi resistance groups to prepare for a baptism of fire. Local insurgent leaders using Islamic militant websites claimed the Scottish regiment – whose battle honours stretch from Waterloo to El Alamein and Korea – were "soft" compared with the US Marines patrolling the sector. They warned the Scots they would find the local Sunni and Arab jihadi fighters a tougher prospect than the Shias they fought around Basra.
The British troops headed for bases to the north of Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, in a journey expected to take about 24 hours.
Last night, a US intelligence officer attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit said militants based in Latifiyah would be the major threat to the Black Watch's mission, codenamed Operation Bracken.
"There's a strong contingent of foreign and local militiamen loyal to Abu Musab al Zarqawi who use al Ba'ath district in the north of town as a safe haven. They hide in a heavily-populated district to avoid being targeted for bombing raids," he said. "Your guys will have to be alert for suicide bombers and roadside booby-traps."
Al Zarqawi, who says he will behead a Japanese if his government does not withdraw its 550 troops, uses Latifiyah as an alternative headquarters.
In the Commons, the prime minister, asked by Charles Kennedy about the length of deployment of the Scottish regiment, replied: "The Black Watch, yes, they will come back by Christmas. As to what then happens, we can't be sure at the moment. We don't believe there will be a further requirement for other troops but I can't commit myself."
THE government plans to bring forward the announcement creating a single Scottish super-regiment by two weeks to November 30 in the hope of ending opposition by campaigners and deflecting criticism of the deployment of the Black Watch to a more dangerous part of Iraq.
Senior military sources said the decision to confirm the new set-up followed a meeting of the council of Scottish colonels near Edinburgh yesterday.
It came as the Black Watch battlegroup yesterday began its 370-mile trek to the area south of Baghdad dubbed the "triangle of death". US Marines are waiting for the 850-strong Scottish-led force to relieve them over the next 72 hours to allow their own redeployment for an all-out assault on the insurgent strongholds of Falluja and Ramadi.
In a separate development, Margaret Hassan, the British charity worker held hostage in Iraq, was last night shown on a new videotape pleading for the withdrawal of UK troops.
Her words left haunting echoes of the demands made by Ken Bigley, the Briton who was later beheaded by his abductors.
In the tape, broadcast on the Arab TV network al Jazeera, Mrs Hassan, a Muslim with dual British and Iraqi nationality, said: "Please don't bring the soldiers to Baghdad . . . Please, on top of that, please release the women prisoners from prisons."
She also called for her organisation Care International to close its offices in the country.
The latest video came as Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network confirmed in an online magazine that Abu Musab al Zarqawi, whose group kidnapped Mr Bigley and two Americans, has joined forces with the international terror group.
The editorial in al Qaeda's bi-monthly online military publication al Battar Camp praised the decision by al Zarqawi, leader of the Tawhid and Jihad group in Iraq, to join forces.
"That the leader of the Tawhid and Jihad group announced his allegiance to the sheikh of holy war and holy warriors in our time, Abu Abdallah Osama bin Laden . . . is a good omen for victory," it said.
Tawhid and Jihad now calls itself al Qaeda in Iraq.
The editorial also urged Sunni Muslim fighters in Iraq to join hands with bin Laden to defeat what it called the Crusaders, urging them to take al Zarqawi's move as a model.
In the UK, a source said the government felt it dangerous to delay the announcement on regimental reorganisation while the Black Watch was marching into danger.
The source said: "If there were to be casualties while the regimental issue is still in doubt, then there could be a serious political backlash. The government is already shaken by the strength of feeling north of the border and the threat to marginal seats.
"The thinking behind it is to present it as a fait accompli before the Black Watch come home just before Christmas so that their experiences south of Baghdad cannot be used as an emotional lever to force a change of heart on army reorganisation."
The original plan was for an announcement in the House of Commons on December 15 after the Army's executive board met for the formality of approving the colonels' recommendation.
This was aimed at rubber-stamping a reorganisation that will involve the merger of the Royal Scots and the King's Own Scottish Borderers and the lumping together of the four other Scottish infantry units into a single formation.
No-one at army headquarters in Scotland could be contacted for comment last night.
Cowardly mendacious s#!ts!
 
#4
One thing for sure, this devious shower will use every means at their disposal to get their way.

It will be remembered at the next election :evil:
 
#5
polyglory said:
One thing for sure, this devious shower will use every means at their disposal to get their way.

It will be remembered at the next election :evil:
Let's hope so. This nothing short of cheap chicanery aimed at rushing the decision through before the Black Watch deployment - and possible casualties - can turn public opinion against cuts. Despicable bastar*s. :twisted:
 
#6
Black Watch squaddie just asked on BBC News whether he thought he'd really be home for Christmas:

"I don't know - Tony Blair lies a lot."


Quality. 8)
 
#7
ViroBono said:
Black Watch squaddie just asked on BBC News whether he thought he'd really be home for Christmas: "I don't know - Tony Blair lies a lot."Quality. 8)
:lol: :lol: :lol: TCH coud do himself and his party a bit of damage north of Hadrian's Wall if he does announce the regimental reorganisations on November 30. It's St Andrew's Day. We might take that as a calculated insult. :twisted:
 
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Guest
#8
ViroBono said:
Black Watch squaddie just asked on BBC News whether he thought he'd really be home for Christmas:
"I don't know - Tony Blair lies a lot."
Quality. 8)
Splendid :D
Jeff Duncan, organiser of Save the Scottish Regiments, said last night: "I would be very, very angry if this is happening for reasons of political chicanery while Scottish soldiers are risking their lives in Iraq.
"If Labour thinks it can silence opposition by bringing a decision forward to a less embarrassing time and presenting soldiers with a cut-and-dried solution, it has another think coming."
Running costs for a campaign like this are high. Show support and send a few quid to these guys who have got off their arrses over this issue.

Save the Scottish Regiments CAMPAIGN ADDRESS IS:

PO BOX 10083, DUNDEE, DD3 9WW

You can also pay directly into their Bank Account by visiting any branch of Lloyds TSB

Details for payment are:

Save the Scottish Regiments, Account Number: 2 5 9 8 4 1 2,
Sort Code: 30-99-71

Fukk you Blair :evil:
 
#9
sid_james said:
Save the Scottish Regiments CAMPAIGN
I don't think much will change now, KOSB and RS will merge, this campaign has already achieved as much as it could, its saved one Bn(?).

I expect the Black Watch to be the field element of the new regt (not the home based Bn), getting far more attention than the other bn's of the new regt (like now), which is also saving them from the next cuts.

The headlines (in all UK papers) on 1st Dec will be 'Black Watch Saved', so as part of the spin process the KOSB/RS merger will be buried. Wonder what odds I could get on that?

It still amazes me how BLiar works
 
#10
I shall contribute to it this weekend, thanks for the bank details.

Up your Jatzi B-liar :evil:
 
#11
I wonder if the deployment of the BW was part of the process, I wouldn't be suprised if we've asked to move them there.

The press has been very very supportive of the BW, they are one part of the army who can come home and talk with pride about going to Iraq. I'd guess the majority of Scotland are behind them.

Am I seeing spin everywhere???
 
#12
The ScotDiv will still be a battalion down after the amalgamation of the RS and KOSB. But don't write the regiments' campaign off just yet. Jeff Duncan, its organiser, is preparing to field candidates in 12 marginal and vulnerable Labour seats in Scotland at the next general election. The Tories and SNP are supporting the move.
 
#13
polar said:
I wonder if the deployment of the BW was part of the process, I wouldn't be suprised if we've asked to move them there. Am I seeing spin everywhere???
There's a rumour floating around various HQs that George Robertson, the former defence secretary, had a hand in the US request for the 'Watch. He was in Washington recently for talks with Condie Rice, Bush's long-legged security adviser. It's more likely the BW were asked for because they're already in-country and the most experienced Warrior battalion available.
 
#14
I too have heard this date from another source...

What is happening to the Scots is a done deal. The crucial factor is where the 4th Inf Bn will be cut from, I understand a meeting took place yesterday but no idea of the outcome.

Kings, Scots, and PoW Divs have all lost 1. Where does the 4th go from? Will have big implications to some of us... :cry:
 
#15
Tempted to think PoW but they've had numerous amalgamations already. That leaves Kings - 3 Regts in Lancs/Borders and 3 in Yorkshire, will that go down to two in each area?
 
#16
I don't think this is a done deal yet as the timeline for the amalgamations must be at least 12 months. If Bliar gets the kicking he deserves then he will probably get the heave-ho by his party who will be a lot more circumspect about supporting these cuts. There will be quite a few Labour MPs who view this with dismay and who would be happy to see said cuts put on the shelves. Remember there is a Scottish Parliament election in 2007.
 
#17
from Thursday's Scotsman, critical analysis of the Government's claims on future Army numbers:
In a sign that the political controversy over the government’s defence plans is growing, Mr Blair was assailed over the issue in the House of Commons yesterday.

Michael Howard, the Conservative leader, condemned the government’s plans, telling Mr Blair: "In a dangerous world we need stronger forces."

Clearly under pressure, Mr Blair repeated an assurance that there would be no reductions in the size of the British Army. "Overall, the numbers of people in our armed forces is not going to be reduced." he said.

But the MoD last night admitted that statement was incorrect. According to the chief of the general staff, General Sir Mike Jackson, the cuts mean that the army will be reduced in size by a total of 6,000 posts. It is already significantly under-strength after a recruitment freeze - at only about 103,500 of the establishment strength of 108,000. The cuts will reduce troop numbers to 102,000, an actual drop of 1,500 soldiers.

An MoD spokesman later explained that Mr Blair was referring to the overall size of the army, and said that the Prime Minister was "technically correct" that the size of the army would remain the same in the immediate future.

But he admitted that Mr Howard was correct to say that the intention was to reduce the number of troops to the target figure of 102,000. "Eventually the numbers will fall," the spokesman said.
full article at http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1246562004
 
#18
"The regiment was warned by Iraqi resistance groups to prepare for a baptism of fire. Local insurgent leaders using Islamic militant websites claimed the Scottish regiment – whose battle honours stretch from Waterloo to El Alamein and Korea – were "soft" compared with the US Marines patrolling the sector. They warned the Scots they would find the local"
'Soft' um ah well I've called the jocks a few things in my days but I missed that one.
And the battle honours, well Abdul bint scratch mi Bum, can't say his wasn't given fair warning.
john
PS they do eat babies for brecky north of the border ? don't they
 
#20
I have doubts about the war and the deployment of the Black Watch, but these are Bliar related political objections. I hope the Jocks do, as I fully expect, a fine job in their new TAOR, and emulate, especially to those Iraqis who have chosen to threaten them in the media, the example set by their Scottish colleagues earlier in the year.

Our guys do a fine job, in a relaxed and friendly fashion, but the media, the US and above all the Iraqi terrorists should never confuse that with weakness. Cross the Black Watch battlegroup at your peril.
 

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