Operation Plymouth Rock is Complete
Little-noticed, and even less reported, Operation Plymouth Rock is complete and the Black Watch is back in Basra and will be home by Christmas. From the Central Command Release:
The commander of the 24th MEU said the integration of the British forces into the MEU’s area of operations was remarkably seamless. “For a unit that hadn’t trained with us to roll into a tough environment and begin combat operations immediately demonstrates just how well led and highly professional they are,” said Col. Ron Johnson. “They proved as good as their reputation, and the Marines felt at home among them.”If anyone can find an article listing the number of deaths and casualties the Black Watch absorbed during its month-long sojourn outside of Basra, The Adventures of Chester would realy like to see it, given the whining of the British press when it was moved. More from Centcom:
Soon after the battlegroup’s highly publicized movement into northern Babil, insurgents targeted the newcomers. Two attacks killed five Black Watch soldiers within days. Their mettle tested, the unit seemed to grow stronger. From their windswept, no-frills desert base -- dubbed Camp Dogwood -- on the west side of the Euphrates, the British soon punched across the river. With Marines to the south and east, the Black Watch squeezed the insurgents from the west and paved the way for nine days of successful precision raids.Plymouth Rock was a success:
The operation resulted in the capture of more than 200 anti-Iraqi militants and the discovery of 11 weapons caches, as pro-Iraqi forces continued to thin insurgent ranks and chip away at the supply of munitions used to foment chaos and violence.It seems that the casualties among the Black Watch were few, though of course tragic. Rather than pointing this out, the British press is shifting attention to "the fate of tens of thousands of Iraqis thought to have been killed" during the war. British journalists: your countrymen have been victorious in a historic battle and since not enough of them died to satisfy your headline-making death quota, you handwring about unsubstantiated rumors of civlian casualties -- which as we know are nearly always inflicted by the insurgency on purpose, and only by the coalition by accident! This is of course, lost on many, who claim that the coalition actually kills anyone who tries to tell the truth about casualty figures. Pathetic. ------------------------------- While we're on the subject of the Black Watch, and not to kill the joy from their success . . . There is a brief allusion in the October Telegraph article -- first linked above -- about the fate of the British armed forces:
Although the way in which the Government handled the affair further angered senior officers, already furious that they will disappear in the amalgamation of the Scottish regiments, they believe that their men will eventually win over the local population.The "amalgamation of the Scottish regiments" is a nice euphemism for "decreasing the size of the British military while Britan is at war." Perhaps the truth is that the British press is unhappy more "jocks" of the Black Watch didn't die, because that would save Britain the trouble of cutting the regiment altogether. Hundreds of years from now, when the next dark age is over, historians will shake their heads at how we allowed western civilization to swirl down the toilet so easily. In risk management practices, when you evaluate any given incident that has resulted in a loss of life, limb or property, you usually find that there were a series of errors, and that if something different had been done at any one point, the entire incident would not have happened. When we read stories like this one, we are witnessing one such point in such a traumatic incident -- but the property destroyed will turn out to be our complete way of life.