Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Smokey Briggs
Kerrey's only shame is in bowing to the press
So, former senator Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) is a war criminal?
I am no fan of Bob Kerrey. His political stance never jibed with mine.
Many times I would have liked to see him out of office.
But he is no war criminal.
Here are the facts that I have gleaned from the national press:
Kerrey's team of SEALs slipped into the village to assassinate a Viet
Cong official/leader/officer. (SEAL is an acronym for Sea, Air and Land
and the SEALs are the commandos of the Navy). The year was 1969.
A varying number of alleged civilians were killed in the ensuing action.
One member of the SEAL team now remembers lining up a bunch of civilians
and killing them, shades of some Viet Nam Hollywood production produced
by some guy who never darkened the door of a recruiter's office.
Kerrey and the other five members of the team remember returning fire
after they were fired upon. Afterwards, all of them admit, many of the
dead were women, children, and elderly people _ noncombatants by Western
Two supposed survivors of the night have been recently interviewed.
Both have given damning accounts of the event.
Kerrey says he is ashamed that innocent civilians were killed.
Those are the facts we know, at least as reported so far.
Here is what I suspect to be the rest of the story:
Some civilians were killed. That happens in war. The village was in
a free-fire zone. A free-fire zone was an area were all civilians were
supposed to have been evacuated. Anyone alive in that area was supposed
to be friend or foe _ not neutral.
I suspect the SEAL that claims the group lined up a bunch of women and
children is mentally unstable.
I also do not put much credence in the accounts of the two Vietnamese
women. One has changed her story from supposedly witnessing the entire
event to seeing two alleged innocents killed.
Both women are at the mercy of their own communist government that has
as much blood on its hands as Hitler's Third Reich ever did. They will
say publicly whatever their government tells them to.
If Kerrey's unit was fired upon, and there is little reason to doubt
it was, then they did the right thing when they fired back. His first duty
was to complete his mission. His next was to safeguard his troops so far
as his mission allowed. Shooting back is part of that. You do not sit around
worrying about civilian casualties while your troops are taking fire. You
shoot back with everything you have.
Kerrey was not playing cops and robbers. Kerrey and his troops did the
The last point that no one seems to be willing to vocalize is that there
was no way to tell who was a noncombatant in Vietnam.
The Viet Cong are to blame for that. The Viet Cong made the rules, or
better said, broke them. Women, children, and senior citizens were all
used by the Viet Cong.
It was a guerrilla war. The rules of Western Civilization and combat
Children with pouches of explosives strapped to their bodies were used
as sappers. Women gunned machineguns and walked on patrols.
Old men and women pulled triggers too, dug pits and filled them with
feces-dipped spikes, and relayed valuable intelligence back to the Viet
So just because there were dead women and children after a firefight
does not mean that all the dead were noncombatants.
If any child of mine is in a similar situation I will tell him to shoot
first and ask questions later.
I expect that Kerrey's remorse deals more with the fact that it seems
the only politically expedient thing to say. You can't voice the opinions
above to a naive American public without getting crucified by their version
of Pontius Pilot _ the national media.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher
of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed
Put the old fire wagon in the garage
If you drive by the fire station on Cedar Street you will notice a vintage
fire truck sitting out front of the firehouse more days than not.
It looks like it was built in the twenties and it is in pretty fair
We have it on good authority that the truck has been part of the Pecos
Volunteer Fire Department for many, many years.
Our volunteer fireman still use it for training purposes and it runs
in the parade every year.
That truck ought to be inside the firehouse, or inside somewhere with
a nice thick coat of polish on it _ away from the sun, the dust, and the
occasional drop of rain.
If allowed to sit outside most of the time the elements in this part
of the world will destroy it.
The old girl deserves better than that. So does Pecos.
Pyote residents thank Jimmy Galindo and others for time, work
Special Belated Thanks to Mr. Jimmy Galindo, Reeves County Commissioner's
Court and Mr. Clark Lindley.
We the residents of the town of Pyote, Texas would like to express our
sincere thanks to Mr. Jimmy Galindo and others who have sacrificially given
of their time, (which most of us don't have), talents through wisdom and
knowledge about the issues, and finance used to travel back and forth to
Austin, Texas and other places lobbying on our behalf against what we believe
to be deadly consequences in the future.
Your willingness to take a bold stand, speaking on our behalf and many
others in the surrounding towns has not been overlooked. We are sorry that
it has taken this long to show our debt of gratitude to you for all the
work that you have done. We also want to make the public aware of your
efforts also. We realize that your boldness to stand and speak the truth
regardless of misunderstanding and other consequences has not been easy.
As residents of Pyote, we might be small in number, but we believe as
you and so many others believe that nuclear waste dumps or storage facilities
as they are being called have no place in West Texas and especially in
Ward and Reeves counties. What affects one will eventually affect us all.
Once our water systems have been contaminated you can't go back and reverse
it. That is why we are so grateful to you and others for speaking and acting
on our behalf now while you have the opportunity.
Many of us are too sick to do what you have volunteered to do, many
are working in and out to town and our time won't allow us to do very much.
Some of us just haven't been properly informed concerning the dangers that
we will be facing. But we all can agree on one thing and that is we all
want a safe and healthy environment in which our families can live now
and in the future.
According to God Holy word in Matthew 22:36-40 the Pharisee (a lawyer)
asks Jesus a question tempting Him and saying.
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus answered and said unto him. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
You and many others who have worked untiringly to bring about justice
for all of us in this matter have certainly proven by your actions to be
We can't say thank you enough for all that you have done and is still
doing until we bring this awful disturbing issue to a dead end.
Don't give up, don't give in, and don't give over to evil. Remember
righteousness will always prevail, and God will always have the last word.
So, again on behalf of the residents of Pyote who agree with what you
have done and is still doing to protect us from environmental disaster,
we say thanks again.
We know that the problem is not over yet because we can see it gradually
trying to take another form to try and do what was attempted before. Thank
God for wisdom because He sees what we don't see but warns us nevertheless.
We pray that God will give you and others VICTORY for the great work
that you are doing to protect God's people from unnecessary sickness and
JOE AND LYDIA OZUNA
Need for bond issue in Balmorhea doubted
Let's see if I've got the facts straight.
Currently, Balmorhea, like the rest of this part of the country, is
suffering through a five-year drought that shows no signs of improving,
half the ranches and a good number of the farms have gone under because
of this drought, and the second largest employer in town behind the school
district, Roadmaster, has closed causing a leap in unemployment.
Hey, I've got an idea.
Why don't we float a 1.6 million dollar bond issue for a new gym to
replace the perfectly adequate gym, which, incidentally, just got a brand
new floor? Why don't we finish the job of breaking the backs of the already
overburdened tax payer by raising their school taxes?
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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