Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
By Smokey Briggs
We are at war
Cowards. Crime. Tragedy. Claim responsibility.
Each word and phrase has been repeated a thousand times on television
news in reference to yesterday's attack on New York City and the Pentagon.
Each phrase and word illustrates our perception of terrorism _ a perception
that tends to equate terrorism with domestic crime and political activism.
That is the wrong perception and exactly why terrorist have become so
bold in their attacks.
Terrorism is warfare. There are three types of warfare _ conventional,
guerilla, and terrorism. The more mismatched the countries involved, the
more likely the war will degenerate into guerilla or terrorist warfare.
The sooner Americans accept that all acts of terrorism are acts of war,
the sooner we can deal with this.
For the last 30 years we have generally treated terrorism as a domestic
crime of sorts, complete with calls for due process and other protections
reserved for criminal justice.
Yesterday was not about crime. It was about war. The two are not the same.
In yesterday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, some ninny wrote that we must
"realize that the concept of national security as we have known it throughout
our history has changed forever."
Hogwash. Nothing has changed except, hopefully, our concept of what terrorism
is and how it should be dealt with.
There is no set of defenses that can be erected by any nation, free or
totalitarian, that can prevent acts of terror. Terror organizations can call
on resources that will defeat any practical security measure for a static
civilian target. Closed borders, armed guards on airplanes, banning of knives
and guns, …. No such measure can stop the terrorist no matter how
much we wish it could.
The only defense in this game is offense. We must be willing to be more
terrible than the terrorist if we are to prevail. Terrorist acts should be
treated as acts of war and a military response is the only response. That
response should be swift and deadly and uncluttered with the trappings of
There should be no euphemistic talk of "bringing to justice."
In war you do not bring your enemy to justice. You kill him and destroy
everyone and everything that allows him to exist and to threaten your homes
and your families. You exterminate.
That is what needs to be done. Let us not fail.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the
Pecos Enterprise. He can be e-mailed at:
Yesterday's gouge at the gas pumps was despicable
Yesterday, in the wake of the World Trade Center bombing, many local gas
stations raised prices by forty cents on all grades of gasoline. Apparently
this was the trend nationwide.
It was a despicable trend.
Whether it meets the legal criteria for price gouging as prohibited by
the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act is yet to be seen.
Certainly it meets the common sense criteria for gouging. What it amounts
to is profit taking on the blood of our countrymen.
In the midst what may well be the bloodiest day in American history _
a day calculated to cause panic in our nation _ Americans had one more reason
to panic as fears about fuel shortages raged.
The initial price hikes were the beginning of that panic. The first lines
started after the price began to jump and people tried to fill up their cars
before it went higher. Lines formed.
Long lines fueled more rumors and more panic. At ten o'clock last night
people were still waiting in line to buy gas at price gouging prices here
This panic started with the first price hike. That hike should not have
taken place. Not yesterday.
Reunion helped friends catch up with old times
It would be easy to go on for many pages about the good times so many
good friends had in Dallas last weekend. The reunion was a blast. Of
course we all had lots of memories to re-live and years of catching
up to do but it was more than just reminiscing - we all discovered
new things about our friends. It was almost like meeting new friends
with whom we already have much in common and we started new adventures
hearing about the things they do and the places they live and the way
life has unfolded for them since we first met.
It will be great to see them again in two years. It was so much fun that
there will surely be many more attending the next one as word gets out.
Thanks for the great time Mike and Glynda and all of you who came.
BOB HUCKABEE '62
Thanks to those who helped gather reunion crowd
I would like to add my thanks and congratulations to Glynda and Mike
for a job well done.
Everyone I talked to seemed to have enjoyed the weekend very much and
are looking forward to the next one in two years. The number of people there,
around 250, would have been almost impossible to assemble without the use
of the internet in general, and the Pecos Gab site in particular. So we also
have to thank Joy (Brown) and Peggy, as well as Jim Ivy for his sponsorship
of the site. Thanks to all who made this possible.
JAMES P. (JIMMY) SMITH
Reunion in Dallas was a great success
I arrived in Dallas on Thursday and saw a very familiar face in the
lobby of the hotel and as we stood there talking, others began to walk
by with that look on their faces, I might know that person. Just the
mention of Pecos and it wasn`t long before there were over twenty of
us standing there with an energy that I haven`t seen since growing
up in Pecos. The lobby was the unofficial meeting place every morning
and moved on into the restaurant or bar as they opened. There was a
life about the hotel that was growing and it kept growing until Sunday
evening when it slowly started to fade with the absence of the people
that kept it alive. By Monday morning, it had faded to a mere breath
of the life that it was two days before and by evening it had an air
of loneliness that only a hotel lobby can have. The familiar faces
were gone but there was still family in the area to visit and enjoy
company with. Oh, but I missed those familiar faces that I hadn`t seen
for 40 years and wondered so many, many times about where they were
and how they were doing. It was great seeing them together, acting
as though it was Pecos all over again, as though they had just finished
a hard won football game or other sporting event and it was time to
gather and celebrate.
By Tuesday morning when I left, the hotel had no life but the desk clerk
said that it was exciting, seeing all of the activity there through the weekend
and that we must have all lived in a great place to be able to enjoy each
other so much. She was right! Thank you Glynda and Michael for putting this
all together so that we might put our lives on hold and enter into the time
of friendship and memories that could only have been possible in a great
place like Pecos. It was a special place as well as a special time to have
given the world so many good, productive people from such a small community.
I think that we were very fortunate to have grown up during those times and
Those that were unable to attend, please, try to make it to the next one
since you were missed, even though you might not think so. Everyone from
each of the different classes were a part of everyone else`s lives and your
presence will make the gathering of friends more complete. We all hope to
see you next time.
BILL O'NEIL `59
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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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