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Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Attack Iraq?

I am all for it _ attacking Iraq that is.

Just as soon as Congress declares war.

To the best that I can determine Bush is claiming that he can attack Iraq under the War Powers Act of 1973 that gives the president the right to respond to military threats with force for up to 60 days without congressional approval.

If he attacks Iraq under this guise he will be acting like a liberal _ ignoring the Constitution simply because it does not suit his immediate wants and needs.

Bush cannot legally invade Iraq without Congressional approval.

My problem is that I agree with the idea of attacking Iraq.

I was born a runt. On the playground in first grade I became a strong proponent of the, "He was going to hit me so I hit him back first," rule of explaining bloody noses and bruised shins to principals and teachers.

I still live by that philosophy.

If Iraq is a danger to the United States then take them out. Turn the whole country into a radioactive sheet of glass for all I care and send a bunch of drillers from West Texas to slant-hole drill the oil from a safe distance. (I understand there are still a few capable drillers out there).


But, the President cannot ignore the Constitution.

He took an oath to uphold it, and no result justifies an unconstitutional act by that office.

Attacking a sovereign nation is clearly an act of war as anticipated by the Constitution.

The First Article of the Constitution clearly sets the power for making war with Congress, not the president.

In 1973, in response to two non-wars in two decades Congress passed the War Powers Act limiting the president to 60 days of war without Congressional approval.

Obviously, the President needs to be able to respond immediately with military force when American interests are threatened.

The Constitution and the War Powers Act allow for it.

But hitting them back first _ on the scale of invading a sovereign nation _ goes beyond a response to a threat under our Constitution.

That is war, anyway you cut it.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution and if Congress had any guts, which it does not, it would solve this problem tomorrow.

The solution is to declare war. Put Iraq on notice along with the rest of the world.

Just because we declare war tomorrow does not mean the First Marine Division has to wade ashore on Thursday.

Let them stew for a while. Let them stew for a year or more.

Then, when we feel like it, hit them like a ton of bricks.

World opinion?

Who cares what a bunch of semi-communist European morons like England and France think?

We certainly should not.

And please, once we start this, do it right. If we are at war, then go to war. Call me back up if you need to. Reinstate the draft. Mobilize the nation.

Stomp a mud hole in every nation that so much as looks cross-eyed at us, stomp it dry, and be done with it.

But do not rip up our on Constitution in a misbegotten attempt to do the right thing.

That will do more harm than good.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:

Our View

More money for public schools? No thank you.

So, the Texas public school system is on the verge of financial collapse? According to the "Report Card on Texas Education" issued by the Texas Association of School Boards and the Texas Association of School Administrators, unless the legislature finds more money for schools nearly one half of Texas' 1,040 school districts will have to cut programs including pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

By 2004 the report states that most school districts will be unable to offer "critical courses such as second languages in elementary grades, fine arts, vocational, sports and technology."

The cause of this fiscal illness, according to the report, is increasing costs that are not matched by local and state funding.

The results of this fiscal illness are significant. According to the report the entire Texas education system will cease to exist, as we know it.

The prescription for good health for the school districts?

More money. More taxes.

Rather than simply looking for more cash maybe Texas needs to look for the cause of the problem. Why does public education seem to do less with more money every year?

Teachers are still underpaid. Kids still graduate high school without the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic.

More cash has yet to fix the problem.

Maybe there are too many "essential" programs.

The three R's and history are essential. The rest, second language programs in grade school, sports, vocational programs, etc…. _ the rest are nice to have, but not essential.

Maybe, the sprawling bureaucracy installed by state and federal regulations feeds on tax dollars without improving real education in the least.

Maybe control and oversight of Texas school districts needs to be returned to the people whose children attend the schools _ people who live in, and pay taxes to support their school districts.

That system worked very well once upon a time.

Your View

America the beautiful

Dear Editor:
Since Sept. 11, 2001, there is much talk about "together  we stand," especially it seems amongst the wicked and filthy  in the land.

But they shall proceed no further: remember the words in "America the Beautiful" where it says: "..and crown they good with brotherhood." The wicked and filthy, who wave the American flag tirelessly, and who operate amongst us diguised as patriots, will never wear the crown of American brother hood, which is reserved for the good, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." __ Eph. 6:12.


Visitors appreciate the help and care received

Dear Editor:
On Sunday, August 4, my husband and I stopped in Pecos on our  way home from Taos, New Mexico. When we registered at the Quality Inn,  he was not feeling too well but we assumed it was the result of the  day-long drive.

During the wait, my husband realized he had a serious problem. A call to 911 brought Police Officer Felipe Villalobos to the door within minutes. He was accompanied by paramedics Dennis Thorp and Judy Foster. gently but faster than I would have believed possible, my husband was secured on the stretcher and out of the door.

The care at the hospital was exemplary and even more it was administered in a caring manner. I wish I could name all the people at the hospital and the motel who helped us through a very diffficult time.

This was our first visit to Pecos. In the past, I have thought of Pecos as the home of Judge Roy Bean and the source of the best melons we have ever eaten. Today, I know and tell everyone that Pecos is the home of people who care even for the stranger in their midst.

With great appreciation,

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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