Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Smokey Briggs
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
I watched my daughters put on a demonstration of revolutionary/guerrilla
warfare the other night that was impressive. The events of the past year
have turned my personal reading toward the topic guerrilla warfare. Terrorism,
by its nature, is a form of guerrilla warfare. The reasoning and logic are
People resort to guerrilla warfare when confronted with a foe too powerful
to meet on the field of conventional combat.
My latest selection has been an excellent book by Bernard Fall concerning
the French experience in Indochina _ the war we took up after the French
defeat at Dien Bien Phu _ the war known as Viet Nam. The book is titled,
"Street Without Joy."
Mr. Fall was a French partisan during World War II and fought the Germans
in his occupied homeland. As a graduate student after WWII he traveled to
French Indochina and studied the French efforts against the Communists. He
witnessed and/or studied many of the battles, tactics and strategies that
lead to the French defeat, the sectioning of Viet Nam into two countries
and presents an excellent report and analysis of the conflict.
America would later fight to prevent the northern section from conquering
General Vo Nguyen Giap was the Vietnamese general who engineered the defeat
of the French and ourselves in Viet Nam. Except for a few occasions he never
strayed from the guiding principals of successful guerrilla warfare.
He understood that he was confronted by forces far superior to his own
in firepower, equipment, vehicles, air power and communications.
To meet such forces in a set piece battle is suicide.
He also understood that armed conflict was only part of the revolutionary
war equation along with the political and the psychological.
His forces rarely gave battle unless the odds were heavily in their favor
and there were political and psychological fruits to be picked as well as
tactical. He left it to the French, and later ourselves, to expend huge numbers
of men and large amounts of material defending terrain.
He defined his own victory from day to day. So long as the Western powers
were expending men and material and failing to gain the support of their
publics at home, he was winning, no matter how much of Indochina he could
actually control at any given moment.
One evening not too far back I was reading and, as often happens, I was
distracted by the antics of my two beautiful daughters: five-year-old Ruby
and almost two-year-old Carson Mae.
As I watched I was overcome by the realization that my darling Ruby understands
perfectly the tenets of successful guerrilla/revolutionary warfare. Carson
was the final piece of the puzzle. As she learned to walk General Ruby-Giap
obtained the final necessary element any revolutionary/guerrilla war leader
must have _ hard corps assault troops.
In Carson, Ruby got the equivalent of a heavy regiment of crack troops.
Carson possesses all of the characteristics of the perfect revolutionary
soldier. She is tough, physically capable, easy to make happy, and utterly
devoted to her general. She is Ruby's Storm Battalion.
Whether the objective was the Twinkie on the counter, an extra book about
dinosaurs at bedtime, or perhaps the television tuned to a cartoon, General
Ruby-Giap and Storm Battalion One demonstrated an unconscious understanding
of the situation that would make any student of guerrilla warfare proud.
Political means were always tried first and General Ruby-Giap understands
politics. Deep in her heart she knows that the countries of Mom and Dad are
not the same place and these powerful allies can be brought into conflict
with each other to the benefit of the Cause. While the politics went on the
Storm Battalion generally cruised the jungle halls and bedrooms, making only
enough noise to distantly distract the Super Power coalition of Mom and Dad
as they sat at the bargaining table with their wily foe.
Rarely were the Super Powers allowed to bargain together as a united force.
First concessions would be eased out of the Country of Dad, sitting peacefully
in Fort Lazy-Boy and distracted by his own prosperity of hot coffee and a
When the Country of Mom took issue with the guerrilla troops suddenly
overrunning Mom's cookie jar, General Ruby-Giap quickly redirected Mom's
attack on hapless and until-then-happy Dad. While the Super Powers clashed
the Storm Battalion pushed her highchair against the ramparts of Castle Kitchen
and liberated the revolutionary Twinkies while General Ruby-Giap was no where
to be seen.
Of course, the Storm Battalion, in the beautiful almost-innocence of not-yet-two,
was the first caught with a half-eaten Twinkie. Like most good grunts she
had simply occupied the field of battle and begun enjoying the spoils of
the battle. (After delivering Twinkie number two to her fearless leader).
When the armored division of Mom, the most feared fighting force in the
land, ran across the happy guerrilla battalion with its Twinkie, Mom's troops
were quickly disarmed with the smile of innocence.
Before General Ruby-Giap could be located in her lair all but a few crumbs
"But Dad said it was okay," General Ruby-Giap shrugged, reverting back
Beaten and not at all confident in the capabilities of her allies in Dadville,
Mom retreated to her kitchen.
The war continued through the evening. I became more amused and less helpful
to my ally as I actively observed my offspring's' abilities. My amusement
and detached observation did little to improve an already unsteady political
relationship with Momville.
Ruby-Giap's generalship was magnificent. Faced with superior forces defending
her objective, she simply diverted Storm Battalion One to a new objective,
leaving Mom's Armored Division and Dad's powerful but slow Infantry defending
a prize that was no longer contested.
Occasionally, when the odds looked good, Storm Battalion One would be
sent in to attack _ usually an attempt to liberate some piece of forbidden
loot. Sometimes she paid the ultimate price but a few moments later she was
combat ready again.
At the end of the day the war was all but lost. The guerrillas stood triumphant
on the field of battle. The troops of Momville and Dadville were exhausted
and no longer possessed the will or dedication to continue the fight.
The revolutionary Twinkies were pillaged. The revolutionary television
was tuned to Scooby Doo with Ruby-Giap and Storm Battalion One quietly enjoying
the sticky spoils of war on the beanbag.
I'm not sure diplomatic relations will ever be restored between Mom and
I do not know whether to be proud or sad. I think I am outnumbered.
Halloween is when?
Well, Halloween night has been moved again. This year it will be on Saturday
night, October 26th _ five days before real Halloween.
Just what is wrong with having Halloween on Halloween? We celebrate other
holidays when the rest of the world does? Thanksgiving in Pecos is the same
as Thanksgiving in Seattle.
New Years Day is usually on New Years Day.
Halloween ought to be on Halloween. It is blessing when it is on a school
night. It gives kids and parents a little incentive to have some fun and
then go home at a decent hour.
But, as long as we are going to move holidays around for someone's convenience,
lets look at a few others.
I suggest we move them all to weekends. That way there are no work conflicts.
New Years Eve definitely needs to be on a Saturday night. Then we can all
be hung over at home instead of at work. The Fourth of July is usually inconvenient
as well. So what if we celebrate on the 1st or the 9th
Halloween is on October 31st.
Well, it ought to be.
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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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