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Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

Civilian casualties are better 

than American casualties

Last week I wrote that I was not sure I had anything profound to say about the war in Iraq.

Well, by all that is holy, it may not be profound, but I sure have something to say.

For a week now I have listened to a large portion of the Washington press corps hound presidential and military spokesmen about civilian casualties in Iraq.

Their tone of voice, posture and questions insinuate that we are not doing enough to prevent civilian casualties.

Avoiding civilian casualties is the politically correct thing to do. It is also the right thing to do, when feasible.

The problem is that the morons with the microphones and the pens do not have a clue about operating in a combat environment.

The other problem is that deep down they care very little about our boys in uniform - the actions prove it no matter the lip service they pay to supporting the troops.

The truth of the matter is we are already allowing American boys to die in the name of protecting civilians. Four died last week when they did not open fire on a civilian truck when it did not stop where it was supposed to at a checkpoint.

Those guys died so that idiots can feel good about themselves as they sit at home on their couch and whine about the war with their liberal friends.

That is a shame.

Those soldiers should have never hesitated. The truck should have been a smoking ruin ten feet past the line.

I will bet everything I own that they hesitated because they were saddled with ridiculous rules of engagement that promise swift punishment for shooting the wrong Iraqi.

That is criminal and every officer in their chain of command should be drummed out of the Army for dereliction of duty.

I would add gutless to the charges as well, except it is not a codified crime under the Universal Code of Military Justice.

Still, the press corps continues to ask whinny questions like, "What are you doing to protect the civilians in Baghdad?"

The insinuation is that we should simply go in and let our infantrymen root out the bad guys with rifles, bayonets, and hand grenades so that we do not risk dropping a bomb on the nice civilians.

I agree. Just so long as the press corps gets to go first. You can bet your eyeteeth and any other parts of your body you are fond of that if that bunch of never-seen-the-inside-of-a-barracks couch potatoes were faced with that mission they would be calling for every piece of ordinance in the inventory before they peeped their heads out of their foxholes.

It comes down to this - in war, our boys are more important than theirs. No soldier, sailor, airman or Marine should die so that an Iraqi can live.

And one last thing.

I would like to let it be known that I am volunteering to personally execute Hasan Akbar, the sorry piece of trash that attacked his own comrades in the 101st Airborne Division at the beginning of the war.

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

County Judge should not be facing truancy charges

Last Wednesday County Judge Jimmy Galindo was served with a complaint charging him and his wife Michelle with violating the State's truancy laws since they have not sent their son to school since December.

The Galindo's situation is not your average case of truancy.

Their son, John, is autistic. According to Galindo, they found out last December that one of John's teachers had been putting ice down his pants and spraying him in the face with a water bottle. They think this was going on for several months before it was discovered.

The teachers involved no longer work for the school district, and a new special education teacher was hired by the district.

But, the Galindo's say they are not satisfied with the district's response.

They say the school has not released all the information regarding what happened to their son and until they know what actually happened, they are not going to send John back to school.

And now, they are facing truancy charges.

That is ridiculous.

No parent should send their child into an environment that they feel is unsafe. What kind of parent would?

If the school district is not sharing everything it knows about this incident with the Galindo's it ought to. They deserve to know everything the school district knows.

While no level of supervision might have prevented what happened any parent would want to see how the situation developed, who was involved, and what the response was - step-by-step.

On the other hand, the Galindo's have stated that, among other things, they want cameras in the classroom and an observation room where parents can observe the class. Both might help prevent a similar incident from occurring, or at least it would not happen more than once before the misconduct was discovered.

In a perfect world they might get them.

In a school district in a poor city in West Texas neither may be feasible.

As to the new teacher's experience - parents do not get to hire the teachers. That is what school boards are for. If this board is not doing a good job vote them out of office.

The bottom line is this - no set of realistic safeguards can guarantee any child's safety from a teacher like this one. John is the only member of his class and he cannot speak for himself.

There will be times when he will be alone with a teacher. That probably cannot be avoided in Pecos, Texas and eventually all parents have to trust that the teachers they leave their children with are not going to harm them.

This kind of misguided or evil person is not the norm or even a statistical percentage when compared to all the good teachers out there.

This teacher was an aberration.

No matter, until the Galindo's are completely satisfied that their son is safe when he is in the school district's care, they should not send him to school and they certainly should not be subject to truancy charges.

Knowing everything the school knows would be a good start.

Your View

Was justice served?

Help STOP the corruption here in Pecos please print this letter as soon as possible. Thank you and May God Bless you and your family.

Dear Editor:
This goes back to October of 2002 a 21 year old Hispanic was sentenced to ten years in prison. When he violated his probation, he was seen by an officer at a football game, (a family function) in Kermit.

Also when this individual was aware that he had a warrant out for his arrest, he gave himself in voluntarily to the Sheriffs Dept. Also the arrest warrant was motion to adjudicate not motion to revoke.

On the other side of this story, we have a 51 year old white male that not too long ago was arrested on the street of Raul Florez Blvd. For a warrant motion to revoke. He violated his probation for being in possession of more drugs. His probation was Not Revoked instead he was sentenced to wear an electronic device. Now both individuals violated their probation but both individuals were not treated in the same manner.

Why? Well that is a question we should ask the District Attorney Randall Reynolds, Honorable Judge Bob Parks, and last but not least, Probation Officer Sam Lujan.


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