Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, March 23, 1999
By Smokey Briggs
American blood can't
fix Kosovo problem
Our boys in uniform better strap on their flak jackets.
That daring duo of foreign policy, Madeleine "The Mad Bomber" Albright
and Bill "The Draft Dodger" Clinton, seem to be ready to toss them into
harm's way again.
This time the target for our daring duo's selective peace keeping appears
to be the Serbian province of Kosovo.
Kosovo is a small province in what used to be Yugoslavia. It lies due
east of Italy across the Adriatic Sea, just north of Albania, and in the
southern part of Serbia.
It is generally agreed that the Serbs moved into the area first around
the beginning of the 7th Century. The Serbs are Christians.
The Albanians migrated into the region during the 14th and 15th centuries
after the Serbs had been conquered by the Turks. The Albanians are Muslims.
In Kosovo, the Albanians are a huge majority. In all of Serbia, they
are a minority.
For more than 500 years these two ethnic/religious/political groups
have been fighting over this chunk of land.
The only person who ever managed to unite these two groups was Hitler.
He did this by invading Yugoslavia and running panzers through the villages.
Then, for about five years, both groups united under Tito to fight the
Tito, and the regime he organized after World War II, managed to keep
these two groups from each others' throats for about 50 years with the
iron fist of totalitarian communism.
After Yugoslavia came apart in the early 90's the old provinces regained
their sovereignty. And the old feuds were revived.
Kosovo is legally a province of Serbia. Of course, the Albanian majority
in Kosovo doesn't want to live under a Serbian dominated government.
On the other hand, Serbia is about as interested in granting Kosovo
independence as the United States was when the Confederacy decided to withdraw
from the Union.
Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a just answer to the problem.
Which makes the contemplated action of committing U.S. troops to the
area even more questionable.
Nothing about this makes sense.
The United States has no security interest threatened by the current
situation. We have no financial interest in this region.
Worse, we have no solution. Like a teacher on the playground, our "plan"
to solve the problem is to tell everybody to be nice or we will paddle
the aggressors. Anybody that ever played on a playground knows that the
minute the teacher leaves, all bets are off and blood is going to flow.
All the teacher managed to do was postpone the inevitable.
Of course, in Kosovo, the teacher's actions may get Americans killed
in the process. But, in the end, all we can possibly do is postpone the
Much like we have been doing in Bosnia for how many years past the date
the Dodger promised us the troops would come home?
There are two possible solutions to the Kosovo situation.
One, we can leave them alone. The Serbs and Albanians will continue
to fight, as they have done for 500 years.
Two, we can interfere. The only way interfering can produce peace between
the Serbs and Albanians is by unifying them against a common enemy as Hitler
No matter what, if we do interfere, we very possibly will be fighting
the Serbs. If this comes to pass, the Serbs will resort to guerrilla warfare
— the only option when one faces an overwhelmingly superior foe.
Before the Dodger and the Bomber commit our troops to combat against
these people they would do well to review the German experience in this
area during World War II.
Germany committed some of her best combat divisions to the Yugoslavian
arena — battle-hardened panzer units, paratroopers and infantry, backed
up with the best air support the German Luftwaffe could provide.
Against these forces Tito mustered a rag-tag army of guerrillas armed
And Germany lost. In the process they suffered terrible casualties.
The Germans lost because conventional units directed by conventional
thinking cannot win a war against guerrillas.
This is the situation that our troops are likely to find themselves
in. One might hope that America learned this lesson during Viet Nam.
But the Dodger never went to Viet Nam, and the Bomber's policy decisions
suggest that she has never contemplated the beginnings of either of the
World Wars, much less the tactics of guerrilla warfare.
The combination points to another peace keeping disaster paid for in
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of hte
Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesday. He can be e-mailed at:
Lack of candidates is bad omen
The day has passed for prospective candidates to sign up for the coming
Only this year, there won't be any elections in Pecos.
There won't be any elections because there aren't any contested races.
Similar scenarios are playing out across the Trans-Pecos region.
This year's election day, when the polls aren't operating, should mark
a sad day for a town nestled in the heart of the greatest democracy ever
Of course, rather than a sign of general apathy, one could take the
lack of candidates as a sign that everyone is happy with the way the schools,
hospitals and local governments are run.
That explanation seems pretty doubtful though.
In a town the size of Pecos, there ought to be at least two different
views on how these organizations are run. Surely somebody disagrees with
the status quo.
Most likely, this is a sign that nobody cares enough to run.
That is a bad omen for a democracy.
The right to vote doesn't mean much when there are no candidates to
Low-level flights will pose problems
This is another reminder to folks to plan on attending the public hearing
for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Realistic Bomber
Training Initiative. The Pecos meeting will be held on Friday, April 9,
at 5 p.m. to 9 pm. at the Pecos High School Cafeteria.
This proposal is the latest in an attempt by the military to trespass
on the private property air space in West Texas. Under the guise that it
will save the military money, they want to fly these B-1 and B-52 bombers
as low as 200 feet over the human environment in the Trans-Pecos in three
of their alternatives.
If you do not know much about this issue - it is because the military
has purposefully tried to keep everyone in the dark about how this will
actually affect you. Over and over they flagrantly violate the National
Environmental Policy Act and send us charming, affable public relations
personnel and publications to talk only of their "mission" and try to convince
us that very low-level realistic combat training flights are good for you.
We urge everyone to get informed about these issues which will change
West Texas forever. Attend this meeting, voice your opinions and send in
written comments during the comment period to become part of the Final
EIS document. Documented opinions are very important to future litigation.
The NEPA process REQUIRES PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. If you do not comment at
this time - you will be forced to live with the results.
For more information, contact the Trans-Pecos Protection Group at 915-364-2323.
Alpine, Tx. 79831
Fifth grade students information on Texas
We are fifth grade students from St. Isidore School in Columbus, Nebraska.
We are doing a report on the state of Texas and would like help from
your readers. We would like them to send us letters, post cards, pictures
and other material about the state of Texas. Please send them to: Trish
Ott and Shayla Christiansen, St. Isidore School, 3821 20 Street, Columbus,
Thank you for your help!
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Peggy McCracken, Webmaster
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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