2004 — Going, going, gone

2004 has been a great year for Murdoc Online. Readership has grown from around 50 visits per day at the end of December 2003 to around 1,000 visits per day now. Although this is personally gratifying, the biggest benefit is the knowledgeable input that many MO readers bring to the discussion and the tips and information forwarded by those that follow the site.

For your continued support, I thank you.

Sadly, two of the blogs that inspired me to begin this site and to continue writing through the down times have closed up shop this year. To Steven Den Beste and Darren Kaplan, I wish you the best and offer my sincere thanks.

The circle of sites that I consider “friends” of MO is extensive, and in many cases the admiration (or even awareness) may only be one-way. But it includes (in alphabetical order):

A.E. Brain
Airborne Combat Engineer
All Agitprop
Backroad Blog
Being American in TO
Citizen Smash
Defense Review
Defense Tech
Election Projection
Expat Yank
Frank Warner
Hell in a Handbasket
L’Ombre de l’Olivier
Master of None
One Hand Clapping
Politburo Diktat
Random Nuclear Strikes
Spoons Experience
Strategy Page
Stryker Brigade News
Winds of Change
You Big Mouth, You

There are many others of course, and you can find links to them on my sidebars. If I link to a site, I visit it at least on a semi-regular basis, and I encourage you to follow the links from time to time yourself.

Looking back at my Murdocstications for 2004, I wasn’t too far off-base in most cases. Fortunately, the story that I long thought would be THE story of the year never really materialized, as claims of electronic voting fraud have been mostly confined to the fringe groups.

One thing I’d like to point out is that the effectiveness of the Iraqi insurgency has outstripped my expectations, though not by a large margin. I remain hopeful (though not terribly optimistic) that January might be that last stand of organized resistance. More on this in my 2005 Murdocstications tomorrow.

Here are my favorite posts from the past year:

XM8 Assault Rifle
This is easily the biggest draw to MO. Little did I know that a post on the proposed new assault rifle would help propel MO to a twenty-fold increase in traffic. Many other XM8 posts before and after, but this is the one that still brings them in.

Flags of the unilateral power
Although no longer totally accurate, this animated graphic explains my frustration with the constant talk about the US acting “alone” in Iraq.

MO on Kerry

Despite the fact that this was written in February, it is more or less exactly why I never considered voting for anyone other than George Bush in November. John Kerry never convinced me that he was interested in fighting the war we find ourselves in.

Shoultz still hates the Stryker

Despite pretty solid success in the combat zone, critics of the new Stryker LAV simply parrot on the same old criticisms. I don’t really understand it. Doesn’t the actual performance of the vehicle on the field of battle count for something?

The 8/6/01 PDB
The thing that really drives me nuts is that Bush and Condi Rice are blamed for not doing more with the information contained in this Presidential Daily Brief, but when warnings or arrests or watch lists are based on similarly sketchy information, they’re criticized for expanding the Conservative Police State.

Peace and Victory
War is sometimes required to achieve acceptable peace. Peace at any cost rarely is peaceful, at least as I understand the meaning of the word.

767 Tanker is “coughing blood”
This is one of many posts on MO about the 767 tanker program. We will certainly need new tankers at some point. The 767 might be a good fit. But if we’re going to get them, we had better do so in a financially responsible manner.

Addressing the root cause
“We won’t know if our efforts in Iraq will bear fruit for years. We won’t see significant results for generations. That doesn’t make it less worthwhile.” This post bascially outlines my reasons for supporting the invasion of Iraq.

9/11 Report: “Planes. As in plural.”
I think everyone should be aware of what happened and how it happened on the morning of 9/11/01. If you’re not going to read the first chapter of the 9/11 Commission Report, at least read my write-up on it.

Can this possibly be true?, Why these charges of forgery aren’t run-of-the-mill conspiracy theory, and I’d RATHER be watching FoxNews
The forged Bush TANG documents story was THE story of the blogosphere in 2004. We never did see any other documents from that base from that time to compare them to. Case closed.

The Peanut Farmer’s Wisdom, and UPDATE: The Peanut Farmer’s Wisdom
My thoughts on Jimmy Carter’s comments about the American Revolution and non-violent changes in power.

Sometimes you feel like a “Nuts!”, sometimes you don’t and Have we met Tet yet?
I think a large part of the problem with media coverage of military matters is that the typical reporter and editor doesn’t really understand the military or military history. One man’s Tet is another man’s Ardennes.

Just like the Minutemen, right?

Our enemies are not the romantic, idealistic heroes some try to make them out to be. At all.

These are not the biggest traffic-generators. These are the posts that are my favorites. (Also see my 2003 favorites, if interested.)

Have a Happy New Year.


  1. Great idea for a NY Eve post, Murdoc. As usual, we were thinking alike, as I plan to do something similar today, and MO will definitely be included, as the admiration is certainly mutual (and I mean that in a VERY STRAIGHT way, of course). BTW, I won DVDs of the first season of A-Team on ebay and have already watched all but one of them in background as I waste time on the computer. Murdock is quite a character! I’ve added Hannibal to a mixture of TV/movie characters which I try to emulate. That character adds a ‘don’t sweat it’ and ‘enjoy your challenges’ element the other characters don’t have. One of my NY resolutions is to find a way to enjoy every situation I’m in, however bad, and, when under pressure from someone else, find a way to make them sweat it more than myself, and enjoy watching them try to squirm out of something which has backfired on them. Here’s wishing one of my Band of Brothers, and all his loved ones, a very Happy New Year! God bless all the good people of the world, including those who leave this world early due to illness, wars (collateral damage or mis-identification), or natural disasters (something we can’t understand now). A.C.E out