Friday Linkzookery – 14 Dec 2007

Interview with Capt. Eric Coulson: A soldier notes one Iraq turning point before the ‘surge’
There’s a lot more going on than a few extra troops.

U.S. retail sales shot higher in November
Last month’s gain of 1.2 percent was the largest in six months

New M-30 Scopes from Konus
Mudoc’s new GunPundit site notes three new long range scopes built for hunting, military use, law enforcement and bench rest/target shooting. With pictures.

Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program Dispersed, Not Halted
So says Iranian dissident Alireza Jafarzadeh.

2007 Business Review — Guns
Wizbang’s Jayson Javitz says it will come down to Kennedy. Others aren’t so sure.

Siraj Haqqani’s deputy killed in Afghanistan
Despite growing troubles, there have been quite a few positive developments in Afghanistan lately, too.

No Shortage of Recruits
Points about days in combat are interesting.

Red Aurbauch on Bill Russell
That’s what Russell could do when he put his mind to it.

PUMP IT! Iraqi Oil Production Above Pre-War Levels
Good to see. Wish it could have happened faster.

Iraqi Economy Continues to Surge
A little security and stability goes a long ways.

Mapping Iraq’s Concerned Local Citizens programs
Neighborhood watch for a dangerous ‘hood.

Rocket descends from heaven to baseball hell
Baseball is a shambles.

NATO mum after Gates blasts Afghan role
Despite good performances by some members, the alliance has largely failed to deliver.

Expert: No U.S. troops have taken ill from depleted uranium
Same story as usual. But don’t expect many to listen.


  1. MO, As for baseball- if you would, go over to the Ministry and explain why you care about the story, or why I should. Because judging by the media exposure this is getting, it’s as if the moon landing, the Kennedy assassination, and VE Day are all happening at the same time.

  2. Ironically, the very fact that anyone gives a damn is the reason it happens. On a more significant subject, I recently ran across an excellent article by Dennis Wingo (funny name, but good guy) on the death of space exploration in the US. This part really hit home:

    Thirty five years ago the United States turned away from a robust space exploration program in order to ‘focus on our problems here on the Earth’. How is that going? The fact is that this turning away, a turning inward, has not solved the problems that we have spent trillions of dollars of national wealth addressing. In any experiment, in any business, in any nation, if after the spending of trillions of dollars one would expect that if the problem has not been solved, then we need to look at alternate approaches. Space is the startling alternative, one that has not truly been tried since the early 1970’s and the end of the Apollo program. However, that being said, we cannot continue on a path in the space agency or in our national commitment to space with halfway efforts. The time has come to be bold again, to take the president and congress at their word and construct a new space program that is a national program that goes well beyond simply NASA’s efforts, though NASA will continue to be the linchpin.

    I guess the answer to the ‘how is that going’ question would be the 24/7 attention being paid to drugs in baseball while the real story about the death of our exploration program is left for a handful of geeks like me to give a damn about. In the long run, what’s really significant?

  3. Recruits – Only the Army Reserve fell short on recruiting – and they are almost exclusively non-combat jobs.

  4. About NATO, remember that the current armies of most members have little experience, I mean…what experience the current french and german armies has? Some secondary role in the Gulf War? I believe that the Vietnam War shaped the US Army quite well. Even if the US werent able to win the war, it gave a lot of experience and real output.

  5. About NATO, remember that the current armies of most members have little experience, I mean…what experience the current french and german armies has? Some secondary role in the Gulf War?’ Its not experience that is the issue, its the will to act that is the issue. The Canadians, Australians are not the most warlike, but they have the will to act. To be honest I do not expect much from Europe. The French mostly surrender to the Germans and Italians surrender to everyone else. The Germans feel guilty about stomping everyone, and besides whenever the Germans start getting frisky, everyone in the area starts getting nervous. That said, if they lack the will to act, the least they can do is stop bitching about holding our coats while we go forth and do what is necessary.

  6. I agree with you, James, but I think it also contributes the fact that the australian, british and canadian armies have a strong mutual relationship with the US army. Of course, all that thanks to cultural proximity.