Summary: Iraq’s political disarray has deepened, with potential kingmaker Muqtada al-Sadr withholding his support from the two biggest election winners — the blocs of Ayad Allawi and Nouri al-Maliki — and saying he would ask his supporters to make their choice in a referendum. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 31, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Baitullah Mehsud, commander of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for a deadly assault on a Pakistani police academy and said the group was planning a terrorist attack on the White House that would “amaze” the world.
Summary: Weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 30, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Pentagon spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to fight terrorism elsewhere had reached $685.7 billion since 2001, according to the Government Accountability Office. In a letter to Congress dated March 30, 2009, the GAO said the Iraq war accounted for $533.5 billion in Defense Department spending obligations through December 2008, while spending on operations in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and the Philippines totaled $124.1 billion, with the remaining $28.1 billion spent on operations to defend the U.S. mainland.
Summary: Nine alleged members of a Midwest Christian militia group, the Hutaree, have been charged with plotting to kill a police officer and slaughter scores more by bombing the funeral, with the intent of inciting an uprising against the U.S. government. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 29, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Iraqi authorities had arrested the local leader of a Sunni “Awakening Council” group that had broken with al-Qaida, Adil al-Mashhadani, sparking a two-day gunbattle in central Baghdad that killed four people and wounded 21.
Summary: “Welcome Home” event for the Minnesota National Guard 34th Infantry Division Red Bulls and other Central Minnesota military veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), organized by the St. Cloud Times and St. Cloud-area civic organizations and businesses. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 28, 2009, Aubrey Immelman featured a compilation of reports regarding U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s conspiracy theory that the United States would soon be moving to “give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency,” which would mean the U.S. as a country would be “no more.” (Bachmann grabbed the mythical ball and ran with it after China’s central bank governor suggested replacing the weakening dollar as the world’s reserve currency.)
Summary: The U.S. and Russia have sealed the first major nuclear weapons treaty in nearly two decades, agreeing to slash the former Cold War rivals’ warhead arsenals by nearly one-third and talking optimistically of eventually ridding a fearful world of nuclear arms altogether. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 27, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that President Barack Obama, calling the situation in the region “increasingly perilous,” ordered 4,000 more military troops into Afghanistan, vowing to “disrupt, dismantle, and defeat” the terrorist al-Qaida network in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.
Summary: Former U.S.-backed prime minister Ayad Allawi and his secular, anti-Iranian coalition narrowly won Iraq’s parliamentary elections in final returns Friday, edging out the bloc of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and a coalition that includes anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which finished a strong third and could end up playing the role of kingmaker. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 26, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that the military was scrambling to inspect more than 90,000 U.S.-run facilities across Iraq to reduce a deadly threat troops face far off the battlefield: electrocution or shock while showering or using appliances.
Summary: Unrest over sweeping federal health care legislation has turned to vandalism and threats, with bricks hurled through congressional Democrats’ windows, a propane line cut at the home of a congressman’s brother, and menacing phone messages left for lawmakers who supported the bill. Against this background, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s longstanding pattern of incendiary rhetoric (such as calling on citizens to be “armed and dangerous”) is particularly disturbing, considering its potential for propagating violent extremism and inciting acts of domestic terrorism in a time of grave economic uncertainty. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 25, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Baghdad had been much calmer since sectarian violence peaked in late 2006 and the first half of 2007, but that the calm was achieved in part because the city became ethnically divided, with Shiites predominating and Sunnis largely having fled.
Summary: St. Cloud Times political reporter Mark Sommerhauser has done what good reporters are supposed to: fact-check the public assertions of elected officials — and his preliminary finding is that “independent experts … are disputing [Michele] Bachmann’s abortion claims.” There’s much in the new health care legislation that’s fair game for legitimate criticism. But to shamelessly and dishonestly scare constituents who care about protecting life with baseless fearmongering is not only indefensible; it’s irresponsible and a dereliction of duty. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 24, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said she wanted people in Minnesota “armed and dangerous” on the issue of an energy tax, “because we need to fight back” and “having a revolution every now and then is a good thing.”
Summary: Weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 23, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that the al-Qaida-linked terror network, Jaish-e-Mohammed, ran schools for jihadi fighters in the heart of Pakistan, hundreds of miles from the Afghan border, amid reports that insurgent commanders and suicide bombers in the AfPak border region were increasingly coming from Punjab.
Summary: On Saturday, March 20, 2010 Republican delegates at Minnesota’s Sixth District GOP convention in St. Cloud voted unanimously to return U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann to Congress for a third term. History will marvel that any American political party could set the bar so low as to give Bachmann its unanimous approval. Here’s why. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 22, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that according to NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, the Iraq war was in a sixth phase — “America’s exit strategy” — the first five phases having been “shock and awe” (March-April 2003), “nation-building” (2003-2004), “insurgency” (2004-2005), “civil war” (2006-2007), and “the surge” (2007-2008).