Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Pakistan has blocked vital supply routes for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan and demanded Washington vacate Shamsi Air Base, used by American drones that target al-Qaida and Taliban militants in Pakistan’s tribal region, after coalition aircraft allegedly killed up to 28 Pakistani troops at two military outposts along a mountainous frontier that serves as a safe haven for militants.

Summary: Fuel oil tankers destined for U.S. and allied NATO forces in Afghanistan have been attacked and torched yet again by Islamic militants in Pakistan. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on August 22, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that the proposed mosque near the site of the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center drew hundreds of demonstrators to Lower Manhattan in New York.

Summary: Militants attacked a fuel tanker depot outside Kandahar Air Field, the main international military base in southern Afghanistan, killing four four private security guards. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on August 16, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported on a campaign visit by Independence Party (IP) gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner to St. Cloud.

May 14th, 2011

Summary: Angry over the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistani lawmakers are demanding an end to U.S. missile strikes against Islamist militants on their soil and warned that Pakistan may cut NATO’s supply line to Afghanistan if the attacks don’t stop. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 14, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that Al-Qaida in Iraq warned Shiites that “dark days soaked with blood” lay ahead with a new campaign of violence yet to come.

Nov 14th, 2010

Summary: Insurgents set fire to a NATO fuel convoy, while a series of bomb blasts and insurgents attacks killed 11 people across Afghanistan, including five NATO service members. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on November 14, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that a Rasmussen Reports poll found U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s statewide job approval rating in Minnesota at 51 percent, with 45 percent disapproving and 4 percent not sure.

Oct 15th, 2010

Summary: Unmanned U.S. aircraft launched two missile strikes in a Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border, killing nine people. The U.S. carried out 21 such strikes in September, nearly double the previous monthly record, and has already launched 16 in October. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 15, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that the wave of anti-government violence in Pakistan had escalated to the level of low-intensity guerrilla war.

Oct 4th, 2010

Summary: Pakistan’s shutting of a key supply line for coalition troops in Afghanistan and the apparent ease with which militants are attacking the stranded convoys are shaking an already uncomfortable relationship between Washington and Islamabad. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 4, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that hundreds of insurgents armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades nearly overran a U.S. outpost near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, killing eight U.S. soldiers and capturing more than 20 Afghan security forces in the deadliest assault against U.S. troops in more than a year.

Oct 3rd, 2010

Summary: Militants attacked and set fire to at least 20 tankers carrying oil for NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the third such strike inside Pakistan in as many days. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 3, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that President Barack Obama had met with Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, as he pondered whether the U.S. should send tens of thousands more troops to crush the Taliban in a broad counterinsurgency strategy, or shift to a narrower antiterrorism focus on al-Qaida in neighboring Pakistan.

Sep 30th, 2010

Summary: Pakistan has blocked a vital supply route for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan in apparent retaliation for an alleged cross-border helicopter strike by the coalition that killed three Pakistani frontier troops. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on September 30, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that the Princeton, Minn., police and fire departments and bomb squads from Minneapolis and Crow Wing County were responding to reports of suspicious packages at the Princeton post office, high school, and public utilities building. It was later established that the packages contained “inert powders” and no hazardous materials — an apparent hoax. Police ultimately took two local teenagers into custody a couple of days after the incident.

Sep 25th, 2009

Summary: Speaking at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh on a day the Pentagon announced five more American deaths in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama said he understands that Americans are tiring of the war in Afghanistan and that he is examining whether the U.S. is pursuing the right strategy there. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on the 16th day after losing his 2008 primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, Aubrey Immelman, in line with his focus on national security, reported on a speech at the United Nations by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in which he decried civilian casualties in his country from foreign bombing raids, telling world leaders that innocent deaths can seriously hurt legitimate efforts to fight terrorism. Immelman also reported on continuing violence in Iraq and threats by militants in Pakistan to escalate the violence in that country if Pakistan did not cease cooperating with the United States.