Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Summary: Attacks aimed at Iraqi police, including two in which assailants slammed explosives-packed cars into police stations, killed 25 people and maimed dozens in the worst violence in Baghdad since August 2011. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 12, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that members of Afghanistan’s new peace council said releasing Taliban figures detained at Guantanamo Bay and scratching scores of others off the U.N. sanctions list would jump-start peace talks aimed at ending the then 9-year-old war.

Oct 11th, 2011

Summary: A string of coordinated explosions targeting security officials and first responders rushing to the scene killed at least 10 people and injured twice that many in western Baghdad. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 11, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that North Korea celebrated the 65th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party founded by “Great Leader” Kim Il-sung and anointed “Young General” Kim Jong-un as “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il’s successor.

Summary: Four bombs ripped through Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 40 people and wounding nearly 100 in the worst violence the Iraqi capital has seen in months. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on June 23, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that President Barack Obama relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of command in the Afghanistan war, naming Gen. David Petraeus as his replacement.

Sep 19th, 2010

Summary: Two car bombs tore through Baghdad, killing more than 30 people and wounding dozens as tensions simmer six months after an inconclusive election and three weeks after U.S. troops ended major combat in Iraq. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on September 19, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that nine international (ISAF) troops had been killed in Afghanistan in a single day while an Afghan-born immigrant from Pakistan under investigation in a terrorism probe in New York and Denver reportedly admitted a link with al-Qaida.

Dec 8th, 2009

Summary: A suicide car bomb in Baghdad flattened a court building and an explosives-rigged ambulance blew down walls like dominos near the Finance Ministry in a wave of coordinated attacks that targeted high-profile symbols of Iraqi authority, killing at least 127 people and wounding more than 500. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 8, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that Taliban militants blasted their way into two transport terminals in Pakistan and torched more than 160 vehicles destined for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan, in the biggest assault yet on a vital U.S. military supply line.

Jun 26th, 2009

Summary: Angry Iraqis are demanding better protection after a spate of bombings that have killed at least 250 and wounded hundreds in just one week as U.S. forces pull back from urban areas to large military bases in accordance with the 2008 status-of-forces agreement between the United States and Iraq.

Apr 29th, 2009

Summary: Iraq is falling fall far behind schedule in creating a system to maintain its own military equipment, costing American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to fill in the gaps, according to a new U.S. audit by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. … The death toll from twin car bomb blasts in a crowded Baghdad market rose to 51. The car bombs, which also wounded 76 people in the capital’s sprawling Sadr City slum, followed a series of other attacks in the past two weeks that have stirred fears of a return to broader sectarian bloodshed in Iraq.

Summary: Seven bombs rocked Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, killing 37 people and wounding more than 100 in a dramatic escalation of violence as the U.S. military thins out its presence before a June 30, 2009 deadline to pull combat troops out of Iraqi cities.

Dec 17th, 2008

Summary: The speaker of Iraq’s parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, announced his resignation after a parliamentary session descended into chaos as lawmakers argued about whether to free a journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush. … In an interview with ABC News, Vice President Dick Cheney attempted to justify the decision to invade Iraq. … A double-bombing targeting traffic police in Baghdad killed at least 18 people and wounded 52. … Raed Fahmy, Iraq’s Minister of Science and Technology, escaped injury in a car bomb explosion that appeared to be an assassination attempt.