Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Nov 21st, 2009

Summary: The United States government has spent $53 billion on reconstruction in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, building tens of thousands of hospitals, water treatment plants, electricity substations, schools, and bridges. But there are growing concerns, according to the New York Times, that Iraq will not be able to adequately maintain the facilities once the Americans have left, potentially wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on November 21, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr had stomped on and burned an effigy of President George Bush in the same central Baghdad square where Iraqis beat a toppled statue of Saddam Hussein with their sandals five years earlier. Chanting and waving flags, thousands of Iraqis filled Firdous Square to protest a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security pact that would allow American troops to stay for three more years.

Jul 31st, 2008

Summary: On the 17th day of his campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for the Republican nomination as House of Representatives candidate in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, Aubrey Immelman criticized Rep. Bachmann for focusing almost exclusively on energy issues in her campaign, while ignoring important national security concerns and illegal immigration issues. … Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will not end the “Long War” against violent extremism and that the fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorists should be the nation’s top military priority over coming decades, according to a new National Defense Strategy he approved in June 2008. … The U.S. has wasted more than half a billion dollars in Iraq repairs, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction Stuart Bowen reports in his quarterly report. … A report by the Center for Immigration Studies says the number of illegal immigrants fell about 11% between August 2007 and May 2008, from 12.5 million to 11.2 million.