Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Mar 6th, 2010

Summary: Emboldened by the prospect of an Iraq free of the U.S. military and by anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s decision to join a Shiite-led alliance that may become the single largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament after the 2010 election, ex-Mahdi Army militia members are starting to return ahead of Sunday’s elections. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 6, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that a car bomb exploded in a livestock market in Iraq’s southern Babil province, killing 12 people, wounding 40, and shattering a peace that had held in the area for some time, while insurgents attacked a main U.S.-Iraqi base in the northern city of Mosul, killing one American soldier and striking directly at the Iraqi command center for an offensive against the militants.

Oct 11th, 2009

Summary: Iraqis took to the streets in parts of Iraq to demand open elections and improved public services, revealing a growing discontent among Iraqis that is overshadowing concerns about the ability of Iraqi forces to take over from withdrawing American troops. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on the 32nd 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 that the Bush administration had removed North Korea from its “state sponsors of terrorism” blacklist. He also posted a daily summary of security incidents in Iraq.

Aug 27th, 2009

Summary: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announces a joint “town hall” forum in St. Cloud, Minn., with Rep. Ron Paul as her guest. … Robert H. Reid of the Associated Press reports that it’s been a summer of setbacks for the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, with rising casualties, a divisive election, and growing public doubt about the war. … Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, who wielded enormous influence after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as head of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, has has died, exacerbating the growing political upheaval among Iraq’s majority Shiites. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on the 44th 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 traveled to White Bear Lake to record a candidate statement for the Ramsey / Washington County Suburban Cable Commission, through its Government Television Network (GTN). Immelman also reported on the high human and economic cost of the Iraq war.

Mar 22nd, 2009

Summary: According to NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, there have been five different wars in Iraq, with the sixth war under way — America’s exit strategy. The first five war phases were Shock and Awe (March-April 2003), Nation-Building (2003-2004), Insurgency (2004-2005), Civil War (2006-2007), and The Surge (2007-2008).