Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Oct 25th, 2010

Summary: Amid fears its nuclear enrichment activities are aimed at developing nuclear weapons, Iran has begun loading fuel into the core of its Bushehr nuclear power plant, built with the help of Russia. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 25, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that two powerful car bombs exploded outside the Justice Ministry and city government offices in downtown Baghdad, killing 155 and wounding at least 500 in Iraq’s worst mass-casualty bombing in more than two years.

Jun 27th, 2010

Summary: Iran alleges Saudi Arabia is allowing Israel to use its territory in preparation for attacking Iran nuclear sites. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on June 27, 2009 Aubrey Immelman provided a compilation of notable reports and opinions regarding U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s announcement that she would refuse to complete the 2010 U.S. Census beyond reporting the number of members in her household.

Feb 22nd, 2010

Summary: Iran says it plans to build two new uranium enrichment facilities deep inside mountains to protect them from attack, a new challenge to Western powers trying to curb Tehran’s nuclear program for fear it is aimed at making weapons. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 22, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), criticizing the economic stimulus plan on KTLK radio in the Twin Cities with her trademark gloom-and-doom histrionics, foresaw a “national rationing board,” claimed “your doctor will no longer be able to make your health care decisions with you,” and catastrophized that “we’re running out of rich people in this country.”

Dec 13th, 2009

Summary: Analysts believe the nuclear threat from North Korea and Iran is worse today than it was a year ago. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 13, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said Iraq would need a U.S. troop presence for 10 years to help build up its military forces, well past the agreed three-year deadline for the withdrawal of American soldiers under the U.S.-Iraq status-of-forces agreement negotiated by the Bush administration.

Nov 18th, 2008

Summary: Iran praised the Iraqi Cabinet for approving a U.S-Iraq status-of-forces agreement. … Michael Hanna, an analyst at the Century Foundation in New York, said a continuing but finite presence of U.S. troops in Iraq could benefit Iran because it provides “retaliatory options” as Tehran pursues a nuclear program opposed by the West.