Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Feb 24th, 2011

Summary: The Iraqi capital of Baghdad is virtually locked down, with soldiers deployed across the city searching protesters trying to enter Liberation Square and closing off the plaza and side streets with razor wire. The heavy security presence reflects the concern of Iraqi officials that anti-government demonstrations in Iraq could gain traction as they did in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 24, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that more than eight years after the Taliban was toppled from power, the number of U.S. military fatalities in the Afghanistan war was nearing 1,000, a grim milestone in a resurgent conflict claiming the lives of an increasing number of troops who had survived previous tours of duty in Iraq.

Feb 3rd, 2011

Summary: More than 20,000 Yemenis filled the streets of Sanaa for a “day of rage” rally, demanding a change in government and saying President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s offer to step down in 2013 was not enough. The protest movement in the Middle East and North Africa also appears to be gaining momentum in Jordan, Syria, and Algeria. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 3, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, at a political forum in Rochester, Minn., made the wild claim that President Obama’s health reform proposals, beyond being “the crown jewel of socialism,” could lead to “gangster government” and “absolute abject corruption,” with people terrified to speak out against the government for fear of being blacklisted for denial of health care.