Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Dec 3rd, 2008

Summary: Defense Secretary Robert Gates signaled a willingness to forge ahead with two key priorities for the incoming Obama administration: accelerating the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention center. … President-elect Barack Obama’s national security team will include two veteran cold warriors — former NATO commander Gen. James L. Jones as national security adviser and Robert M. Gates as defense secretary — and a political rival — Hillary Clinton as secretary of state — whose records are all more hawkish than that of the new president.

Nov 16th, 2008

Summary: Racial incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are shattering the post-election illusion of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America. There have been “hundreds” of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes. … Update on military and civilian deaths in Iraq.

Nov 15th, 2008

Summary: Adm. Chris Barrie, former chief of the Australian Defense Force, has said there was no evidence to justify going to war in Iraq in 2003: “I have to say, even up until the day I retired, I never saw any evidence that said suddenly we had to go off and do a job in Iraq.” … Two U.S. soldiers were killed in an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter crash in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. … A car bomb killed 10 people and wounded 30 in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar.