Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Archive for July, 2009

Jul 11th, 2009

Summary: Violence spikes in Iraq after U.S. combat troops withdraw from urban areas; British military deaths in Afghanistan surpass casualties in Iraq; U.S. abandons Bush administration policy of destroying opium poppies in Afghanistan.

Jul 10th, 2009

Comprehensive summary and documentation of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s extremist rhetoric, incendiary demagoguery, and misrepresentation since her 2008 reelection to the United States House of Representatives in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District.

Jul 9th, 2009

Summary: Declassified notes of FBI interviews with Saddam Hussein in 2004 show Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S. invasion in 2003, but that Saddam falsely allowed the world to believe Iraq had WMD because he feared revealing his weakness to Iran, the hostile neighbor he considered a bigger threat than the U.S.

Jul 8th, 2009

Summary: Weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases.

Summary: Seven U.S. troops die in three attacks in Afghanistan; commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, issues new guidelines limiting the use of airstrikes against residential compounds and other locations likely to produce civilian casualties, alienating Afghan villagers and causing loss of support for the Afghan government and the international mission.

Summary: The Gaffney, South Carolina killer who murdered male and female victims ranging in age from 15 to 83 in less than a week does not fit the profile of a serial killer and can be more aptly described as a spree killer. As such — unlike most serial killers — he is unlikely to be captured alive to face charges.

Jul 5th, 2009

Summary: Iraqis are skeptical that much will change after June 30, 2009 withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from urban areas. … June was the deadliest month for Iraqis in 2009. … July 2009 update of key facts, figures, and statistics on Iraq since the war began in March 2003. … Two U.S. troops killed in attack on U.S. base in Afghanistan. … U.S. soldier reported missing, believed captured, in Afghanistan. … Four U.S. troops killed in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan roadside bombing.

Jul 4th, 2009

Summary: North Korea’s motives in launching seven ballistic missiles on U.S. Independence Day, July 4, 2009. Includes link to North Korea threat assessment and psychological profile of Kim Jong-Il.

Jul 3rd, 2009

Summary: Research report of an investigation of the personal psychology, personality characteristics, and leadership style of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, conducted at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics and directed by Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D.

Summary: PolitiFact’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Truth-O-Meter rates Rep. Michele Bachmann’s “scaremongering claim” that ACORN will be a paid partner of the Census Bureau and “in charge” of going door-to-door and collecting data from the American public in the 2010 U.S. Census as [Liar, Liar] Pants on Fire.