Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Feb 25th, 2010

Summary: The political movement of Iraq’s best-known anti-American cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, is emerging as a major contender in the March 7, 2010 national elections, raising the specter that the next prime minister of Iraq could be openly hostile to the United States and friendly toward Iran. Further complicating the situation, Iraq’s main Sunni party has said it is dropping out of the elections. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 25, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that four U.S. soldiers and an Afghan civilian working for them were killed in southern Afghanistan when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb, while in Iraq two policemen opened fire on U.S. soldiers visiting a police station, killing an American soldier and an Iraqi interpreter, wounding three Americans, and raising concerns about insurgent infiltration among the ranks of Iraqi police.

Sep 15th, 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. … Afghanistan: Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that a proper effort to counter the Taliban insurgency correctly “probably means more forces.” … Iraq: Four mortar shells landed in the Green Zone as Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Iraq on a previously unannounced mission to help the country resolve its differences ahead of America’s military withdrawal. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on the sixth 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 on a mass-casualty car bombing in Iraq and announced three upcoming events at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., with a focus on foreign policy and international affairs.

Jun 29th, 2009

Summary: The security situation in Iraq remains fragile and uncertain as the U.S. hands over security to Iraqi forces in accordance with the Bush administration’s status-of-forces agreement with Iraq.

Apr 21st, 2009

The U.S. Senate confirmed President Barack Obama’s pick to be U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christoper Hill, after debate over whether he mismanaged international disarmament talks with North Korea. … Suspected militants shelled Baghdad’s protected Green Zone in the first such bombardment in more than three months.