Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Summary: Heavy street fighting between militants and security forces in the Afghan capital of Kabul raged for 18 hours in what the Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the attacks, called the start of its Spring Offensive and retaliation for the burning of Qurans at a NATO base in February 2012, the murders of 17 Afghans allegedly by Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in March 2012, and videos that surfaced in January 2012 apparently showing U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters.

Summary: Taliban insurgents launched a brazen attack in the heart of Kabul’s diplomatic and military enclave targeting the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Afghanistan. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on September 13, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that two protesters died and four were injured as Afghans protested for a third day against a plan by Florida pastor Terry Jones to burn copies of the Islamic holy book, the Quran.

Summary: In Afghanistan, Taliban suicide bombers stormed the British Council compound in an upscale Kabul neighborhood, killing at least eight people during an eight-hour firefight. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on August 20, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll a majority of Americans saw no end in sight in Afghanistan and nearly six in 10 opposed the then nine-year-old war.

Jun 28th, 2011

Summary: Taliban attackers armed with machine guns, anti-aircraft weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, and grenade launchers stormed the heavily guarded Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, before NATO helicopters killed the remaining insurgents in a final rooftop battle that ended a siege lasting more than five hours. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on June 28, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that an independent report by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction found that the U.S. had often overestimated the ability of Afghan military and police units to fight on their own, calling into question the strategy to win the war and bring troops home.

Jan 19th, 2010

Summary: In the biggest attack in months, Taliban militants struck in the heart of the Afghan capital of Kabul, launching suicide attacks at key government targets in a clear sign the insurgents plan to escalate their fight as the U.S. and its allies ramp up their own campaign to end the war. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on January 19, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that President George W. Bush presided over the weakest eight-year span for the U.S. economy in decades, according to an analysis of key data, with economists across the ideological spectrum increasingly viewing his two terms as a time of little progress on the nation’s thorniest fiscal challenges. Specifically, the number of jobs in the nation increased by about 2 percent during Bush’s tenure, the most tepid growth over any eight-year span since data collection began seven decades ago. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic output, grew at the slowest pace for a period of that length since the Truman administration. And Americans’ incomes grew more slowly than in any presidency since the 1960s, other than that of Bush’s father George H. W. Bush.