Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Summary: The new leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, threatened to strike back at Pakistan and the United States for airstrikes by unmanned U.S. drones in northwestern Pakistan. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on the 26th 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 that the senior British commander in Afghanistan had said that a decisive military victory in Afghanistan was impossible and that the objective in Afghanistan should be to achieve a manageable level of insurgency that’s not a strategic threat. He also reported on a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan and ongoing violence in Iraq.

Feb 18th, 2009

Summary: The number of Afghan civilians killed in armed conflict surged to a record 2,118 in 2008 as the Afghanistan war turned increasingly bloody, the UN said in a new report. Insurgents were responsible for 55 percent of the deaths, but U.S., NATO, and Afghan forces killed 39 percent, the report said. Of those 829 deaths by the forces, 552 were blamed on airstrikes.

Dec 30th, 2008

Summary: More than 2 million Iraqis have fled the kidnappings, car bombings, and killings that have racked their homeland since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The United States has admitted more than 16,000 Iraqi refugees in the past two years and expects to more than double that number by the end of 2009. A coalition of advocates, including Refugees International, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Baltimore-based Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, is calling on the United States to nearly triple the money it spends on the displaced Iraqis while allowing the entry of as many as 105,000 in 2009 — a sevenfold increase over current admissions.