Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Jan 12th, 2009

Summary: Security forces used tear gas and batons to repel anti-Israel protesters who tried to attack a U.S. consulate in Pakistan as tens of thousands of people demonstrated worldwide against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. … Seven years after a U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan routed the Taliban regime, hard-line Islamic fighters who had scattered under massive bombardment to their villages and rear bases in Pakistan once again govern large swaths of Afghanistan and are dug in across regions that surround the capital Kabul, saying they welcome the U.S. military’s proposal to send as many as 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan by summer 2009 because it will give them more chances to kill “infidels.”



Summary: The fallout from a three-day terrorist rampage that killed nearly 200 people in Mumbai threatens to unravel India’s improving ties with Pakistan and prompted the resignation of India’s security minister. … Iraq’s influential Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani reportedly has reservations about a status-of-forces allowing U.S. troops to stay in the country until the end of 2011, but is leaving it up to politicians to decide the value of the security pact.


Nov 29th, 2008

Summary: A rocket attack on a U.N. compound in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone has killed two foreigners and wounded 15. … A suicide bomber struck Shiite worshippers at a mosque run by followers of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, killing at least 12 people, a day after Iraqi lawmakers approved a status-of-forces agreement with the Bush administration. … The Iraqi parliament’s approval of a security pact with the U.S. has propelled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki into a position of strength unsurpassed among Iraqi political leaders since the fall of Saddam Hussein; however, it has also set the stage for a power struggle in the run-up to the 2010 Iraqi elections, which may weaken Maliki’s dominance.


Nov 28th, 2008

Summary: Al-Qaida’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, said in an Internet video the U.S. financial crisis was caused by Washington’s military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and taxpayers were paying the price. … Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has emerged as a nationalist strongman after reaching a status-of-forces agreement with the Bush administration requiring U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011.