Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Apr 11th, 2010

Summary: Sarah Palin criticizes Barack Obama’s foreign policy on the eve of the president’s nuclear counterproliferation summit focused on keeping nukes out of the hands of terrorists. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on April 11, 2009, Aubrey Immelman featured a discussion by Minnesota Public Radio political analysts Todd Rapp and Tom Horner on whether Rep. Michele Bachmann is a liability to the Republican Party.

Mar 21st, 2010

Summary: U.S. military planners have little doubt that an Israeli air campaign against Iranian nuclear facilities would provoke Iranian retaliation against Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers allied with the United States. American efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which border Iran, would come under threat. And there would be no way that any U.S. administration, after so many decades pledging undying support for Israel, could make a convincing claim in Muslim eyes that it was not complicit in the attack. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 21, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that American flags were set on fire to chants of “No, no for occupation” as followers of anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr marked the sixth anniversary of the Iraq war, which had already cost hundreds of billions of dollars — with an ultimate price tag in the trillions — dwarfing the original Bush administration estimate of $2.4 billion.

Summary: Psychological evaluation of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with personality profile and threat assessment, by Aubrey Immelman of the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics.

Jun 9th, 2009

Summary: There were many domestic reasons voters handed an American-backed coalition a victory over a Hezbollah-led coalition in Lebanese parliamentary elections, but political analysts also attribute it in part to President Barack Obama’s campaign of outreach to the Arab and Muslim world.

Dec 3rd, 2008

Summary: Defense Secretary Robert Gates signaled a willingness to forge ahead with two key priorities for the incoming Obama administration: accelerating the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention center. … President-elect Barack Obama’s national security team will include two veteran cold warriors — former NATO commander Gen. James L. Jones as national security adviser and Robert M. Gates as defense secretary — and a political rival — Hillary Clinton as secretary of state — whose records are all more hawkish than that of the new president.