Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Apr 21st, 2010

Summary: The two top-ranking leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, were killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation on Sunday, April 18, 2010, in what Vice President Joe Biden called a “potentially devastating blow” to the terrorist operation. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on April 21, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that the U.S. Senate confirmed President Barack Obama’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, after debate over whether he mismanaged international disarmament talks with North Korea. Meanwhile, suspected militants shelled Baghdad’s protected Green Zone in the first such bombardment in more than three months.


Mar 26th, 2010

Summary: Former U.S.-backed prime minister Ayad Allawi and his secular, anti-Iranian coalition narrowly won Iraq’s parliamentary elections in final returns Friday, edging out the bloc of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and a coalition that includes anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which finished a strong third and could end up playing the role of kingmaker. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 26, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that the military was scrambling to inspect more than 90,000 U.S.-run facilities across Iraq to reduce a deadly threat troops face far off the battlefield: electrocution or shock while showering or using appliances.


Dec 29th, 2009

Summary: An Afghan soldier killed a U.S. service member and wounded two Italian soldiers in western Afghanistan. … Pakistani authorities appealed for calm after a bombing against a Shiite Muslim procession marking the holy day of Ashoura killed 43 in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, setting off riots and igniting fears of sectarian unrest. … Gunmen killed five Sunni security guards — members of the Sons of Iraq, or Awakening Councils — in a gruesome pre-dawn slaying at a village checkpoint north of Baghdad. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 29, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that 8,300 to 9,000 civilians were killed in Iraq in 2008, bringing the total number of civilian deaths since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to at least 98,400, according to figures released by Iraq Body Count.


Apr 12th, 2009

Summary: About 150 militants armed with rockets and automatic weapons attacked a transport terminal in northwestern Pakistan along a key supply route used by U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.


Mar 22nd, 2009

Summary: According to NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, there have been five different wars in Iraq, with the sixth war under way — America’s exit strategy. The first five war phases were Shock and Awe (March-April 2003), Nation-Building (2003-2004), Insurgency (2004-2005), Civil War (2006-2007), and The Surge (2007-2008).


Feb 2nd, 2009

Summary: Provincial election results in northern Iraq could heighten ethnic tensions between Sunnis and Kurds.