USA. According to Countryaah website, national day of United States is every July 4. The war on terror declared by President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks dominated the agenda both domestic and international. In a speech to the nation in January, Bush warned of an “axis of evil” and specifically mentioned Iraq, Iran and North Korea. That led many to fear that the United States was planning to expand the war in Afghanistan.
There, the hunt for Taliban, and not least the main suspect of the terrorist attack, Usama bin Laden, continued, although there was no clear evidence that he was still alive.
In January, the United States began bringing prisoners from Afghanistan to the Guantánamo Bay military base in Cuba. They were declared “illegal combatants”, a term which meant that they were not given the status of prisoners of war nor were they treated like ordinary criminals. About 600 people eventually ended up in the prison camp. Among many other nationalities there was a Swedish prisoner.
Gradually, it became clear that Bush was prepared to resort to violence against Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. It aroused concern and criticism in the outside world, even among US allies in Europe. In particular, Germany opposed all war plans with such sharpness that ice cold arose in relations between both countries. At home, too, many were hesitant about the war plans, but Bush received a sign from Congress in the fall for an armed attack. In the UN, after a compromise, he had to settle for a resolution stating that “serious consequences” awaited Iraq unless the country could prove that all weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed. At the end of the year, weapons inspectors were back in Iraq for the first time since 1998 and the United States and other members of the Security Council studied a 12,000-page report that Iraq issued in early December. However, there were many indications that the United States would not accept the report and the threat of war hung in the air.
The war on terror was also reflected in huge grants to the military; After a 10 percent increase in defense spending in 2002, Bush proposed a further 13.7 percent surcharge in 2003 to close to $ 379 billion. In addition, $ 37.5 billion was allocated to a new Department of Homeland Security, the Homeland Security Department. The ministry received close to 170,000 employees and completely or partially replaced 22 federal agencies, such as Coast Guard, Border Patrol, Migration Office, etc.
The intelligence service CIA, the federal police FBI and the national security service NSA would not be included in the new department, but provide it with intelligence material. It was the biggest change by the federal authorities since World War II.
Bush had continued strong support among Americans, which became evident as Republicans progressed strongly in the November congressional elections. The party strengthened its dominance in the House of Representatives and took over power in the Senate.
It has only happened twice before that the party holding the presidential power has strengthened its position in the midterm elections. Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives Richard Gephardt resigned after the defeat and elected new leader Nancy Pelosi, the first woman in the post.
However, the economy was a concern for Bush. The recession prevailed and unemployment was at 6% at the end of the year, the highest figure in nine years. The budget was estimated to be in deficit for the second year in a row, after having been on plus for several years.
The world’s second largest airline, United Airlines, with over 80,000 employees, had been hit hard by the crisis in the airline industry and forced to seek bankruptcy protection at the end of the year. In addition, the government had been shaken by accounting scandals in a number of large companies.
It started with energy giant Enron, which collapsed as early as December 2001. The company turned out to be cheating with the bookkeeping and pulled the audit firm Arthur Andersen with it in the case, when it proved to have contributed by hiding the cheating. Later, the telecom and data operator WorldCom also proved to have engaged in accounting fraud in the billion class. When WorldCom sought bankruptcy protection in July, it was the largest bankruptcy in US corporate history.
The office commodity giant Xerox was also revealed to have lied about its profits, and it was also discovered that major banks such as Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase had helped Enron hide its growing debts. A number of legal processes were initiated to measure responsibility in the many financial scandals. Bush, who, with his background in the oil industry, was close to big finances, saw himself forced to adopt new stricter anti-fraud laws in business.
The financial difficulties helped the President to implement the first refurbishment in his government in December. Finance Minister Paul O’Neill had to go and was replaced by Railway Director John Snow. The White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey was also replaced by Stephen Friedman, who came from the financial world.
Defeat in Vietnam
The US right wing reacted violently to this increasing pressure from the left. In 1968, the undisputed leader of the civil rights movement, the priest Martin Luther King, was killed by a white assailant, and the same year, deceased President Kennedy’s little brother was killed by an assailant when he ran for president. Instead, North Americans elected Republican Richard Nixon as president. In 1972 he visited Moscow and Beijing respectively in an attempt to sharpen the contradictions between the two communist countries. That same year, he was re-elected for a new four-year presidential term, but after it was revealed that he had been deeply involved in espionage against the Democratic Party election headquarters Watergatein 1972, in 74, he had to resign as president. In 1975, the US strategic defeat in Vietnam was a reality. On April 30, under the chaotic conditions, the last soldiers, CIA spies and embassy officials were flown out of the country in helicopters. Vietnam was free and the United States had a Vietnam syndrome.
The transitional figure Ford was followed by Jimmy Carter (1977-81) at the presidential post. He had been a member of the Trilateral Commission and had considerable knowledge of the U.S. geopolitical interests. He should repair the superpower’s shattered reputation after the CIA scandals and revelations of the hidden war on oppositionists around the world. As part of a public relations offensive, he made demands for respect for human rights vis-à-vis US allies in, among other things. South Korea, Chile, Argentina, Israel, and South Africa. At the end of his presidential term, the US Embassy in Iran was occupied, and his opponent succeeded in the November 1980 presidential election, Republican Ronald Reagan, to impede the release of the hostages. The procrastination allowed Reagan to win the election, and the hostages were only released the same day he was deployed as president (1981-89).
1981-92 Conservative offensive
2nd-grade movie actor Reagan was carried into the White House on a wave of neoconservatism and religious fundamentalism. He reduced the taxes of the rich, the social spending of the state and dramatically increased the military spending of the superpower. At the same time, he initiated an ideological crusade against the Soviet Union: “The Empire of Evil.” With the massive investments in military hardware and massive government deficits, he managed to get the US economy going after the crisis in the 1970’s. At the same time, however, the US economy was facing increasingly fierce competition from Western Europe and Japan.
The superpower population of Latin American descent increased through the 80’s by 53%, reaching 22 million. It was an expression of the far more extensive crisis in Latin America – especially the wars in Central America and the crisis in Mexico. However, the Latin American population had to live under conditions that were even worse than the African American population. A large number of them had to live illegally in the United States, and the UN determined that the US white population was the richest in the world, the African American population came in 30th place, while the US Latin American population was down to 53rd place (compared to countries in the rest of the world). For the country as a whole, in 1991, 15% of the population lived below the official poverty line.
Authorities continued their arbitrary assault on the African American population. In May 1985, several hundred police officers attacked the Move collective in Philadelphia with automatic weapons and C4 dynamite. Everyone in the collective (6 adults and 5 children ages 7-13) except a single one was killed and 65 homes in the Black Town burned to the ground. Philadelphia’s chief of police had decided before that Move was a terrorist organization. No police officers were subsequently placed on trial for murder or arson. (The forgotten police bombing of a Philadelphia pro-black group – video, Guardian 29/7 2016).
In 89, Reagan was followed in the presidential post by his Vice President, George Bush. The former CIA chief had the most control over foreign policy, and it was under him that the United States finally overcame the trauma of Vietnam. The December 1989 invasion of Panama and the Gulf Warin January-February 1991, the United States people again showed their willingness to allow the superpower to play the role of “world police officer”. But the economy of the superpower was at the same time under a deep crisis. The expansion through the ’80’s had been largely funded through public borrowing. Administration rhetoric was liberal, but economic policy was military-Keynesian. As early as about 1986-87, Congress imposed tight budgetary restrictions to slow the development of government debt, and as the state slowed down dramatically in its spending, the economy came into deep crisis. While Bush concentrated on positioning the United States as the world’s only remaining police officer, he became increasingly unpopular among the growing number of unemployed North Americans and in the crisis-plagued United States in general. In Los Angeles, the crisis triggered widespread riots in April 1992. Many parts of the city center were in an emergency for several days.