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United States

Yearbook 2004

Flag - United States of AmericaUSA. According to CountryAAH, the total population in United States is 331,002,662 people in 2020. The election year began with the primary elections ahead of the November presidential elections. President George W. Bush had no serious challenger among Republicans, but there were a number of candidates in the Democratic starting field. Somewhat unexpectedly, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean had sailed as the strongest name. Dean, who belongs to the Democrats' left wing, had in a relatively short time managed to get extremely enthusiastic support from many directions, much through the effective use of the Internet. However, when the first party was held in Iowa and New Hampshire in January, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry convincingly prevailed. When he then took home 16 of the 18 primary elections held in February, the matter was basically decided, and with "Super Tuesday" in March, Kerry definitely secured his nomination. The election of Kerry turned out to be a strategic move by the Democrats - he was not a big favorite for many, but was considered to have the best chance of defeating Bush. Kerry appointed John Edwards, the senator in South Carolina, as his vice presidential candidate.

2004 United StatesDuring the fall, Bush and Kerry were evenly balanced. Many felt that the electoral movement showed a significant polarization in American politics. There was a strong commitment to Bush, not least because of his efforts in Iraq. The critics also objected to the way in which the war against terror was handled, which the White House took as revenue for restrictions on civil rights and for unilateral action internationally. Many in the domestic politics were worried about increased economic gaps and far-reaching deterioration in welfare as a result of large tax cuts. The supporters found Bush's promises of tough grip on terrorists and for the freedom and democracy of the world reassuring. In addition, his values ​​conservative messages resonated with large sections of the population.

Bush won the presidential election even though voter turnout was high (about 60%), which is generally considered to favor Democrats. Republicans succeeded in mobilizing large groups of conservative Christians - in all eleven states that, on Election Day, also publicly voted on the issue of allowing marriage for homosexuals, the answer was no. Bush took home 286 of the electoral votes against Kerry's 252. Unlike in the 2000 elections, he also had the support of a majority of voters, 51% against 48% for Kerry. Republicans also strengthened their dominance in Congress. In the Senate, they received four additional seats, giving a total of 55 out of 100. In the House of Representatives, an increase of three gave a comfortable majority with 232 of the 435 seats. One of the election's major losers was Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, who was not re-elected. New minority leader became Nevada senator Harry Reid.

After the election, Bush replaced 9 of 15 ministers. Among other things, former security adviser Condoleezza Rice became new Foreign Minister after Colin Powell, and Alberto Gonzales replaced John Ashcroft as Minister of Justice. The military operation in Iraq continued without any solution in sight. The security situation soon became worse; the armed resistance continued even after an Iraqi government was set up at the turn of the year.

Bush decided in December to increase the number of soldiers from 138,000 to 150,000 ahead of the elections promised in Iraq in January. At the beginning of the year, the world was shocked by photographs of Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghurayb prison in Baghdad, who were subjected to sexual humiliation and other abuses by American soldiers. Prosecution was brought against a number of those involved and several were sentenced to prison. However, no high-ranking political or military leaders were held responsible for the abuses.

The tone hardened during the year against Iran, which together with Iraq and North Korea were included in the "axis of evil" that Bush defined after the terrorist attack in 2001. The United States accused Iran of having plans to develop nuclear weapons. Washington doubted an Iranian pledge to stop enriching uranium, which the three largest EU countries negotiated at the end of the year. The US leadership was also skeptical of the IAEA nuclear agency and critical of its chief Mohamed ElBaradei. Many considered that the development was similar to that which led to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. See Abbreviationfinder.org.

A commission appointed to investigate what preceded the September 2001 attack on the United States presented a critical final report in July. It pointed to the lack of coordination and bureaucratic hassle of the country's intelligence services. The CIA was also criticized for incorrect data on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Following a recommendation from the Commission, Bush decided in December to appoint a national security chief in charge of 15 spy organizations, including the CIA and the FBI.

2004 United States

Massive financial crime

In 2002, the US largest energy company Enron collapsed in a financial scandal of unprecedented dimensions. Enron was headquartered in Houston, Texas and had been closely associated with both Bush presidents who had received financial support for their campaigns from the group. In the fall, it brought in the international accounting firm Arthur Andersen, which until then had audited and said good for the group's accounts. With the collapse, the pension savings for tens of thousands of Enron employees went up in smoke - they had been 100% invested in Enron. Following the privatization of the California electricity sector, Enron was behind massive power cuts in the state with the aim of forcing electricity prices up sharply. The collapse also revealed that neither reputable audit firms like Andersen nor the US ' s Financial Supervision had been sufficiently strong or had the instruments to withstand Enron's massive scams and enormous financial power. Throughout 2002, similar financial scandals hit major corporations such as WorldCom, Xerox, Adelphia, Tyco, Global Crossing and Merrill Lynch. The hunger behind profit and personal enrichment had driven directors and board members far out of the financial criminal career.

In July 2002, the United States vetoed the UN Security Council against extending the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. It happened just hours before the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally began its operation in The Hague on July 2. Washington had for a year opposed the court, trying to get countries that had signed on its establishment to resign, or at least threatened to sign agreements not to extradite North American nationals to the court. There is no great doubt that should a North American one day be extradited to the ICC, the United States will carry out a military action against The Hague.

Hammocks in Iraq

From late 2003, more and more countries withdrew their troops from the US occupation army in Iraq. The biggest blow was when Spain, following the terrorist bombings in March, in April 2004 withdrew its 1,500 soldiers from Iraq. Even before the bombs, 80% of Spaniards had supported a withdrawal, but it required a Spanish government change to have them withdrawn.

At the end of April, images and testimonies emerged about the torture of North American forces by prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison south of Baghdad. It was not only about torture, but also about sexual exploitation, degradation and abuse. In May, evidence of similar torture by North American forces against prisoners in Afghanistan came. Both at the Bagram air base north of Kabul and at military centers in Gardez and Kandahar.

In June, Human Rights Watch reported in a report that torture and mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by North American soldiers was a direct consequence of the Bush administration's decision to avoid international law - both the Geneva Convention and the Torture Convention. The week the report was published, secret documents leaked from the Pentagon and the Department of Justice showed that the government had sought to find ways around the conventions to torture and mistreat only - in the same way it had done in its concentration camp in Guantanamo for almost 2 years. in Cuba.

"The terror scenes from the Abu Ghraib prison are not isolated acts perpetrated by individual soldiers," declared Human Rights Watch Director Kenneth Roth. "The torture in Abu Ghraib exists because President Bush decided to violate international conventions." Acc. Roth was Washington's position that both the Geneva Conventions and the Torture Convention had to be set aside after the September 11, 2001. terrorist attack. However, Washington still denied that the United States has a policy of torture or mistreatment of prisoners. However, Human Rights Watch challenged Bush to prove this, because the leaked documents from the government administration speak a whole different language. However, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice assured that the government is in compliance with US laws and international agreements.

In July 2004, the Commission published its report on September 11 after 20 months of investigations into the September 11 attack. The Commission targeted a severe attack for "lack of imagination" and "serious organizational errors" in defending the country. The report stated that "the most serious mistake was that neither Bill Clinton nor George Bush understood the seriousness of the threats." Commissioner Tom Kean stated that the attackers had penetrated through the defenses of the world's strongest military force and that the attacks had caused deep trauma in the North American population.

In October, Amnesty International released a report that concluded that the United States was systematically violating prisoners' fundamental human rights in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. Acc. Amnesty, the government's demonization of Iraqis, Afghans and suspected al-Qaeda members, as well as its disregard for its own and international guidelines for the treatment of prisoners, has opened its doors wide open to torture and ill-treatment. Amnesty thus accused the United States of tolerating the abuses and at the same time pointed out that the images of the abuses of prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison south of Baghdad will follow humanity for many years to come.

Amnesty further accused Washington of "being on a shaky road, violating human rights because of the state's alleged national security and military needs." At the same time, the human rights organization called on the government to condemn and ban the use of torture and ill-treatment. The report was titled: "Human Dignity Denied: Torture and Responsibility in the 'War on Terror'". It appeared 6 days before the US presidential election. The North American Army's own investigations into the torture in Abu Ghraib acquitted the army itself: no officers could be held accountable, but a number of civilian soldiers were brought to trial. The army failed to comment,

In late October, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health at the University of Baltimore published an article in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet, concluding that the military actions since the attack on Iraq in March 2003 and the subsequent violence and collapse in health and hygiene in the country had cost about 100,000 Iraqis life. Most of the victims were women and children, the researchers concluded.

In November 2004, George W. Bush was re-elected for a further 4-year presidential term. It happened after one of the most tense election campaigns in the country's history. Against him, Bush had most of the US artists. With him, however, he had the right wing's strong lobbying organizations, the media - especially Murdoch's Fox News and about $ 1 billion. US $ to lead election campaign for. In fact, where he lost the election in 2000, this time he managed to get 51% of the vote, and the turnout of almost 60% was at a record high in the North American context. Republicans increased their control over both the Senate and House of Representatives. When the election results were clear, Bush's counterpart, John Kerry, went on the screen urging Americans to stand together and bridge the deep gaps the election campaign had created.

As expected, Bush resigned after the election victory with Secretary of State Colin Powell. The previous four years had been marked by deep conflicts between the Foreign Ministry on the one hand and the Pentagon, the White House and the National Security Council on the other. The neocons now had Powell removed and replaced him with one of their own, former national security adviser Condoleeza Rice.

With 5 votes against 4, the Supreme Court in March 2005 banned the death penalty for killers who had been under the killing at the time of the killing. The ruling was seen as a victory for opponents of the death penalty.

Hundreds were killed when Hurricane Katrina in September ravaged the United States. The dikes around New Orleans collapsed and the city was flooded. The natural disaster was followed by a political disaster when it emerged that the state authorities had not evacuated the city's poor population and were subsequently very slow to rescue the city. Hundreds of thousands of poor African Americans had not taken the bus ticket out of the city and were therefore trapped in the bodies of water. Until the natural disaster, the Bush administration's parole against state intervention had been: "It's not our money. That's yours ”. Critics now responded that the government's parole was evidently also: "It's not our hurricane. That's yours ”. A few days after the hurricane, Bush declared that the director of the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA), Michael Brown, "Had done an excellent job". Bush had appointed Brown himself, but when it came to light within a week that the efforts of the federal authorities had been scandalously limited, it was also Bush who had to sacrifice Brown. In particular, the political conflict came between the federal Bush administration, Louisiana Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Katrina revealed that the United States is probably capable of waging war all over the world but is unable to take care of its own population, and while the cause of September 11, 2001 came from outside, the causes in September 2005 were to be sought by the federal authorities. Bush's popularity plummeted. September 2001 came from outside, the causes in September 2005 should be sought from the federal authorities. Bush's popularity plummeted. September 2001 came from outside, the causes in September 2005 should be sought from the federal authorities. Bush's popularity plummeted.

In April 2006, the president was forced to transform the administration in the White House. The most important change was that his closest friend, Carl Rove, quit. In 2005, Rove had officially assumed responsibility for the leak to the media that Valerie Plame was the CIA agent. The leak that occurred in 2003 was the Bush government's revenge on Plame's husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who in 2002 was tasked with confirming that Iraq was trying to obtain uranium from Niger. The information was part of the government's psychological warfare during the period leading up to the start of the invasion of Iraq. But Wilson couldn't find the evidence. The alleged documents turned out to be false and the government therefore took revenge on Wilson by revealing his wife as a CIA agent. Unfortunately, there are severe penalties in the United States for such disclosures, and the case was therefore dug up through 2003 and 04. The trail ended with Bush Chief of Staff at the White House, Carl Rove. However, it turned out later that Bush himself was involved in the decision to reveal Valerie Plame.

Likewise, in April, the United States' top spy chief, John Dimitri admitted Negroponte that the United States tortures and abuses suspected terrorists, and routinely flies them for torture around the world. One of the tools to bypass the torture convention is to allow the governments of other countries to face the torture. Since 2004, the EU has been working on mapping the CIA's secret flights of prisoners to torture. The CIA's captive aircraft also have the intermediate country in Denmark, with the knowledge of the Foreign Ministry, but without the Danish authorities protesting or intervening. The United States has routinely sent prisoners to torture in Egypt, the Central Asian Republics, and Syria. Negroponte now admitted this practice and further stated that it will continue until "the war on terror is won". The US open admission of the breach of international conventions astonished a few international protests.

At the November midterm elections, Democrats won a majority in both congressional chambers - for the first time in 12 years. President Bush was thus forced to seek cooperation for the last 2 years of his tenure following 6 years of confrontational politics. The Republican defeat was mainly due to 2 factors. 2003-06 was marked by Republican corruption and sex scandals. That caused many fundamentalist Christian North Americans to abstain. It was precisely this population of Republicans that the previous elections had mobilized with great success. The second factor was the Iraq war, which was highly unpopular in the North American population. 60% of voters wanted US troops withdrawn immediately. Rather than politics, the election therefore became a referendum for or against Republicans' sex, corruption scandals and war in Iraq.

The first immediate consequence of the defeat was that Bush fired his Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, to whom he had declared his full confidence until the week before. He was replaced by bureaucrat Robert Gates. A few days later, it became clear that the United States' highly unpopular UN ambassador, John Bolton, would be removed from office in January 2007. Bush failed to get congressional approval of him in 2005, so he was appointed by decree from the White House. in the middle of congressional summer holidays in 2005. Bush had no chance of Bolton endorsing Congress by January 2007, so Bolton finished as UN ambassador.

Despite strong protests from the Democratic majority in the two chambers of Congress, the Bush government decided in early 2007 to send another 30,000 soldiers to Iraq. In fact, the United States succeeded in reducing the violence in Iraq, but it was not as much due to the number of soldiers as the strategy against the Sunni minority in the country. The United States now went on to bribe the Sunni clan leaders, greatly reducing the Sunnis' war against the occupation troops in the country.

In a final attempt to be remembered for something other than the most unpopular president in the country's history, Bush launched a plan for peace resolution in the Israel-Palestine conflict in the fall. A summit was held in Indianapolis in November 2007, but the United States did not want to put pressure on Israel to make it a real peace treaty, and Israel does not want peace but "Lebensraum." The peace initiative was therefore dead both before and after the conference.

In the spring and early summer of 2008, John McCain was nominated as presidential candidate for the Republican Party and Barack Obama for the Democrats.

In June, so far, secret reports written by Major General Antonio Taguba were published following the unveiling of US torture in Iraq. Taguba was dismissed from the army in 2003 following the completion of his report, in which he placed responsibility for the torture of then-Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld and ultimately George W. Bush. According to Taguba's analysis, the assaults were so severe, systematic, and sanctioned from both the spaceflight and the White House that a number of people, including President Bush himself, were guilty of war crimes.

That same month, the US Supreme Court for the third time suspended legs for the state's illegal detention of prisoners at the Guantanamo base. After the 2nd order, the president announced that the prisoners may be brought before special military courts. The Supreme Court's third order gives prisoners the opportunity to have their cases tried before civil courts in the United States, with the court rejecting the White House's claim that US law does not apply to the Guantanamo base.

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