USA. Shortly after the New Year, the primary elections
for the autumn presidential elections began. Among
Republicans, Arizona senator John McCain soon became the
leading candidate, and in March, his nomination was formally
secured. In the Democratic Party, a bitter battle was going
on between the first-favorite Hillary Clinton, New York
senator from the beginning, and Illinois Senator Barack
Obama. According to
Countryaah reports, the fight was followed with great attention, never
before had a woman or a person of African origin been a
candidate for either of the major parties.
No relief was seen in the mortgage crisis that became
acute in 2007, and the economic situation became
increasingly bleak with falling property prices, rising
unemployment and worsening credit crunch. The Central Bank
Federal Reserve reduced its most important policy rate in
order to calm the market in several steps during the year.
When one of the world's largest investment banks, Bear
Stearns, faced a complete collapse in March, the central
bank went in with emergency loans. The government
intervention helped little, Bear Stearns was soon bought by
the finance company JPMorgan Chase at a wreck price.
Gradually, pressure on Clinton grew in the fight for the
Democratic presidential nomination. But only in June did
Obama secure enough delegates for the party convention to be
ready as a candidate. He then led in opinion polls against
McCain and impressed many with a disciplined campaign,
inspirational leadership style and promises of change.
In June, the Supreme Court made a decisive decision on
gun ownership, stating that the constitutional right to bear
arms covers individuals and not just militia groups or the
like. The strike was seen as a major victory for the
influential weapons lobby.
In the same month, the court ruled that terror suspects
at the Guantánamo base in Cuba had the right to appeal their
detention to civil courts. It was a setback for the
government, which called the prisoners "illegal combatants"
without the right to have their case tried in ordinary
court. Earlier in the year, charges had been brought against
six prisoners in Guantánamo, all suspected of involvement in
the terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001. Most
famous among them was Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who, according
to public interrogations, admitted to being the brains
behind the attacks as well as a number of other acts.
The first verdict in Guantánamo was announced in August
when Salim Hamdan of Yemen, who worked as a driver and
bodyguard for Usama bin Laden, was convicted of supporting
terrorist activities. However, the jury in the military
court saw Hamdan's role as insignificant and sentenced him
to only 5.5 years in prison, which was seen as a setback for
Ahead of the Democrats' party convention in August, Obama
appointed Senator Joseph Biden as his vice presidential
candidate and was thus set to try to offset his own lack of
experience, including in foreign policy. McCain surprised
more; Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin, who became the
Republican candidate at the convention in early September,
was fairly unknown at the national level. Many Republicans
saw Palin as a fresh fan next to 72-year-old McCain, and as
a conservative, she appealed to many within the party's
right-wing Christian base.
With the election of Palin, Republicans first got a boost
in opinion polls, but gradually she also emerged as a
burden. Many, even in their own party, questioned her
competence when, with several startling statements, she
emerged as strikingly ignorant.
McCain's conditions were also weakened by the record-low
support for the incumbent president, with just over 20
percent of voters thinking that party colleague Bush did a
good job. In addition, the US financial crisis almost
exploded in September, leaving the electoral movement
completely dominated by the economy, which did not benefit
McCain. The crisis led to state intervention in the market
to an extent that few had foreseen. The state took control
of the two bankruptcy mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac - who together accounted for about half the mortgage
market - and over the country's largest insurance group AIG.
The remaining investment banks on Wall Street were
overturned, bought up or changed status to commercial banks.
In order to prevent a financial meltdown, Finance Minister
Henry Paulson proposed a rescue package of up to US $ 700
billion for the state to buy up bad loans. It was passed in
record speed by Congress, even though the House of
Representatives in a first vote said no and thus contributed
to one of the autumn's many violent stock market crashes.
The stock market also collapsed when both chambers of
Congress, after certain additions, said yes to the package,
a sign that the market was not sure that the effort would
In the Nov. 4 election, Obama won with the support of 53
percent of voters and 365 of the 538 electoral votes. The
choice was the most watched and most expensive to date. But
mostly it was historic when few even a year earlier had
thought that a black person would become the next president
of the United States. The enthusiasm of the supporters was
enormous, both in the country and abroad. Expectations were
very high on major changes in politics. In addition, the
Democrats had strengthened their position in Congress.
But at the same time, the financial crisis continued to
deepen, and it became clear that Obama would take a very
difficult position. The budget deficit for 2008 was
estimated to add $ 1 trillion to central government debt,
which now amounted to more than 10 trillion US dollars.
Growth seemed to fall to minus 5 percent at the end of the
year, over 20 banks had collapsed and the automotive
industry was in an acute crisis and demanded state aid not
The November 2008 presidential election was won by
Democrat Barack Obama, who became the country's first
president of African-American descent. This triggered a hate
campaign of unprecedented dimensions from the country's
racist right wing. At the same time, the election was a
strategic defeat for the Republican Party's neoconservative
wing and for the country's extensive fundamentalist
Christian sects that had supported the Bush administration.
As his first official act, Obama issued a decree that
would mean the closure of the concentration camp in
Guantanamo, where hundreds of prisoners have been
incarcerated since 2001 in violation of the Geneva
Conventions. A year later, the closure of Guantanamo had run
out in the sand due to unwillingness in the US to take
prisoners and long-suffering in the judiciary for getting
the many innocent prisoners released.
The new government embarked on a new health reform that
would allow all citizens of the United States access to
health care, and Obama also appointed a number of top people
to pave the way for peace in the Middle East. However, all
these political projects ran into serious problems through
2009 because Obama teamed up with powerful actors in the
United States: the rocky health groups and the Jewish lobby
there is opposition to peace in the Middle East. The death
of Senator Ted Kennedy and the subsequent election of a
conservative replacement made the plans for health care
reform disintegrate, and only after the president set all
his prestige in spring 2010 did he succeed in adopting an
amputated health care reform, which, however, remains
private insurance companies and hospitals that are the
cornerstones of health care. The many private actors whose
sole purpose is to make money from illness make the United
States health care the most expensive in the world - without
overall being particularly good.
23 CIA agents were convicted in November 2009 in a Milan
court for the abduction of Egyptian imam Abu Omar in 2003.
The agents abducted him and brought him to Egypt, where he
was tortured and charged with terrorism for several years..
He was never charged, but remains monitored by the Egyptian
authorities. The CIA's Milan boss was sentenced to 8 years
in prison, while 22 other agents were given every 5 years in
prison. They were also sentenced to pay $ 1 million. € in
compensation to Omar and ½ million. € in compensation to his
wife. The abduction was part of the United States' so-called
rendition program, where the superpower, in particular
2001-07, systematically violated the Torture Convention by
abducting suspects and subjecting them to torture in client
states. The United States refused to extradite the 23 to
prosecution in Italy, and they were therefore sentenced in
In December 2009, Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace
Prize. On the day he was presented with the award, he
announced the deployment of another 30,000 soldiers in
Afghanistan. The Nobel Committee's decision to award the
President of the United States was met with wonder on many
sides, as the superpower remains the world's most aggressive
military force. The United States began its military
withdrawal from Iraq in June 2009. It was completed in
Obama visited Denmark twice in 2009. First time in
November in an attempt to get the 2016 Olympic Games to
Chicago. It failed. Brazil will host the 2016 Olympics. The
second time in December during the UN Climate Summit. This
meeting, in turn, succeeded as Obama managed to keep the
North American oil companies from paying for CO 2
pollution for 100 years.
The new government was unable to curb the economic
crisis. In October, open unemployment reached 10.1%. The
highest level since 1983. And underemployment reached 17.5%.
In March 2010, Vice President Joseph Biden traveled to
Israel to meet with the Israeli government and launch the
peace process that Israel had sabotaged for 9 years. To mark
Israel's decision, Israel announced new settlement buildings
in the Occupied Territories, in the midst of Biden's visit.
A furious Biden returned home, and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu's subsequent visit to Washington was
marked by icy cold. Despite diplomatic attempts to pour oil
onto the waters, the relationship between the two states was
at the coolest level for 15 years. But Israel achieved what
it wanted: continued expansion of its settlements - in
violation of the 4th Geneva Convention - and the United
States' attempt to get the peace process back on track.
Instead, the United States turned its attention to Iran,
which the superpower does not believe has the right to
acquire nuclear weapons. Iran has signed the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, while Israelhas not
signed this agreement and is believed to have more than 100
nuclear bombs - the only nuclear power in the region.
In April 2010, an explosion destroyed a BP oil rig in the
Caribbean. Over the next 87 days, about 4.9 million ran.
barrels of crude oil into the Caribbean. The spill destroyed
beaches, fishing and bottom living in a vast ocean area just
south of the United States. In February, the expenses for BP
were ifbm. the spill ran up to $ 42 billion US $.
In 2010, a health reform was implemented, whose primary
goal was to provide health insurance to the DKK 50 million.
North Americans who until then had had no insurance. This
was not a real strengthening of the public health system,
but to provide DKK 50 million. poor residents access to
private health insurance. The fight against health reform
became the focal point of the fundamentalist right wing in
the United States. The reform will not create a cheaper and
more effective healthcare system, but will strengthen the
United States as the country with the world's most expensive
(and most ineffective) health care system.
In the spring of 2011, the US became more reluctant to
join NATO's war on Libya. In late April, however, the United
States ended its bombings, leaving the rest to NATO. The
Western world had fooled the United Nations Security Council
into approving the establishment of a no-fly zone, but in
practice NATO waged war on Libya.
On May 1, 2011, North American stealth helicopters
attacked a house in Pakistan, executed Osama bin Laden and
subsequently forged the body of the Indian Ocean. Under
Obama, direct war operations against US enemies diminished,
but instead, secret and drone-based operations were
drastically escalated. Since 2010, thousands of civilians
are killed annually in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan
following attacks by remote-controlled drones. Human rights
organizations with Amnesty International at the forefront in
August 2013 called this practice of crimes against humanity
- without, however, in any way changing the US practice.