Decade In Review – Part II (2003 – 2006)

by Ben Hoffman

2003

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the UN Security Council on Iraq in February of 2003 and on March 20, the U.S. invaded Iraq. This was the first time our country ever declared war on a sovereign nation that was of no threat to us. With the war came the alienation of many of our allies and the polarization of political parties that we haven’t seen before in our country. At least not in my lifetime.

Although the war in Iraq would cost our country over a trillion dollars, Bush decided it would be a good idea to cut taxes and was able to get the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 passed using reconciliation, with Dick Cheney casting the deciding vote. He couldn’t even get a simple majority in the Senate because it was so obviously a bad idea.

On May 1st, George W. Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, just off the coast of San Diego, where he gave a speech announcing the end of major combat in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A banner behind him declared “Mission Accomplished.” Bush had them turn the ship around so the photo-op would make him look like he was far out at sea. In December, Saddam Hussein was captured in Tikrit by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.

In 2003, we had the Abu Ghraib scandal, which incited more hatred of the United States by Muslims. It made many of us here wonder what kind of perverts were running the military prisons.

July brought us the treasonous act of revealing the identity of a CIA agent. Washington Post columnist Robert Novak published the name of Valerie Plame in the Washington Post, blowing her cover as a CIA operative. It turned out, Karl Rove first revealed her identity, but others also were involved, and then lied about it. Scooter Libby was convicted of lying to a Grand Jury in obstructing justice, but he would serve no time in prison. Bush would commute his sentence.

A major severe weather outbreak spawns more tornadoes than any week in U.S. history; 393 tornadoes were reported in 19 states. A heat wave in Paris caused temperatures up to 112°F in August. An earthquake in Algeria killed 2,200. In December, a massive earthquake devastated southeastern Iran; over 40,000 people were reported killed.

Facing an investigation surrounding allegations of illegal drug use, American right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh publicly admited that he is addicted to prescription pain killers. Some believe his followers to be heavily sedated, also.

Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas during re-entry in February, killing all on board.

2004

2004 could be described as the year of terrorism around the world: suicide bombings killed 41 in Moscow, 66 in Baghdad, 116 in Philippines, 190 in Madrid, 89 in Chechnya, 10 in Moscow, 34 in Egypt, 22 in U.S. military base in Mosul.

Conservatives won a majority in Iranian parliamentary election, perhaps as a response to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Iraqis were afraid they were next.

Some other major events: the last Oldsmobile rolled off the assembly line in April, Nick Berg was shown decapitated on web video by Islamic extremists, the Ubuntu OS released, Bush was re-elected, Republicans gain control of the House and Senate, terrorists attack U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing several people.

One of the largest natural disasters in history resulted from an earthquake in Indian Ocean causing enormous tsunami that flooded many coastal areas killing over 186 thousand people. 40 thousand people are still missing. An earthquake in Kashmir killed 80 thousand people.

2005

Bush begins second reign of destruction. Iraqis, tired of the ineptitude, corruption, and violence, protest U.S. occupation of Iraq. Insurgent attacks increase. The terrorist attacks on London railroad killed 56 and injured over 700.

In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. At least 1836 were killed, making it one of the five deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history. While President Bush and Michael Brown were telling the public everything was under control, news footage showed otherwise. CNN showed New Orleans residents stranded without food or water. FEMA claimed they couldn’t get help to the stranded, but celebrities such as Sean Penn were able to get through.

Hurricane Katrina marked the beginning of the end for Bush. Only the die hard conservative sheep remained faithful after most others realized they were being lied to.

2006

Natural disasters continued in February of 2006 with a massive mudslide in Philippines that killed 1,126. A Typhoon in November triggered another massive mudslide killing over 720.

In 2006, there also was the Israel/Lebanon War, Pluto was demoted to status of dwarf planet, E. coli in spinach killed 2 and poisoned 100s, and Peugeot produced their last car.

Saddam Hussein found guilty of crimes against humanity in November and executed in December. A series of attacks in Sadr City, Baghdad kill more than 200 and injured 100s others.

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