2000s Decade Recap - Politics

Despite Y2K panic at the beginning of the decade, the first ten years of the new millennium proved that our fellow humans are much more dangerous than malfunctioning machines. Unprecedented terrorist attacks on American soil, followed by subsequent attacks around the world punctuated the 2000s. Climate change and unparalleled natural disasters killed hundreds of thousands. Not to mention the global economic meltdown. To finish it off, the world was scared to death by the swine flu pandemic – the perfect end to a dreadful decade. In this video, WatchMojo.com reviews these and more milestones from the first decade of the new millennium.

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2000s Decade Recap - Politics

What Kind of Decade was it?

The United States of America started out the millennium posting a budget surplus and enjoying world peace.
It ended with a deficit in the trillions, a shattered economy, fighting not one but two wars and afraid not only of terrorism, but of epidemics and a global meltdown.

Yeah, that’s the kind of decade that it was.

With the Y2K bug quarantined, President Bill Clinton ushered in the first decade of the new millennium – and the final year of his presidency – sitting on a surplus of five hundred and fifty nine billion dollars.

Throughout the year, Clinton’s Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush won their respective parties’ nominations, and ultimately results of the presidential election had Bush winning the electoral votes despite Gore earning more Popular votes. The ensuing Bush v. Gore landmark United States Supreme Court case was decided on December 12, 2000 and this effectively resolved the 2000 presidential election in favor of George W. Bush.

As further evidence of how easy Bill Clinton had it on the diplomatic front during his term, the biggest foreign policy disaster of that year consisted of federal agents shipping young Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba.

India's population continued to soar as its billionth citizen was born on May 11th, joining China as the only countries with over a billion people. 2001 started off on the wrong foot with an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom in the spring and summer.
But that was nothing compared to 9/11 – on September 11 2001 4 jumbo jets were hijacked: 2 were slammed into the World Trade Center, one in the Pentagon and another crashed in Pennsylvania.

The world, as we knew it, would never be the same.
Inaugurated in January of 2001 and baptized by fire, President Bush invaded Afghanistan on October 7th to hunt down Osama bin Laden and crush Al Quaeda, the suspected masterminds of the 9/11 attacks. This was despite the fact that none of the alleged hijackers were from Afghanistan and in fact hailed from Saudi Arabia.

The US managed to drive the Taliban from power and the Afghan people voted for Hamid Karzai, a man who was allegedly a consultant for the Union Oil Company of California – or UNOCAL. The company has since been acquired by Chevron, in 2005.

As George Bush signs the Patriot act into effect, terrorists kill innocent partygoers in Bali.
On February 1 2002, kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is murdered in Karachi, Pakistan.
Between November 2002 and July 2003, SARS – or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – infected over 8,000 people and killed almost 800.

But that was nothing compared to the killing that lurked around the corner.

The next year, Colin Powell makes the case for war against Iraq at the United Nations. The world community is unconvinced, but undeterred by the evildoers, Dubya expands the war on terror by attacking Iraq in March 2003.

By December 13th, former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein is captured in Tikrit by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. Once upon a time Saddam was on the CIA’s payroll, now he's public enemy number one.

And with over one hundred thousand soldiers on Iraqi soil, the US admits there was never any threat from WMDs – or Weapons of Mass Destruction.

On March 11th, 2004, three days before Spain's general elections, a series of coordinated bombings targeted the commuter train system in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding eighteen hundred.

In Iraq, US soldiers were accused of abusing prisoners at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, while back on US soil John Kerry won the Democratic nomination and set off to defeat an unpopular George Bush.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts – incidentally Kerry’s home state – became the first state to legalize gay marriage. Former President Ronald Reagan died in June of 2004 at the age of 93.

In the November elections, Kerry shocked the world by losing to Bush, who now would serve as a lame duck President with a green light to continue his global crusade.

2004 ended with a bang: a tsunami struck in the Indian Ocean and killed 230,000 people.

2005 saw more terrorist attacks, this time in London.
Nominated by President Bush after the death of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, John Roberts is named the 17th Chief Justice of the United States.

Also dead, the pope. He’s replaced by Joseph Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict the XVI. (16)
On August 23, 2005, Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane. By Monday, August 29 it hit southeast Louisiana and caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge. At least one thousand eight hundred and thirty six people lost their lives in the actual hurricane and subsequent floods, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane.

Thousands die, George Bush doesn’t like black people.
Five years after being dubbed a member of the Axis of Evil, North Korea earns the moniker by conducting its first nuclear test.

The other member of the elite club, Iran enriches uranium.

Meanwhile, George Bush continues to reject funds for stem cell research.

President Gerald Ford dies and Saddam is executed. Tough year for former heads of state.

As the wars rage in both Afghanistan and Iraq, Americans usher in an era of change. In 2007, the first madame speaker of the house – Nancy Pelosi – is sworn in.

The US implements the “Surge” by adding more troops to Iraq while a Virginia Tech student goes on a rampage killing 32 people.

By 2008, the bubble in the housing market bursts. Hedge fund losses add up. Banks shut down: Bear Stearns goes bankrupt while Lehman is acquired for pennies on the dollar by JP Morgan. Wall Street panics, lays off thousands. Bush signs bail out.
In November, Obama becomes the first black president. Chicago, New York, the US and the entire world celebrate his victory. The next year, he wins the Nobel Prize.

The economy continues to shrink and job losses pile up.
Meanwhile, Bill Clinton pops up out of nowhere and rescues two American journalists held in North Korea, even though his wife is Secretary of State. Ted Kennedy dies.

As the year and decade closes out, the Swine flu – also known as H1N1 – scares half the population to death.

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