USA. According to
COUNTRYAAH, Democrats lost their "super majority" in the Senate
in January, when a Republican unexpectedly won the election
after the deceased Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. In doing
so, Republicans increased their ability to stop bills, which
seemed to jeopardize the bitterly disputed health care
reform that both chambers of Congress adopted as their
version of. President Barack Obama invested heavily in
enforcing the law and finally adopted it in March. This was
done by the House of Representatives approving the Senate
version, without further adjustment.
Welfare reform was the most pervasive since the 1960s. It
provided health insurance to approximately 32 million
previously uninsured Americans and was estimated to reduce
the declining health care costs over time. Some Democrats
were dissatisfied with what was seen as a diluted proposal
that lacked a state insurance option. Republicans voted
manganese against the law, which they felt meant too much
government involvement in the economy and people's lives.
An oil platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April,
sinking to a depth of 1,500 meters. Eleven workers were
killed and large amounts of oil began to sprout
uncontrollably from the seabed.
Soon, the spill was called the worst environmental
disaster in US history. Sensitive wetlands with rich bird
and wildlife life along the south coast were affected, as
was the fishing industry and tourism. The oil company BP was
accused of lack of preparedness and lousy handling of the
accident. The government was criticized for reacting slowly.
President Obama gradually sharpened the tone for BP and
decided to temporarily halt oil drilling at great depths.
After several unsuccessful attempts, BP stopped the leak in
July. Nearly five million barrels of oil had then leaked,
the largest offshore discharge that has ever occurred
anywhere in the world.
On May 1, a car full of explosives was discovered in
Times Square, New York. Two days later, a Pakistani-American
man was arrested for leaving the country with a passenger
plane. The man, who said he was waging war on Islam, was
sentenced in October to life in prison for terrorism and
attempting to use weapons of mass destruction. A new
reminder of the terror threat came the same month when
explosives were found in two packages that were on the way
with shipping plans to the United States.
A new financial regulation that was missing through the
congress was completed in July. Obama called financial
reform the toughest since the depression in the 1930s. The
intention was to increase stability in the markets to
prevent future taxpayers being forced to step in to save
financial institutions from collapse.
Illegal immigration came into focus when Arizona adopted
a strict immigration law. Critics called the law racist and
boycott demands came from other states. The federal
government turned to court, which ruled that the law
violated the constitution as immigration is a federal task.
But the decision was appealed. According to estimates, there
are twelve million paperless immigrants in the United
The WikiLeaks website caused disruption in July by
publishing tens of thousands of secretly stamped documents
on US warfare in Afghanistan. The documents gave a picture
of a failed war with few prospects of victory. Later,
WikiLeaks released documents from Iraq. In November, it was
time for countless diplomatic reports, with annoying
comments about people and phenomena. Many in the United
States raged over the publication, which was deemed to
jeopardize US relations and freedom of movement in the world
and threaten the safety of many individuals.
President Obama's popularity figures have dropped
sharply. One reason was continued concern over the economy.
A cautious recovery had taken place after the deep dive that
began in 2008, but unemployment remained at around 10
percent and many more were counted as underemployed.
More and more Americans were considered poor; every
eighth resident received a federal grant to buy food.
Unemployment hit particularly hard against male-dominated
occupations. During the year, for the first time in US
history, more women than men were included in the workforce.
From the right, Obama and government opponents organized
themselves, among others, in the newly formed so-called Tea
Party movement, a loose association of right-wing populists,
nationalists and anti-federalists. Several Tea Party
candidates won Republican primary elections this fall.
As expected, the November election turned out to be a
stinging defeat for the Democrats. In the House of
Representatives, where all 435 seats were at stake, the
party lost over 60 seats and Republicans took control. In
the Senate election, which covered a third of the seats,
Democrats managed to retain their majority, even if it
weakened. The Democrats also lost several important governor
positions. Several leading Republicans vowed to invest
everything in tearing up health care reform. The result
meant further limited room for maneuver for Obama, who had
already faced massive opposition from Republicans.
But towards the end of the year, Obama unexpectedly rowed
ashore several important party-wide deals that disrupted the
image of a crippled president. First, he got Congress to
pass an important tax compromise: concessions to
Republicans' demands for extended tax relief for
multi-millionaires, in exchange for extended unemployment
benefits and other stimulus measures. Subsequently, a
decision was made to allow openly gay men to serve in the
military. A new START agreement that Obama struck with the
Russian Federation on Reduced Nuclear Arsenal was ratified.
Finally, free medical care was also approved for workers who
received but after the rescue operation in connection with
the terrorist attacks in 2001.
Occupy Wall Street - protests against the greed of
In protest of the greed of financial capital, in
September 2011, protests began in New York. Under the slogan
"Occupy Wall Street" (OWS), demonstrations began against the
increasingly deep economic crisis and the increasingly
skewed distribution of values in the United States.
Authorities initially sought to clamp down on the protests
by denying them the right to use speakerphones or
megaphones. It led to the development of an Occupy
tradition of repeating the speeches backwards so that
everyone can hear the message. Occupythe movement
quickly spread to the rest of the United States and gained
effective support from the country's trade union movement.
From the United States, it spread to the rest of the world,
positioning the 1% of the population in wealth to the 99%
who pay with unemployment, pay cuts and forced auctions. In
October, the movement held a global day of action that
clarified the reach of democracy in the capitalist states.
While protesters based in Tahrir Square in Cairo for weeks
were allowed to demonstrate against the Mubarak dictatorship
in Egypt, after three days of violence, police were removed
from Copenhagen City Hall Square and authorities also
violently attacked protesters in the United States. In
Oakland, two war veterans participating in the
demonstrations were shot and severely wounded by police, and
in November, police forcibly cleared the protesters' base in
New York's Zucotti Park. However, the protests continued
In December 2012, the Civil Justice Fund Partnership was
able to publish otherwise secretly stamped FBI papers
documenting the police state's crackdown on OWS. Although
the FBI initially characterized OWS as a peaceful
organization, it was treated as a terrorist threat. National
and local collaboration had been initiated between the FBI,
Homeland Security (DHS), local police, the New York Stock
Exchange, banks and university authorities to identify
participants, plan and coordinate the destruction of the
movement - predominantly with violent ones. The FBI also
worked on plans to allow OWS executives to be shot by
snipers. University authorities provided names of OWS
participants to the FBI. The banks provided footage from
security cameras and sightings from their private security
guards. The FBI and DHS used this information with local law
enforcement to make plans for how the movement could be
crushed by violence: violent arrests, tear gas, thugs, tear
gas grenades fired directly at protesters' heads, handcuffed
protesters or hours striped, until they had surpassed or
pissed themselves. And possibly killing of the leaders. The
strategy succeeded. The police state had crushed the
movement during 2012.
Barack Obama signed Dec. 31, 2011 law HR 1540, also known
as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which
transformed the United States into a global-reach police
state. The law provides the United States with a "legal
basis" to arrest persons anywhere in the world, detain them
indefinitely without trial, and deprive them of the right to
habeas corpus - ie. that a third party or family cannot be
informed that they are actually detained. These instruments
can also be used by the state vis-à-vis its own US citizens.
This part of the legislation triggered fierce criticism from
civil rights organizations such as the ACLU, as the NDAA
violates the United States Constitution's liberties. The
global arrest warrant, in turn, triggered fierce criticism
from international human rights organizations such as
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Amnesty
stated: «The NDAA will 'normalize' indefinite detention
without trial and make Guantánamo a permanent part of
American society. The NDAA means that the US intelligence
service can arrest suspects all over the world - even far
from the battlefield - and send them to military prison
camps endlessly. "
In April 2012, the LA Times published photos of
superpower soldiers in Afghanistan posing with body parts of
shattered Afghan suicide bombers. The body parts were
handled as trophies and triggered strong criticism in
Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzei condemned the soldiers'
holiday pictures as expressing a sick morale.
In November 2012, Obama succeeded in being re-elected for
a second term with 51.1% of the vote. Away, however, was the
enthusiastic popular backing that had carried the election
campaign in 2008. The "yes we can" movement was gone because
Obama had failed most of his election promises. The main
reason for the presidential reelection was to be sought in
the split of the Republican Party, which consists of a small
but high-ranking minority of fundamentalist
ultra-liberalists - the "Tea Party" movement - who wants to
put the federal government in the mole bag, fundamentalist
Christians and the traditional aggregation of millionaires
and billionaires. There was no footfall among Republicans
and therefore no backing for the party's presidential
candidate, Mitt Romney. In the House of Representatives
election, Republicans rose slightly to 242 seats, while the
Democrats had to settle for 193. There was nothing new about
the US people electing a president with Congress against
them, but Republicans in the newly elected Congress with the
Tea Party at the forefront declared that they would not
cooperate with the president but rather oppose all his
initiatives. The political civil war can be seen as an
indication that the superpower is in disintegration, has an
increasingly marginal economic impact worldwide and despite
the world's strongest military power has trouble unfolding
its hegemony. In that sense, it was symbolic when Foreign
Minister John Kerry declared the Monroe Doctrine of Death in
In March 2013, there were reports in the world press of a
hunger strike among prisoners in the US concentration camp
Guantanamo. There were prisoners who had been cleared for
release as early as 2007 or 09, but Statdig was sitting in
the camp. In October, British The Guardian and
The Observer made this animation about the hunger
strike: Guantánamo Bay: The Hunger Strikes - video
In July 2013, a North American military court sentenced
Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for spying. Manning
was known guilty of handing over hundreds of thousands of
documents to WikiLeaks documenting the superpowers' war
crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. It started with the
unveiling of the movie Collateral Damage, which featured
North American soldiers' execution of 11 Iraqis, including 2
Reuters journalists. While Manning was convicted, no
soldiers or officers are convicted of the war crimes
WikiLeaks documents reveal. During the trial, Manning
underwent a sex change and joined Chelsea.
In June 2013, North American NSA analyst Edward Snowden
went underground after launching the unveiling of a giant
NSA espionage program aimed at Internet communications in
general and most of the world's heads of state and
organizations in general. The NSA disclosures are probably
the most politically and economically damaging to the United
States ever. They have worsened the relationship between the
United States and many of its otherwise traditional allies
or friends, and they have revealed that North
American-produced IT equipment has built-in back doors,
allowing the NSA to carry out espionage. This applies to
Microsoft's programs and operating systems, to computer
"clouds" to operate systems, and to hardware manufacturers
such as Cisco. In the first 6 months after Snowden's
disclosures, Cisco's revenue fell by 25%.
In December 2013, the federal government dropped Detroit.
Many other North American metropolises are on the brink of
an economic collapse.