Century 21 Decades 1-6 AD
Century 21 -2001-2006 AD
presidency of George W. Bush begins. He has promised to make
no attempts at nation building abroad, to give tax breaks for everyone,
and to help the challenged through compassionate conservatism.
Jan 11 President-elect Bush has a top-secret session with the
US military Joint Chiefs of Staff, reviewing spots around world where
he might have to send US forces. The focus is on Iraq and the Persian
Gulf. Bush has been critical of the Clinton administration for allowing
the international coalition against Iraq to erode and the sanctions
against Iraq to loosen.
Jan 17 President Clinton's National Security Advisor meets
with Bush's appointed National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice. An
attack by terrorists within the United States is Berger's over-riding
concern, and he tells Rice: "I believe that the Bush Administration
will spend more time on terrorism generally, and on al-Qaeda
specifically, than any other subject."
Jan 20 President Clinton pardons 111 people, including Susan
McDougal, Patricia Hearst Shaw, and his half-brother Roger Clinton.
George W. Bush is sworn in as President of the United States.
Jan 25 Richard Clarke, member of the National Security
Council, who had served three previous presidents, sends a memo to Rice
suggesting a major presidential policy review to address the
"challenge" to the US posed by the al Qaeda network.
Jan 28 A defector from Saddam Hussein's Iraq tells the
British newspaper, The Telegraph, that Hussein has two fully
operational nuclear bombs and is working on others.
Jan 30 The Bush administration holds its first National
Security Council meeting. Iraq gets attention and al Qaeda does not, or
hardly any. At the meeting, CIA director George Tenet states that a
factory in Iraq might be producing either chemical or biological
materials for weapons manufacture. He admits that there is no
Feb 12 The Human Genome Project international consortium
announces the publication of an analysis of the human genome: a
blueprint of the sequence of the three billion chemical letters
embodied in genetic heredity.
Feb 15 Former senators Hart and Rudman issue their final
report on national security. It warns that the US is unprepared for a
"catastrophic'' domestic terrorist attack.
Feb 15 President Bush tells the West Virginia National Guard
that "over-deployments" strain troops, their families and the civilian
employers of National Guardsmen.
Feb 16 Responding to Iraqi targeting of allied warplanes
flying in the UN created "no fly zones," twenty-four US and British
aircraft attack Iraqi radar stations and air command centers, including
targets around Baghdad.
Feb 17 President Bush says that "Saddam Hussein has got to
understand that we expect him to conform to the agreement that he
signed after Desert Storm .''
Feb 18 FBI agent Robert Hannsen is arrested and charged with
having spied for Russia for the past fifteen years.
Mar 1 Mohamed Atta and a friend, Marwan al-Shehhi, are in Florida
practicing flying with a small Piper Warrior aircraft. Atta
is 33, an Egyptian and former student of architecture in Hamburg,
Germany. He is passionately opposed to Israel and US support for
Israel. He believes that Jews centered in New York City control the
finances and media of the world and that "Saddam Hussein is an American
stooge set up to give Washington an excuse to intervene in the Middle
Mar 4 At an international conference in Trieste, Christine
Todd Whitman, representing President Bush, declares that the US is
committed to combating global warming and to pursuing mandatory
Mar 29 President Bush has changed his mind about the
mandatory emission controls that he spoke for during his campaign for
the presidency. He announces that he will not give in to international
pressure regarding his decision to shun the Kyoto Treaty on global
warming. He says he "will not accept a plan that will harm our economy
and hurt our workers."
Apr 1 A new law in the Netherlands legalizes same-sex
marriages for the first time since the reign of Nero.
Apr 2 A US spy aircraft has collided with a Chinese fighter
jet and is forced to land in Hainan, China. The US crew is detained and
the plane is confiscated. China blames the United States and the US
blames China. President Bush insists on the return of the airplane's
crew and the airplane, "without further damaging or
Apr 11 Regarding China, President Bush has toned down the
belligerent rhetoric and allowed quiet go-it-alone diplomacy. China
returns the crew of the plane that landed in Hainan. The spy plane is
to be cut into pieces and flown out of China in a Russian cargo plane.
Apr 11 A few Islamic young men join Atta in Florida.
Apr 27 D. Mark Wilson and William Beach of the The Heritage
Foundation predict that the tax cuts planned by the Bush administration
will result in the complete elimination of the US national debt by the
fiscal year 2010.
May 1 President Bush describes the possible possession of
missiles by rogue states as today's most urgent threat. Also today, the
Bush White House is told by the CIA that "a group presently in the
United States" is planning a terrorist attack.
Jun 1 In Nepal, Crown Prince Dipendra, not quite 30, has been
denied his choice for a wife by his mother. With an assault
rifle he kills his mother, his father the king, other members of the
royal family and he shoots himself.
Jun 4 Crown Prince Dipendra dies. His uncle, Gyanendra, 53,
the closest relative to the former king, ascends the throne.
Jun 6 German intelligence warns the US CIA and Israel that
Middle Eastern terrorists are planning to hijack commercial aircraft to
use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli
Jun 7 President George W. Bush signs the Economic Growth and
Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. The Clinton administration has left a
budget surplus, and President Busha says, "The surplus is the people's
money. And we ought to trust them with their own money."
Jun 11 The United States executes Timothy McVeigh for bombing a federal
building in Oklahoma City.
Jun 16 Speaking of President Putin of Russia, President Bush
says, "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very
straightforward and trustworthy... I was able to get a sense of his
Jun 20 In Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, who took power in a
bloodless military coup in 1999, declares himself President.
Jun 22 The Bush White House is told an Al Qaeda attack could
Jul 2 The first self-contained artificial heart is implanted
in Robert Tools. He is to live 151 days.
Jul 10 FBI agent Kenneth Williams sends a memo from Arizona
warning that men suspected of ties to terrorist groups are training in
Arizona flight schools. He mentions Osama bin Laden by name and
speculates that bin Laden's organization might be attempting to
infiltrate the US aviation industry with pilots, security guards and
Jul 16 China and Russia sign a Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and
Jul 21 The Darfur Liberation Front is born as persons of the Fur and
Zaghawa ethnicities meet and swear oaths on the Koran to combat the
Sudanese government in Khartoum.
Aug 6 President Bush receives an intelligence memo titled
"Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" The memo says that bin
Laden may attempt to hijack airplanes. The report mentions the al Qaeda
operative, Ahmed Ressam, who intended to bomb Los Angeles International
Airport at the beginning of the year but was caught at the US-Canadian
Aug 9 The "Damascus Spring" comes to an end with the arrest
of Mamun al Homsi, a legislator representing Damascus, after he
launches a hunger strike in opposition to corruption. The so called
Spring began after Bashar al-Assad came to power in July 2000 and
promised reforms. Bashar's brother, Maher, will be described as having
persuaded his brother to crack down. (Wikipedia on the Damascus Spring
Aug 10 British and US war planes attack air-defense sites in
southern Iraq. The Pentagon says three Iraq air defense system targets
Sep 9 In Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Massoud, military commander
of the Northern Alliance, an enemy of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden,
is assassinated by a suicide bomber posing as a
Sep 11 In the US nothing has been done to increase airport
security. Hijackers have no trouble boarding commercial
airlines. They hijack four airliners. Two of the aircraft are flown
into New York's Twin Towers. Still without adequate radios, more than
200 firefighters in the north tower do not receive an evacuation call.
Almost 3,000 are killed in New York City. A hijacked airliner slams
into the Pentagon, killing 125 people inside the Pentagon and the 54
people other than the five hijackers on board the aircraft. By phone,
President Bush tells Vice President Dick Cheney, "We are at war, Dick."
Sep 11 Around noon New York time, the Taliban government in
Afghanistan denounces the attacks. Around 6 PM, Iraq announces that the
attacks are the fruit of "US crimes against humanity." In the
evening President Bush tells the American people that they have seen
evil and that he will make no distinction between those responsible for
the attacks and those who harbor them.
Sep 12 Regarding the attack on September 11, Bush tells
Richard Clarke: "Go back over everything. Everything. See if Saddam did
this. See if he's linked in anyway."
Sep 12 Crowds of Iranians hold candlelight marchs in sympathy
with the victims of the attacks of September 11.
Sep 16 President Bush tells his Security Advisor, Condoleezza
Rice: " We won't do Iraq now, but it's a question we're gonna have to
Sep 18 Iran's Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, says
that Islam condemns the massacre of defenseless people. There is hope
among Iranians that the US will acquire a more favorable attitude
toward the government of Iran.
Sep 18 Talk for the past few days of terrorists using
biological agents is followed on this day by five letters containing
anthrax sent from Trenton, New Jersey, to ABC News, CBS News, NBC News,
the New York Post and the National Enquirer. By the year 2008 the FBI
will conclude that the anthrax attacks are by someone at the heart of
work with anthrax: Bruce Ivins, a mentally unstable civilian
microbiologist hired by the US Army.
Sep 21 President Bush has demanded that the Taliban deliver
to the US Osama bin Laden. The Taliban replies that it would
turn over bin Laden only if presented with evidence of his guilt and
that he should be tried by Muslim clerics.
Sep 24 The Taliban calls for a jihad against America if US
forces enter Afghanistan.
Sep 25 Saudi Arabia breaks relations with Taliban-ruled
Afghanistan, citing the Taliban with having made "its land a center to
attract and train a number of misguided people of all nations... in
order to carry out criminal acts that are against every tenet of
Sep 28 Zayd Hassan Safarini, who led the murders aboard Pan
Am Flight 73 in 1986, has been released from prison by the Pakistanis.
US FBI agents grab him in Bangkok (Thailand) and will take him to the
United States, where he is to be convicted of murdering US citizens and
sentenced to 160 years in prison.
Oct 5 The first death occurs that is believed from the
anthrax sent in letters postmarked September 18.
Oct 7 Operation Enduring Freedom begins - so named by the
Bush administration. It is the beginning of what people in the US would
call "the War in Afghanistan." The purpose is to oust the Taliban-led
government in order to prevent future attacks by al Qaeda. The United
States and Britain begin bombing targets in Afghanistan. Australia is a
member of the new coalition. Osama bin Laden calls on all Muslims to
wage a holy war against the United States. Pro-Taliban and anti-US
demonstrations erupt in Pakistan.
Oct 9 Letters containing anthrax are sent again from Trenton,
New Jersey, and are addressed to two Democratic senators: Tom Daschle
and Patrick Leahy. These two are Roman Catholics. Bruce Ivins is also a
Roman Catholic and will be described as opposed to abortion and perhaps
hostile to the liberal positions on abortion by the two senators.
Oct 9 Pakistan troops fight the Taliban on the
Oct 10 In the US, attempts have been made to tighten airport
security. President Bush lets the public know that his administration
now has a list of 22 terrorists that are most wanted. Government
officials tell the public that bin Laden has a network that extends to
the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Nov 1 The US and British effort in Afghanistan has been
mainly air strikes. The Pentagon announces that it is increasing the
number of advisors working with anti-Taliban groups in
Nov 10 China is admitted to the World Trade Organization.
Nov 10 In Afghanistan, at the Jalalabad Islamic Studies
Center, Osama bin Laden speaks to a crowd of about 1,000 and says: "The
Americans had a plan to invade, but if we are united and believe in
Allah, we will teach them a lesson, the same one we taught the
Russians." His audience shouts, "God is great! Down with America! Down
with Israel!" Bin Laden says, "God is with us, and we will win the war.
Your Arab brothers will lead
the way. We have the weapons and the technology."
Nov 14 In Afghanistan, the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance,
allied with the US, has sent a force into Kabul.
Nov 14 Germany sends to prison four who participated in the
April 5, 1986, Berlin discotheque bombing. Three are convicted of
aiding in murder. These are a Libyan diplomat and two Palestinians. The
former wife of one of the Palestinians, a German, is convicted of
Dec 1 US Marines from three amphibious assault ships have
established a base in southern Iraq after encountering no resistance.
Dec 2 Enron Corporation files for bankruptcy, the largest in
Dec 9 US Vice President Cheney tells Meet the Press "It's
been pretty well confirmed that he [Muhamed Atta] did go to Prague and
he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service."
Dec 11 The Taliban has withdrawn from the city of Kandahar.
The US Defense Department claims that the Taliban has been defeated but
cautions that their military campaign is far from over.
Dec 17 Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the Tora Bora mountains
are overrun. The CIA operative, Gary Bernsten, in charge of the
operation, has asked Washington for troops to block the one route of
withdrawal for bin Laden, al Qaeda and Taliban forces, but these troops
have been denied him.
Dec 17 Bin Laden, it is estimated, is on his way southward
from Tora Bora on horseback, accompanied by bodyguards and aides,
crossing through mountain passes and over smugglers' trails, with
villages lighting campfires along the way to guide the
horsemen through the snow towards Pakistan's Pashtun area in Waziristan.
Dec 20 The UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution
1386, authorizing a NATO-led security mission in Afganistan to assist
the Afghan Interim Administration in the maintenance of security in
Kabul and surrounding areas.
Dec 22 Hamid Karzai is sworn-in as head of the Afghan Interim
Adminstration. He would be viewed by some in Afghanistan as an agent of
Dec 27 China is granted permanent normal trade status with
the United States.
Jan 1 The Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, created in
1992, goes into effect. Thirty-four nations have signed the treaty,
including Russia and the United States. Cuba and China have not.
Jan 4 The US Supreme Court affirms patents on seeds. Farmers
will no longer be able to save and share seeds as they have done for
millennia. By law they will have to purchase seeds from the patent
holder every new planting season. The primary beneficiary of the ruling
is Monsanto Corporation.
Jan 9 The US Department of Justice announces that it will
investigate the Enron Corporation.
Jan 29 In his State of the Union address, President Bush
makes his axis of evil declaration, disparaging the governments of
North Korea, Iraq and Iran.
Jan 31 In Pakistan, Daniel Pearl, reporter for the Wall
Street Journal, is murdered by his kidnappers.
Feb 10 In Algeria, government forces have been successfully
hunting down members of the Islamic Army Group, said to be responsible
for the slaughter of more than 100,000 civilians. Today, government
forces gun down the group's leader, Antar Zuarbri. The Islamic Army
Group is now described as having practically disappeared. But at least
a few remain who are not giving up on terrorist tactics, and they are
trying to link up with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.
Feb 12 The United Nations war crimes trial of Yugoslavia's
Slobodan Milosević begins at the Hague in Belgium.
Feb 22 In Angola, Jonas Savimbi is killed in a military
Feb 22 In Nepal, Maoist guerrillas, opposed to the monarchy,
kill 32 policemen.
Feb 27 A train carrying Hindus on their way to rebuilding a
temple at Ayodhya stops in the town of Godha, which is 40 percent
Muslim. Muslims believe the Ayodhya site is theirs. As the
train leaves the station, Muslims set the train on fire, killing 59
including more than a dozen children.
Feb 28 In Ahmedabad, India, Hindu mobs kill more than 60
Muslims in their homes and shops.
Mar 7 In the Antarctic over the past 35 days, Larson B Ice
Shelf, over 3,250 square kilometers, has broken apart - to be blamed on
Mar 11 Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's deputy prime minister,
announces that the amount of money given to the families of suicide
bombers is increasing from $10,000 to $25,000.
Mar 27 In Netanya, Israel, a suicide bomber kills 28 and
wounds 140 at a Passover dinner for the elderly. Hamas claims
responsibility. For the month of March, 135 Israeli citizens
have died from suicide bombings.
Apr 2 Intending to arrest terrorists and those who finance
them, Israel responds to suicide bombings with Operation Defensive
Shield, the largest military operation in the West Bank since the 1967
Apr 11 In front of the ancient Ghriba Synagogue on the
Tunisian island of Djerba, a suicide bomber kills 14 German tourists, 6
Tunisians, a Frenchman and wounds 30 others.
Apr 30 Pakistani voters approve a referendum that grants a
five-year presidency for Pervez Musharraf.
May 1 In Iran some have continued to press for improving relations with
the United States, but the country's Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah
Khamenei (not to be confused with the late Ayatollah Khomeini) has had
a change in attitude since President Bush included Iran in an "Axis of
Evil." In a Labor Day speech, Khamenei dismisses negotiating with the
US and says "The Islamic Republic of Iran will never succumb to
May 5 Jacques Chirac is reelected President of France.
May 20 The people of East Timor celebrate becoming formally
independent from Indonesia.
May 20 In Algeria, elections for seats in parliament give
legal Islamic parties 20 percent of the vote compared to the 50 percent
received by the Islamic Salvation Front in 1991. The government denies
the Salvation Front denying their election victory, and this will
launch a civil war.
Jun 2 In a speech to the military academy at West Point,
President Bush talks about defense that is proactive rather than
reactive. He says that in some instances the US must strike first
against another state to prevent a potential threat from growing into
an actual one.
Jul 1 The UN's new International Criminal Court, located in
the Hague, in the Netherlands, becomes a legal force. Not to be
confused with the "World Court," it has been founded to prosecute
individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Those
states having signed the agreement are 146 in number, well above the
sixty required. The United States is among the 45 members of the UN who
have not ratified the agreement
Jul 8 At his press conference, President Bush is asked
whether it is his "firm intention to get rid of Saddam Hussein." He
answers that it is "a stated policy of [his] government to have a
regime change. And it hasn't changed. And we'll use all tools at our
disposal to do so."
S. Landay Journalist
Jul 14 During Bastille Day celebrations an attempt is made to
assassinate President Chirac.
Aug 1 Saddam Hussein's administration announces that the UN's
chief weapons inspector, Sweden's Hans Blix, is welcome in Baghdad for
Aug 3 President Bush signs into law a bill that authorizes
the use of military force to liberate any US citizen or citizen of a US
ally being held by the International Criminal Court (ICC), and it
"provides for the withdrawal of US military assistance from countries
ratifying the ICC treaty."
Abu Nidal in 1976. A photo
released by Israeli intelligence.
Aug 16 In an exclusive neighborhood in Baghdad, Abu
Nidal is assassinated by Iraqi intelligence.
Aug 20 President Bush says to Bob Woodward: "I'm not a
textbook player, I'm a gut player."
Aug 26 In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, US Vice
President Dick Cheney says, "Simply stated, there is no doubt that
Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. The CIA director,
George Tene,t enjoys an insider relationship with the Bush
administration and does not want to contradict such claims. (PBS
Frontline, "The Dark Side," June 20, 2006)
Sep 5 In Afghanistan a car bomb kills at least 30 in an
apparent attempt to assassinate President Hamid Karzai.
Sep 6 Johathan S. Landay, writing for Knight Ridder
Newspapers reports that "Senior US officials with access to top-secret
intelligence on Iraq say they have detected no alarming increase in the
threat that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein poses to American security
and Middle East stability."
Sep 8 Vice President Cheney tells Meet the Press that Muhamed
Atta, in early 2001 "did apparently travel to Prague" to meet with an
Iraqi government official. CIA and FBI attempts to confirm Cheney's
allegation place Atta in Florida at the time that the meeting in Prague
was supposed to have taken place.
Sep 12 At the United Nations, President Bush speaks of Saddam
Hussein's violations of promises made at the close of the Iraq war in
1991 of violating Security Council Resolution 1373 by continuing "to
shelter and support terrorist organizations that direct violence
against Iran, Israel and Western governments," and of Iraq attempting
to assassinate the Emir of Kuwait, a former US President (his
father) and targeting Iraqi dissidents abroad. And he speaks
of Iraq having "likely" stockpiles of "weapons of mass destruction."
Sep 14 Scott Ritter, UN weapons inspector and former US.
Marine Corps major, tells Time magazine that "no one has backed up any
allegations that Iraq has reconstituted WMD capability with anything
that remotely resembles substantive fact."
Sep 19 In Cote d'Ivoire, troops scheduled for demobilization rebel and
take control of the northern half of the country.
Sep 22 In Cote d'Ivoire the government receives the
assistance of French troops, the French describing the presence as
protecting their nationals and other foreigners. French troops block a
rebel advance southward against the capital.
Sep 26 A Canadian telecommunications engineer, Maher Arar,
returns from his vacation with his wife and family in Tunis to his job
in Canada. He is intercepted at a stopover at Kennedy Airport in New
York. He is not allowed to continue on his flight to Canada and in
secret will be sent as a prisoner to his country of birth, Syria, where
he will be tortured.
Sep 27 East Timor becomes the 191st member of the United Nations.
Oct 2 The US Congress passes a joint resolution authorizing
the president to use the US military as he deems necessary and
appropriate against Iraq, provided that the action will not hinder
efforts to pursue the al Qaeda terrorist network and that the president
declares to Congress that "diplomatic efforts to enforce the U.N.
resolutions have failed."
Oct 7 President Bush tells the public that "Iraq has trained
Al Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and gases." This is
information provided by a captured al-Qaeda operative, Ibn Sheikh
al-Libi, who knew it was false and saw benefit in provoking a war
between the US and Iraq.
Oct 8 For Knight Ridder Newspapers, Warren P. Strobel,
Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott write that "a growing number of
military officers, intelligence professionals and diplomats in his
[President Bush's] own government privately have deep misgivings about
the administration's double-time march toward war. These officials
charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the
threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses - including distorting
his links to the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
Oct 12 In a tourist district on the island of Bali, a suicide
bomber and a planted car bomb kill 202, 89 of whom are Australian
Oct 26 Vice President Cheney says to the Veterans of Foreign
Wars: "Simply stated, thee is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has
weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them
to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.
Oct 26 Opposition to another war in Iraq is organized into
demonstrations in Europe, Latin America, Australia, Japan and the
United States. In the US a common theme is that money spent on war
could be better spent on social programs. One slogan is "No blood for
oil." Most signs call for peace.
Oct 27 President Bush replies that peace is the ultimate
goal. "If we remain true and strong and diligent," he tells a crowd in
Arizona, "we can achieve peace."
Oct 27 For Knight Ridder Newspapers, Warren P. Strobel,
Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott continue on the subject of Iraq.
They write that a "dispute pits hardliners long distrustful of the US
intelligence community against professional military and intelligence
officers who fear the hawks are shaping intelligence analyses to
support their case for invading Iraq."
Oct 28 People including Paul Reynolds of the British
Broadcasting Corporation are expressing doubts about a serious link
between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. They point to Hussein's secularist
background and his hostilities toward the religious extremism of al
Qaeda - Hussein's money to families of suicide bombers being for
self-promotion in the Arab world. Reynolds writes that Saddam must know
that to link with al Qaeda would be fatal for him.
Nov 1 Major General Geoffrey Miller replaces another general,
Rick Baccus, as commander of the Guantanamo detention center (Camp
X-Ray, Camp Delta and Camp Echo). The Pentagon's expectation is that
Miller will toughen interrogation techniques.
Nov 5 In the United States, elections give President Bush's
party, the Republicans, gains in both the Senate and House of
Representatives, where both already have majority representation.
Nov 8 In the United Nations, US and British influence
contribute to the creation of Resolution 1441, urging Iraq to disarm or
face "serious consequences." In the fifteen member Security Council the
resolution passes unanimously.
Nov 8 United Nations weapons inspectors return to Iraq.
Nov 24 After three days of rioting that results in the
killing of 105 persons, the Miss World beauty pageant is moving from
Nigeria to Britain. The riots began as a reaction to an article in a
local newspaper describing the possibility of the Prophet Muhammad,
were he alive, marrying one of the pageant contestants.
Nov 28 Suicide bombers attack Israeli tourists at the Paradise Hotel in
Kenya, killing 15 and injuring 40, mostly Kenyans.
Dec 7 Iraq submits a 12,000 page declaration denying that is
has weapons banned by the United Nations.
Dec 19 Charges against the Central Park Five are dropped. The
real culprit, a convicted rapist and murderer, Matias Reyes, has
confessed. His story describes details of the rape that were missing in
the jumbled and fictitious confessions forced from the wrongly accused.
DNA evidense confirms the guilt of the real culprit. Law enforcement
will now be seen as negligent in their handling the case. Ken Burns
will make a movie about it.
Dec 21 According to the journalist Bob Woodward, in the president's
oval office CIA Director George Tenet with his deputy, John McLaughlin,
show President Bush their best evidence that Saddam Hussein has weapons
of mass destruction. Bush responds: "Nice try, but that isn't gonna
sell Joe Public. That isn't gonna convince Joe Public."
Dec 22 In Baghdad an advisor to Hussein, Amir al-Saadi,
announces to journalists from around the world that Hussein's
government is "ready to answer any questions raised by the United
States and Britain on its arms declaration, and would allow the CIA to
come and identify suspect sites for weapons inspectors."
Dec 27 In Chechnya a truck-bomb suicide destroys government
headquarters, killing 72.
Jan 13 President Bush summons Secretary of State Colin Powell to the
Oval Office and tells him that he has decided to go to war against Iraq.
Jan 28 In his State of the Union speech, President Bush
speaks of intelligence reports and says that Saddam Hussein is not
disarming, he is deceiving. He says that he is ready to attack Iraq
with a United Nations mandate. "We exercise power without conquest," he
says, "and we sacrifice for the liberty of strangers."
Jan 28 Following Bush's address, a nationally televised
debate takes place between Mark Danner and Christopher Hitchens.
Hitchens, occasionally described as a leftist, has been in Iraq and is
close to some there who have been fighting the Saddam regime. He argues
that going to war is the right thing to do. Danner favors strengthening
the "containment policy." He describes Bush's doctrine of preemption as
"extremely dangerous." He argues that a prolonged occupation would be
needed to stabilize Iraq and that this would be fraught with
complications and could result in more terror attacks against the US He
complains that Bush did not use the word "occupation" in his speech.
Feb 5 Secretary of State Powell addresses the United Nations
Security Council and accuses Iraq of hiding Weapons of Mass
Destruction. The evidence he says is "irrefutable and undeniable." He
states that the UN "places itself in danger of irrelevance if it allows
Iraq to continue to defy its will without responding effectively and
vanden Heuvel, publisher/writer
Feb 6 Few journalists in the United States question Powell's
presentation. One who does is Katrina vanden Heuvel. Published in USA
Today, she writes that Powell's presentation contained "little new
information or proof of the presence of weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq." She writes that nearly all of Powell's evidence is "largely
circumstantial or speculative." She complains of minor violations being
offered to justify a major war.
Feb 15 More than 10 million people in over 600 cities
worldwide protest against
Feb 15 Polls show that in the US, President Bush's State of
the Union Speech and Powell's presentation at the UN have increased
support for an invasion of Iraq. Only 27 percent of those polled oppose
military action against Iraq.
Feb 19 In the Kremlin, Putin meets with Russian business
leaders and the most wealthy among them, Mikhail Khodorkovsky suggests
that the correct mistakes they have made and leave behind the
corruption that has became the way of doing business in Russia,
implying that government officials have been accepting millions in
bribes offered by businessmen in order to get things done. Khordokovsky
speaks in favor of moving to a Western European model of doing
business. Putin is annoyed and makes a vailed threat to Khodorskovsky.
Feb 22 Weapons inspectors in Iraq have found al-Samoud
missiles, which have a range that is proscribed by the UN.
Feb 27 President Bush awards the National Humanities Medal to
history professor Paul Kagan, the father of historians whom some would
call neo-cons. Paul Kagan had suggested that war had erupted between
Athens and Sparta because Athens had not been strong enough to scare
Sparta into a reluctance to go to war - rather than states responding
defensively to Athenian aggressions. Keeping states scared is to be
primary in "neo-con" strategic thinking.
Mar 1 Iraq begins destroying its al-Samoud missiles.
Mar 1 In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks of the
"majority of decent and well-meaning people " in the 1930s who wanted
to live in peace with Hitler's Germany. He compares them with those who
want peace now and do not want to hold Saddam Hussein to account by
force if he does not live up to agreements. It is an argument that has
been getting more attention in Britain and the United States, which had
switched to opposition to Hitler by 1939.
Mar 5 The foreign ministers of Germany, Russia and France say they will
oppose any Security Council authorization of war against Iraq.
Mar 7 Hans Blix reports that Iraq has accelerated its
cooperation but that inspectors need more time to verify Iraq's
Mar 9 In Britain, a member of Tony Blair's cabinet, Clare
Short, describes his position on Iraq as "deeply reckless" and
threatens to resign.
Mar 12 Serbia's prime minister, Zoran Djindjic, is
assassinated. He had a role in sending Slobodan Milosevic to his trial
in the Netherlands, and he was trying to curb organized crime.
Mar 16 President Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spain's
Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar meet in the Azores regarding Iraq. At
the end of the meeting President Bush states that "We concluded that
tomorrow is a moment of truth for the world."
Mar 17 The Bush administration sends an ultimatum to Saddam
Hussein: either he and his sons leave Iraq or their refusal to do so
"will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our
choosing." Before his death in 2006, Hussein is to say that he didn't
believe that this meant the kind of invasion that followed, that he
expected a military operation of the kind that he had been able to
Mar 19 Hussein has not complied. The war against Iraq begins
with air strikes.
Mar 20 US, British, Australian and Polish troops invade Iraq.
Mar 22 The US and Britain begin their "shock and awe" air
strikes against targets in Baghdad.
Mar 28 President Bush signs into law his tax plan designed to
reduce taxes and stimulate economic growth. The act reduces the
long-term individual income tax rate on capital gains to 15 percent,
and it significantly reduces the amount of tax paid by investors on
dividends and capital gains. A statement signed by 450 economists,
including 10 Nobel Prize Laureates, oppose the tax-cut bill.
Apr 9 Saddam Hussein's army has ended its
resistance and US forces advance into central Baghdad.
Apr 10 Via television, Bush addresses the Iraqi people,
telling them that the "government of Iraq, and the future of your
country, will soon belong to you." Kurdish and US forces dominate the
northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul. Looting has begun in Baghdad and
Apr 11 So far in the Iraq war, the US has lost 102 killed and the
British 30. Looting has begun in Baghdad.
Apr 21 Retired US Army General Jay Garner has been appointed
to administer a brief occupation of Iraq. He flies into Iraq
with eight subordinates.
Apr 22 Garner wants to create a new Iraqi federal government
and he wants elections to be held within 90 days. The Pentagon is
opposed and Garner agrees to set up an interim Iraqi advisory group of
Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis, many of whom are expatriates favored by the
Apr 23 The Bush administration decides to put Paul Bremer in
charge in Iraq.
Apr 25 The Darfur Liberation Front, consisting of Muslims,
associates itself with those Christians in the south of Sudan fighting
against the government in Khartoum. It has changed its name to the
Sudan Liberation Movement and Sudanese Liberation Army
(SLM/SLA). In Land Cruisers, they attack a sleeping garrison
at al-Fashir - a city in the Darfur region. They destroy seven
helicopter gunships and four Anotov bombers on the ground and kill 75
pilots, soldiers and technicians. The Khartoum government is
awakened to the fact that they face serious warfare from the Darfur
Apr 28 The US Army enters the city of Fallujah and imposes a
curfew. A crowd of about 200 protest and throw stones at the
US forces. According to US soldiers they also hear shots, while none
has been struck by a bullet. The soldiers fire into the crowd. It is
reported that they kill 17 civilians and wound over 70. In Fallujah,
anti-Americanism and anger against occupation spreads.
May 1 President Bush lands a fighter aircraft on the aircraft
carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, near San Diego, California. He tells the
military people aboard the carrier that "Major combat operations in
Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our
allies have prevailed. (Applause.) And now our coalition is engaged in
securing and reconstructing that country."
May 12 A suicide truck-bomb attack kills at least 60 at a
government compound in northern Chechnya. In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,
suicide truck-bombers, said to be al Qaeda, attack the compounds where
American and other Westerners are sleeping. Twenty-six are killed.
May 14 In an apparent attempt to assassinate Chechnya's chief
administrator, Akhmad Kadyrov, a woman with explosives strapped to her
waist kills at least 18 fellow Muslims.
May 14 Paul Bremer has his first full day in Baghdad.
May 15 Jay Garner confronts Bremer concerning Bermer's plan
regarding purging Baathists from Iraqi public offices. Garner says
"you're going to drive between 30,000 and 50,000 Baathists underground
before nightfall. Don't do this." Bremer politely ends the discussion.
May 16 Bremer orders the disbanding of Iraqi ministries of
Defense and Interior, the entire Iraqi military, and all of Saddam's
bodyguard and special paramilitary organizations. Garner is stunned and
believes that Bremer is undoing work to bring back the Iraqi army.
May 16 In the city of Casablanca, Morocco, fourteen
attackers, most between 20 and 24 years-old, strike at a variety of
Jewish and Western targets. Thirty-three are killed and more than one
May 28 The Israeli Cabinet votes to accept a US-backed "road
map to peace," paving the way for talks between Prime Ministers Ariel
Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas.
May 31 Eric Rudolf, a former member of the "Army of God," an
offshoot of the "Christian Identity" movement, wanted for a bomb blast
that killed one and wounded 111 at the close of the Olympic Games in
Atlanta Georia in 1996 and for other bombings, is captured in North
San Suu Kyi
Jun 1 In Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, who won an overwhelming
victory in national elections in 1988 but has been denied office, has
been taken into custody by the ruling military clique following a clash
between their forces and her supporters.
Jun 3 In Zimbabwe, authorities arrest political opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai, of the Movement for Democratic Change, and
army units attack and beat peaceful protesters.
Jun 5 Shops, banks and factories in Zimbabwe's capital,
Harare, remain shut for a third day, defying government threats to
crack down on businesses taking part in the largest strikes yet aimed
at President Robert Mugabe. The Movement for Democratic Change
announces that one of the protesters attacked on June 3 has died from
injuries. Police have reported 250 to 300 arrests in the past few days.
June 5 In Chechnya a female suicide bomber detonates a bomb
near a bus carrying soldiers and civilians to a military airfield in
Mozdok, a major staging point for Russian troops. At least 16 are
Jun 15 A rate of about one US soldier per day has been killed
in Iraq since the end of combat was declared. The US launches Operation
Desert Scorpion to defeat organized Iraqi resistance against US troops.
Jun 18 In the United States, Jay Garner tells Secretary of
Defense Don Rumsfeld that three mistakes have been made: the extent of
the de-Baathification; getting rid of the Iraqi army, which has left
hundreds of thousands unemployed and armed Iraqis running around; and
summarily dismissing an Iraqi leadership group. Garner says there is
"still time to rectify this." Rumsfeld replies: I don't think there is
anything we can do, because we are where we are.
June 28 US military commanders order a halt to local elections and
self-rule in provincial cities and towns across Iraq.
Jul 1 In Hong Kong, 500,000 march to protest a proposed
security law that would restrict and punish dissent.
Jul 2 President Bush responds to insurgents in Iraq. He says,
"My answer is, bring 'em on."
Jul 2 In Russia, a Khodorkovsky business associate, Platon
Lebedev, is arrested. The move against Lebedev will be perceived as
politically motivated and a warning to Khodorkovsky to flee the
country. Lebedev will be charged with tax evasion, embezzlement and
money laundering and sent to prison.
Jul 5 In Hong Kong it is announced that the proposed security
law would be modified to remove warrantless searches
Jul 13 Iraq's interim governing council, composed of 25
Iraqis appointed by American and British officials, is inaugurated. The
council has power to name ministers and will help draw up a new
constitution for the country, while Paul Bremer retains ultimate
Jul 17 US combat deaths in Iraq reach 147.
Jul 22 A raid by US soldiers kills Saddam Hussein's sons,
Uday and Qusay, and a grandson.
Jul 23 In Hong Kong Tony Blair commends the peaceful nature
of the recent demonstrations against the security law legislation and
speaks of evidence of the stability of China overall and the "one
country, two systems policy" for what is now China's Hong Kong.
Jul 27 Bob Hope dies at age 100.
Aug 1 A suicide bomber rams a truck filled with explosives
into a military hospital near Chechnya, killing 50, including Russian
Aug 11 A heat wave in Paris reaches 44 degrees Celsius (112 degrees
Fahrenheit), killing more than 3,000.
Aug 19 A truck bomb kills 20 at the United Nations
headquarters in Baghdad.
Aug 22 In the US, a new method of sequencing genes can
determine the entire genetic code of a virus in a single day.
Aug 26 In Mumbai (Bombay), two car bombs have killed 52 and
injured close to 150. India's deputy prime minister announces
indications Islamic militants were involved. Suspicion is directed
Sep 5 In Hong Kong the security legislation that was
protested in July is withdrawn.
Sep 5 At Disneyland in California, a roller coaster accident
injures 10 and kills 1.
Sep 16 Bremer tells a group of new Iraqi ministers that it is
unpleasant being occupied but that "the Coalition is still the
sovereign power here."
Sep 23 Two-thirds of Baghdad residents who answer a US Gallup
poll respond politely, saying that the removal of Saddam Hussein is
worth the hardships they have encountered and that they expect a better
life in five years.
Oct 2 North Korea claims that it is using plutonium extracted
from spent nuclear fuel rods to make atomic weapons.
Oct 2 Pakistan's army launches its largest offensive against
al-Qaeda and other militants in Pakistan's tribal region bordering
Afghanistan, killing at least 12.
Oct 3 In Karachi, Pakistan, gunmen open fire on a bus
carrying Shiite Muslim employees of Pakistan's space agency, killing
six and wounding at least six others.
Oct 4 In Haifa, Israel, Hanadi Jaradat, a 29-year-old female
Palestinian lawyer, blows herself up in a restaurant, killing 21.
Oct 5 Maher Arar is returned to Canada after Syrian
authorities conclude that he has had no links with terrorists. Arar's
cell was 3 by 6 feet. He was repeatedly tortured and could hear the
screams of other prisoners.
Oct 7 Californians elect Arnold Schwarzenegger governor.
Oct 10 Spain's new Madrid-Leida bullet train makes its first
journey. The train has an average speed of 108 mph, with a peak of 124
Oct 11 The French government supports school officials who
have expelled two sisters for refusing to remove traditional Islamic
head scarves in class.
Oct 15 China launches its first manned space mission.
Oct 21 The Pentagon has put in charge of Baghdad's Abu Ghraib
prison Major General Geoffrey Miller, the Pentagon planning to apply at
Abu Ghraib what Miller had applied at Guantanamo, to get more
information from prisoners. The Red Cross completes a three-day visit
to the prison and reports abuse.
Oct 24 The Concord makes its final commercial flight.
Oct 25 The New York Times reports today that "Russia's
richest man, the baron Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, was seized at gunpoint
[yesterday] by government security agents and jailed on charges of
fraud and tax evasion."
Oct 27 Four coordinated suicide attacks in Baghdad kill 43
and wound more than 200. Included among the targets is the
Nov 30 For US soldiers in Iraq, November has been the worst
month: seventy-five have died.
Dec 1 In Britain, the use of hand-held mobile phones while
driving is made illegal.
Dec 8 Zimbabwe withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations.
Dec 9 A female suicide bomber blows herself up outside
Moscow's National Hotel, across from the Kremlin and Red Square,
Dec 13 Saddam Hussein is captured by American troops. Shia
are joyous. Sunni are depressed. The divide between Shia and Sunni will
begin to widen. Shia and Sunni who were friends will stop speaking to
Dec 20 Libya admits to building a nuclear bomb.
Dec 25 President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan escapes the
second assassination attempt in 2 weeks.
Dec 31 According to the CIA World Factbook, in Iraq for the
year 2003, 5.84 in every 1,000 persons has died. Also, births numbered
33.66 for every 1,000 persons.
Jan 1 More than 71 percent of South Korean households
subscribe to broadband internet services, up from fewer than one
percent in 1995. South Korea is the most Internet wired nation in the
Jan 3 An exploration rover from the United States
successfully lands on Mars.
Jan 3 China's Securities Regulatory Commission seizes a
brokerage firm for illegal and disorderly management.
Jan 9 Turkey abolishes the death penalty.
Jan 20 In his state of the Union Message, President Bush
describes the US in Iraq as "having broken the Baathist regime." He
adds, "Our forces are on the offensive, leading over 1,600 patrols a
day and conducting an average of 180 raids a week. We are dealing with
these thugs in Iraq, just as surely as we dealt with Saddam Hussein's
Feb 2 Pakistan's leading nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer
Khan, recently fired by the government, confesses to sneaking nuclear
hardware out of the country and briefing nuclear scientists from Iran,
North Korea and Libya. He says he believed that nuclear proliferation
would distract Western attention from Pakistan and "help the Muslim
Feb 2 Prime Minister Sharon of Israel announces his plan to
dismantle 17 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and foresees the time
when there will no Jews in Gaza.
Feb 6 In a military effort across Iraq, US military forces
round up more than 100 they suspect of participating in violent attacks
against their occupation.
Feb 25 The Pakistani and Indian governments are taking steps
toward peace. Pakistan pressures Muslim militants in Kashmir to declare
a ceasefire, and India's Prime Minister Atal Behan Vaipayee, referring
to the potential for peace with Pakistan, appeals to Muslims for votes
for his political party.
Feb 28 Among some with connections to the Bush administration
has been hostility toward Haiti's president, Jean-Bertrad Aristide.
Haiti's wealthy are also hostile toward Aristide. A rightist uprising
occurs. US Secretary of State Colin Powell announces that the US
government will not allow "thugs" to remove a "democratically elected
government." US soldiers land in Haiti, apparently for the purpose of
protecting the US embassy and Amercan lives.
Feb 29 Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the elected President of
Haiti, is deposed. He and is family are removed from their country
aboard an aircraft manned by US personnel, the aircraft with no tail
number but with an image of a US flag on the tail.
Mar 2 Aristide and his family are in the Central African
Republic. Aristide claims that he was kidnapped, to be denied by US
Mar 2 Suicide bombers attack Shia festival-goers in Karbala
and Baghdad, killing 140 people.
Mar 11 In Madrid, tens bombs on a morning commuter trains
kill 191 and wound 1,700.
Mar 17 Spanish voters oust a center-right government in favor
of a socialist prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who has
vowed to remove his country's troops from Iraq.
Mar 19 President Musharraf of Pakistan has sent soldiers into
South Waziristan where they surround 400 combatants in various
fortifications and al-Qaida men, including, they believe, al-Qaeda's
number two man, al-Zawahiri. Pakistan's military suffers heavy
casualties and fail to capture al-Zawahiri.
Mar 28 In Iraq, the Americans force the newspaper al-Hawaz to
close. The paper has ties to the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
Mar 31 The people of Fallujah are hostile to foreign
occupation. There, four military contractors are dragged from their
vehicles and killed. A crowd of a thousand or so beat and drag the
burnt corpses behind automobiles, then they hang the dismembered
remains from the girders of one of city's two bridges.
Apr 4 In Fallujah, two US Marine battalions launch an
offensive. In Baghdad, two Shia Muslims are killed when they throw
themselves in front of US tanks during a demonstration. Angry
supporters of the Shia cleric Moqtada al Sadr throw rocks at US forces,
who claim that they have also fired shots.
Apr 5 Paul Bremer, head of the US dominated Coalition
Provisional Authority, declares al-Sadr an outlaw. A warrant is issued
for his arrest. He is accused of having ignited anti-US violence that
led to the deaths of eight US soldiers.
Apr 7 US troops and tanks surround the offices of al-Sadr, intending to
arrest or kill him. Armed supporters of al-Sadr mobilize and
fire upon US forces. Al-Sadr is neither killed nor captured.
Apr 8 At a news conference, Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld says of Iraq: "What is going on now is a huge popular
uprising." He calls it a "test of will" that the US will meet.
Apr 8 Bremer, General Abazaid and others decide to end their
operation in Fallujah because of appearances. The appearances that
concern them are reports by the news organization al-Jazeera read
avidly by those who read Arabic. Fighting in Fallujah has left 30
Americans and more than 150 Iraqis dead.
Apr 8 Regarding the conflict in Darfur, the Sudanese
government signs a ceasefire with two rebel groups.
Apr 11 Two members of the Iraqi Governing Council resign in
protest against the US offensive in Fallujah.
Apr 13 Shia clerics negotiate with their colleague al-Sadr.
Apr 15 The Bush administration agrees to a UN proposal to
replace the Iraqi Governing Council with a caretaker government.
Apr 19 US forces in Fallujah have an agreement with local
community leaders to diffuse tensions. The agreement includes joint
patrolling with coalition and Iraqi security forces.
Apr 22 The US shifts its policy by allowing some of the more
than 400,000 members of the Baath Party, including teachers, to return
Apr 24 In South Waziristan, tribesmen gather to witness an
agreement between them and the Pakistani army. The charismatic tribal
leader of the region, 27-year-old Nek Mohammed, agrees to lay down arms
and to register "foreign militants" living in the area. Brotherhood is
proclaimed between the army and Nek Mohammed.
Apr 29 In the US, CBS Television broadcasts photographs taken
at Abu Ghraib prison, including men and women in military uniform
posing with bound, hooded and naked Iraqi men suspected of having been
May 1 Ten states become members of the European Union:
Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia. The European Union will now be China's
largest trading partner.
May 5 President Bush, speaking to Arab language television
networks, says he is appalled by the conduct of US soldiers at Abu
May 6 In the US, commentator Rush Limbaugh says of the
photographs of prisoners at Abu Ghraib: "This is no different than what
happens at the Skull and Bones initiation."
May 12 Oklahoma's US Senator James Inhoffe says he is more
outraged by the outrage over the Abu Ghraib scandal than he is by the
treatment of the prisoners. He describes the prisoners as having "blood
on their hands."
May 12 Enemies of the United States distribute a video of
Nick Berg, a US contractor, having his head cut off.
Mar 15 Amnesty International complains about 75 dissidents
imprisoned in Cuba.
May 21 President Vladimir Putin announces that his country
will pursue ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, regarding protection of
May 24 US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld bans US
military personnel using cameras in Iraq.
May 28 In Iraq, after seven weeks of fighting in Najaf, the
US military and forces loyal to al-Sadr agree to stop fighting. The US.
agrees to remove most of its forces from the city, and those loyal to
al-Sadr agree to stay off the streets as armed units.
May 30 In Khobar, Saudi Arabia, four armed Islamic militants
have seized dozens of foreign hostages. Saudi commandos in helicopters
storm the residential complex, freeing most of the hostages. The
militants kill 22 people and wound 25 others. One militant is captured
and the three others use hostages as cover to escape in a stolen car.
May 30 US Senator Inhoffe of Oklahoma describes global
warming as a hoax.
May 31 Aristide and his family are flown to Johannesburg,
South Africa, accompanied by members of the US Congressional Black
Caucus. South Africa has agreed to allow Aristide to stay following a
request received from Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Jun 1 Iraq's Governing Council, which has been under the
authority of the Coalition Provisional Authority, dissolves itself.
Authority passes to an interim government headed by Iyad Allawi. His
cabinet consists of people from Iraq's various ethnicities.
Jun 8 The United Nations Security Council unanimously
endorses Iraq's new interim government and authorizes US forces to
remain in Iraq until January 2006.
Jun 16 US Brigadier General Janis Karpinski says
that she was "ordered from the top" to treat detainees "like dogs," as
they are treated in Guantanamo Bay.
Jun 17 A poll conducted in May by the Coalition Provisional
Authority in Iraq reveals that 92 percent of those Iraqis questioned
see the United States forces as "occupiers." Only 2 percent
describe them as liberators.
Jun 18 Nek Mohammed has reneged on his agreement with the
Pakistani army. He is killed by a Hellfire missile fired from an
unmanned US Predator airplane. The Pakistan government wants to keep
secret US involvement in his death. In South Waziristan an intense
hatred rises against the Pakistan Army and the United States.
Jul 9 In the US the Senate Intelligence Committee releases a
report describing a "mischaracterization of intelligence" regarding
Weapons of Mass Destruction ("WMDs") prior to the war in Iraq, and the
report disputes assertions that Iraq was reconstituting a nuclear
program prior to the war.
Jul 14 In Britain, the Butler Report criticizes British
intelligence about pre-war Iraq.
Jul 22 In Australia, the Flood Report finds the pre-war
evidence supporting Iraq's possession of WMDs "thin, ambiguous, and
Jul 28 Senator John Kerry becomes the Democratic Party's
candidate to run against President Bush in elections to be held in
Aug 15 President Bush's National Security Advisor,
Condeleezza Rice, describes her view of the origins of what she calls
the challenge of "Islamic extremism." She speaks of "replacing the
hopelessness and the lack of opportunity in the Middle East that has
led to that challenge."
Aug 24 A Pentagon-sponsored report, the Schlesinger report,
describes treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib as acts of "brutality
and purposeless sadism." The report rejects the idea that the abuse was
simply the work of a few aberrant soldiers. It asserts that there were
"fundamental failures throughout all levels of command, from the
soldiers on the ground to Central Command and to the Pentagon."
Aug 29 The Olympic games at Athens close after sixteen days.
US athletes have won the most medals - 102. Mizuki Noguchi of Japan won
the women's marathon. Stafano Baldini of Italy won the men's marathon,
which was disrupted by a defrocked priest, Neil Horan, who had a sign
on his back about the Second Coming.
Aug 31 Two suicide bombers in Beersheba, Israel, kill at least 16 and
injure at least 60. Hamas claims responsibility.
Aug 31 In Moscow, near a subway station, a woman suicide
bomber, believed to be associated with Chechen rebels, kills at least
ten and injures at least 50.
Sep 2 In accepting his Party's nomination to run again as
president, George Bush says that in Iraq "50 million people have been
Sep 2 The UN Security Council calls for the removal of all
foreign (Syrian) troops from Lebanon.
Sep 8 On a speaking tour, rightwing commentator Michelle
Malkin tells a U.C. Berkeley student audience that internment of US
citizens of Japanese descent was correct on the grounds that they posed
a security threat to the nation. Research that journalist Malkin did
not consider indicates that they were not a security threat. And the
question remains why West Coast Japanese were rounded up and not those
in the Hawaiian Islands, a more crucial location and blessed with an
abundance of Japanese? Imprisoning individuals without specific charges
based on evidence of specific crimes is not supposed to happen in the
Sep 9 A bomb outside Australia's embassy in Jakarta kills 11
and injures 100.
Sep 10-13 Hurricane Ivan, a Category 5 storm, hits the
western tip of Cuba. Between 1.5 and 1.9 million residents are
evacuated to shelters at higher ground. Animals are also evacuated.
20,000 homes are destroyed and not one death is reported.
Sep 14 The UN International Secretariat for Disaster
Reduction cites Cuba as a model for hurricane preparation.
Sep 15 In a BBC interview, United Nations Secretary General,
Kofi Annan describes the war in Iraq by the Coalition Provisional
Authority as a violation of the UN Charter. The US, Britain and
Sep 17 Japan and Mexico sign a free trade agreement.
Oct 8 Suicide bombers kill 34, mainly Israeli tourists, at
the Red Sea resort of Taba, Egypt.
Oct 17 In Belarus, a referendum passes by 79 percent,
eliminating term limits for the country's president, Aleksandr
Lukashenko, who otherwise would have to leave office after his term in
office expires in 2006. Lukashenko's campaign included harassment of
opponents and one-sided promotion on state media. There are reports of
ballot stuffing, and Lukashenko is described as Europe's last dictator.
Oct 24 Brazil launches its first rocket into space.
Nov 2 In Amsterdam, film director Theo van Gogh is murdered
by a 26-year-old, Mohammed Bouyeri.
Nov 2 President Bush wins re-election. The
Republican Party extends its majorities in the House of Representatives
and the Senate.
Nov11 Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestinian National
Nov 13 After six days of fighting, the US Marines fully
occupy Fallujah. They have killed an estimated 1,600 labeled as
"hostiles" and have uncovered caches of weapons. The city has been
severely damaged by artillery, air and tank bombardments, and 300,000
residents have fled.
Nov 14 Burma's army begins a new series of attacks against
Karen villagers. The army burns over 30 homes, destroys over 2,000
baskets of rice, loots homes and livestock and drives more than 800
people into the tropical forest.
Nov 16 China agrees to invest $20 billion dollars in
Nov 21 In Ukraine a run-off election for president between
Viktor Yushchenko and Victor Yanukovych is won by the latter. The
election is considered rigged in favor of the latter, and protests
begin that will be called the Orange Revolution.
Nov 27 Across Turkey people protest the US military offensive
in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Anti-Americanism is reported rising in
what has been a close ally of the United States.
Nov 28 The center-left President of Chile, Ricardo Lagos,
promises economic compensation to 28,000 victims of torture during the
1973 to 1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Dec 2 In Burma, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's
detention has been extended. The United States calls on the military
rulers of Burma to release her from house arrest.
Dec 6 An attack on the US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,
kills several people.
Dec 26 The Ukraine Supreme Court annuls the elections of
November 21. Another election is ordered.
Dec 26 An earthquake of 9.3 magnitude generates a tsunami
that crashes into coastal areas of Thailand, India, Sri-Lanka, the
Malives, Malasion, Burma, Bangladesh and Indonesia. The deaths are to
be tolled at 186,983 and 40,000 are to remain missing. An old story
among the seafaring Moken people warned them to run to high ground when
the tide went out far and fast. They did and survived.
Dec 31 The tallest building in the world, at 509 meters
(1,670 feet) opens in the city of Taipei.
Jan 9 Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestine Liberation
Organization, wins a landslide election to succeed Yasser Arafat as
Palestinian Authority President.
Jan 11 In the US the demand for homes and the price of homes
are surging. The housing market is swollen with opportunists buying
homes and selling them for a quick profit. David Lereah, chief
economist for the National Association of Realtors, announces that
"home sales will stay well above what was considered to be a healthy
level in the late 1990s. The population has grown, household formation
is strong and demographics tell us this trend will continue."
Jan 12 The White House announces that the search for weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq is officially over.
Jan13 Armed militants enter Israel from Gaza, kiling six and
wounding five others. Hamas and Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claim joint
responsibility for the attack.
Jan 21 Hundreds of Palestinian Authority police deploy across
the Gaza Strip. Israel hopes that Dr. Abbas will put an end to the kind
of violence that he has renounced and that happened on January 13.
Jan 25 In India, a stampede at Mandher Devi Temple kills at
least 215, mostly women and small children.
Jan 26 Colin Powell has been asked by President Bush to step
down from his position as Secretary of State. Powell's resignation
becomes effective. Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeld are not unhappy about his departure. Condoleezza Rice becomes
Secretary of State.
Jan 30 About 58 percent of Iraqis eligible to vote choose
representatives to a 275-seat National Assembly, whose job it will be
to create the country's constitution.
Jan 31 In Russia, the public no longer elects regional
governors. Central authority in Moscow has grown in power. President
Putin nominates the first Russian regional governor under a new law.
Feb 8 In Denmark a center-right coalition government wins a
second term as voters support a plan to keep immigration in check and
taxes from rising.
Feb10 Saudi Arabia holds its first municipal elections. Only
males are allowed to vote.
Feb 14 A suicide bomber assassinates Lebanon's former Prime
Minister Hariari. Syria denies any involvement.
Feb 16 The Kyoto Protocol goes into effect, without the
support of the United States and Australia.
Feb 25 Terrorists kill five and wound fifty in Tel Aviv.
Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for the attack.
Feb 28 Abbas says that the Palestinian Authority is making a
"100 percent effort" to prevent attacks such as occurred on the 25th.
Mar 5 In Iraq, US soldiers shoot at a car carrying an Italian
journalist, Giuliana Sgrena, wounding her and killing one of the
Italian security agents who is freeing her from captivity.
Mar 8 The US military announces that US soldiers are
operating road check points using strict rules of engagement but that
these rules are not readily available to the public.
Mar 24 In Krgyzstan people are inspired by peaceful
revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, and they are upset over poverty and
accusations of fraud in recent parliamentary elections. They overthrow
President Askar Alayev, who has ruled Kyrgyzstan since the breakup of
the Soviet Union and Kyrgyzstan's independence in 1990. Under
President Alayev, critics were harassed and imprisoned and opposition
newspapers closed. A spirit of liberty sweeps Kyrgyzstan. It is called
the Tulip Revolution.
Apr 1 Popular Science publishes an article that describes the
Army Corps of Engineers as considering a new levee system for New
Orleans capable of holding back a surge from a Category 5 hurricane but
that "it may be decades before the new barriers are completed.
Apr 2 Pope John Paul II dies.
Apr 9 Tens of thousands of demonstrators, many of them
supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, march through Baghdad
denouncing US occupation of Iraq.
Apr 26 The BBC reports that in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, parks
replace roads to the city center, blocking access to government
Apr 26 Syria withdraws the last of its military garrison from
Lebanon, ending 29 years of military occupation.
May 4 In Iraq, at least 60 people are killed and dozens
wounded in a suicide bombing at a Kurdish police recruitment center in
Irbil, northern Iraq.
May 13 In the city of Andijin, in Uzbekistan, the military
shoots at protesters. More than 500 die.
May 14 In Korazuv, a town In Uzbekistan that borders
Kyrgyzstan, people rebel and drive out police and town officials.
May 18 Uzbek troops take over the town of Korazuv.
May 25 In Cairo, police let young thugs through their lines
to attack demonstrators protesting undemocratic elections. The thugs
attack only women, groping, beating, ripping off clothing and driving
the women half-naked down streets. An middle-class housewife, not
ordinarily interested in politics, Gahda Shahbender, is outraged and
begins what will become the "Black Wednesday" movement. Its purpose is
to observe government behavior regarding elections. It will involve use
of the internet.
Jun 10 Fourteen countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Ghana,
Togo, Pakistan and Senegal, sign an agreement to eliminate child labor
in mining and quarrying.
Jun 12 In Romania, police move against an Orthodox
priest whom they hold responsible for the death of a 23-year-old nun
who is said to have had psychic problems that the priest interpreted as
possession by the devil. The nun died, it is alleged, as a result of
the priest's exorcism ritual.
Jun 17 The Louisiana Department of Transportation and
Development begins to distribute evacuation maps to the residents of
Jun 30 Spain joins Belgium and the Netherlands in permitting
Jul 7 In London during the morning commute, three suicide
bombers attack the subway and one suicide bomber strikes on a
double-decker bus. Thirty-eight people are reported killed and hundreds
injured. The bombers were four young men and British citizens, three of
Pakistani descent and one of Jamaican descent. Two of them were married
and fathers. The four were Muslim, one leaving behind a note saying
that support for atrocities "against my people the world over" have
made the public "directly responsible" and therefore fair targets.
Jul 10 In Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev wins a landslide
victory and is to become president. He is a leader of the "tulip
revolution" which ousted the former president back in March.
Jul 12 Feuding over water and pasture in a semi-arid region
of eastern Africa results in an armed raid across the Ethiopian border
against the village of Turbi in Kenya. As many as 100 are killed,
mainly women and children.
Jul 22 In London, police follow a young electrician from
Brazil, Jean Charles de Menezes, to the subway and shoot him dead. It
was mistaken identity.
Jul 28 The Provisional Irish Republican Army announces an end
to the armed campaign that it has pursued since 1969.
Aug 15 Israel sets the deadline for its citizens to leave the
Aug 23 Israel's eviction of 8,500 or so settlers from Gaza
and the West Bank ends.
Aug 26 People in Gaza are joyous over the withdrawal of
Israelis. Some are looking forward to peace with Israel. A leader of
the military wing of Hamas, Mohammed Deif, is not. He releases a video
describing the Israelis as leaving Gaza humiliated, and he credits his
suicide bombers with having contributed to the withdrawal. Israel's
policy makers have no regrets. In withdrawing from Gaza they are not
letting the opinions of their enemies,
or their potential enemies, deter them from acting in their own
Aug 26 The US Coast Guard begins pre-positioning resources
and it activates more than 400 reservists in preparation for Hurricane
Aug 27 Regarding Hurricane Katrina, President Bush declares a national
Aug 28 The National Weather Service's New Orleans/Baton Rouge
office issues a bulletin predicting that Hurricane Katrina will make
the area "uninhabitable for weeks." Voluntary and mandatory evacuations
Aug 29 Hurricane Katrina strikes the Louisiana, Mississippi
and Alabama coasts.
Aug 30 Eighty percent of New Orleans is flooded. Many cars
remain in the city, now unusable. People are trapped in their homes.
Along the coast, the Coast Guard is rescuing people by the hundreds. Of
the 60,000 or so people stranded in New Orleans the Coast Guard begins
its rescue of over 33,500. The Superdome shelters 26,000 people and
provides them with food and water. The death toll in various states as
a result of Katrina is to be 1,836, for Louisiana, 1,577.
Sep 4 The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that, in the West
Bank town of Taybeh, relatives of a 23-year-old Muslim woman murder her
because they suspect she was romantically involved with a Christian
man. Her body is exhumed for an autopsy, and young Muslim men go to
Taybeh, where Catholic and Greek Orthodox Christians live, to avenge
what they consider dishonor to the woman. They throw Molotov cocktails,
set homes on fire, vandalize parked cars, beat residents who come into
the street and set a gas station on fire. Palestinian Authority
policemen arrive and save the village's beer factory. The Palestinian
governor of the area arrives, and he and Christian clerics try to sooth
Sep 7 Election day in Egypt. The Black Wednesday has
recruited many poll watchers, and the movement records numerous
election violations. President Hosni Mubarak wins 88 percent of the
vote. There have been restrictions on who could run, and many who are
cynical have not bothered to vote.
Sep 19 North Korea agrees to stop building nuclear weapons in
exchange for aid.
Chidiac with Gebran Tueni in 2004
Sep 25 In Lebanon a car bomb injures television news anchor
May Chidiac, said to be a critic of Syria. The blast blew off her leg
below the knee and set her hair and clothes on fire. She will lose her
Sep 27 A US military panel has found Lynndie England guilty
of abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib. She is to serve three years at a
military prison at Miramar, near San Diego, and given a dishonorable
Oct 1 In Bali, a Saturday night bomb blasts kill 26 and
injures more than 100, near where a bombing killed 202 in October 2002.
Oct 2 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says "our
political-military strategy has to be to clear, hold, and build: to
clear areas from insurgent control, to hold them securely, and to build
durable, national Iraqi institutions."
Oct 8 An earthquake in Kashmir kills about 80,000 people.
Oct 19 In Iraq the trial of Saddam Hussein begins.
Oct 19 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, testifying to
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, touts a strategy for Iraq that
she describes as "clear, hold and build" - a strategy that will "assure
victory." Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is offended. He wants to
continue a "light footprint" strategy. He thinks it is for the Iraqi
government to clear, hold and build, that coalition forces should
merely back up the Iraqis. Rumsfeld is not looking for a military
victory. He wants US forces out of Iraq as quickly as possible.
Oct 25 Iraq's constitution is voted upon. An electoral
commission reports that 79 percent of those voting support the
constitution, meeting the two-thirds requirement. But in
Sunni-dominated provinces less than two-thirds vote for the
Oct 26 Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attends a
"World Without Zionism" conference. He calls for Israel to be "wiped
off the map" and condemns the "peace process."
Oct 27 The European Union and Russia join in condemning
President Ahmadinejad's comments.
Nov 2 Iraq's Defense Ministry begins recruiting former junior
officers from Saddam Hussein's army, hoping to bolster army's forces
and to siphon fighters away from the insurgency.
Nov 8 Italy's state television network broadcasts a
documentary film "Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre," describing US forces
in 2004 as having used white phosphorus and napalm and indiscriminately
Nov 9 In Amman Jordan three hotels are bombed, killing 60 and
wounding 115. Two of the bombers were an Iraqi couple who saw a wedding
party in progress before the bomb blasts. The wife's bomb failed to
Nov 15 Iraq's prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, announces
an inquiry into the torture of Sunni prisoners by Shia police officers.
Nov 18 Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has announced that the bombings
in Amman were not means to hit a Muslim wedding. At least 100,000
people march in Amman denouncing Zarqawi, who is from Jordan. His
family places half-page advertisements in three newspapers denouncing
him and his actions.
Nov 22 Angela Merkel, 51, becomes Germany's first female
chancellor, and its youngest. She has a doctorate in physics, her
thesis having been on quantum chemistry. She is fluent in Russian and
English. She is leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union.
Nov 24 USA Today writes of "sizzling" housing sales
encouraged by real estate agents making big money without consideration
of a growing bubble. Inflating the bubble, speculators are buying
houses, adding to the demand, with the idea of selling them fast for
the sake of profit. States and the federal government are ignoring any
need to curb unhealthy real estate or speculation practices.
Nov 25 In Lebanon, May Chidiac appears on television.
Smiling, she promises that she will return to her job.
Nov 30 Speaking at the US Naval Academy, President Bush
describes his "plan for victory." He speaks of US troops and commanders
in Iraq seeing "the gains that the Iraqis are making." He adds that
setting an artificial
deadline to withdraw would send "a message across the world that
America is weak and an unreliable ally.
Dec 6 Edward Leamer, director of the quarterly UCLA Anderson
Forecast, reports that the US housing market will see a sustained
decline next year and that the "cooling" is likely to spread over
Dec 12 A leading Lebanese journalist, Gebran Tueni, is
assassinated. At a Hezbollah rally in March one of the signs read "We
are going to sweep Gebran Tueni from Lebanon." Other signs supported
Syria. A statement of responsibility for the assassination speaks of
"shutting up" a traitor and warns that the same fate awaits other
opponents of "Arabism" in Lebanon.
Dec 12 President Bush speaks of "the progress of freedom and
democracy in Iraq."
Dec 15 Iraq holds parliamentary elections. As many as 11
million Iraqis turn out to select their first permanent Parliament
since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. More than 7,000 Parliamentary
candidates from 300 parties are seeking to fill the 275 seats in
Dec 18 Susanne Kristina Osthoff, a German archaeologist
kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq on November 25, is released apparently
in exchange for Mohammed Ali Hammadi. Hammadi, from Lebanon, was in
prison in Germany for participation in the murder of US Seaman Robert
Stethem during an airline hijacking in 1985.
Dec 31 This year (2005) according to Matt Ridley, the average
person on earth earned nearly three times as much money (corrected for
inflation) and ate one-third more calories of food than did the average
person in 1955. (Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist, p. 14)
Jan 22 Evo Morales becomes Bolivia's first indigenous head of
state since the Spanish Conquest. He was a leader among fellow
campesinos and opposed to US efforts to eradicate coca growing.
Jan 25 Hamas becomes a majority in the Palestinian
Jan 25 Ayaan Hirsi Ali says that "so-called Western values"
of freedom and justice are universal; that Europe has done far better
than most areas of the world at providing justice, because it has
guaranteed the freedom of thought and debate that are required for
critical self-examination; and that communities cannot reform
themselves unless "scrupulous investigation of every former and current
doctrine is possible."
Feb 16 In Haiti, after almost two years of international
peacekeeping, elections have been held. The results have been
contested. A Provisional Electoral Council decides that René Préval has
won 51.15 percent of the votes and a runoff election will not be
Feb 22 In Irag, a bomb does heavy damage at one of the
holiest sites for the Shia, the al-Askari Mosque. Fear rises that anger
will further destabilize Iraq.
Feb 26 World population is calculated at 6.5 billion.
Mar 11 Michelle Bachelet is sworn in as Chile's first female
president. She speaks of bringing the country together.
Mar 20 President Bush describes a policy of "clear, hold and
build" in Iraq regarding the northern town of Tal Afar.
Mar 26 In Scotland smoking is banned in public bars and
Apr 11 President Ahmadinejad confirms that Iran has produced
a few grams of 3.5 percent low-enriched uranium.
Apr 17 A suicide bombing in Tel Aviv kills nine and injures
Apr 22 In Afghanistan, four Canadian soldiers are killed by a
May 1 President Morales nationalizes Bolivia's gas fields.
May 8 Fighting between Fatah and Hamas leaves one
Fatah gunman dead and two Hamas gunmen dead.
May 14 In Haiti, after a couple of months in which
approximately 4,000 demonstrators have been killed, René Préval is
inaugurated president. His relations with the US are good and the
governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, is in attendance. So too is one of
Haiti's former brutal dictators, General Prosper Avril.
May 31 In Iraq, insurgent attacks have been rising: an average of 72
per day in January, 87 in February, 95 in March, 110 in April, 113 in
May. (Bob Woodward)
Jun 3 Montenegro, formerly a part of Yugoslavia, becomes
Jun 8 A US air strike kills Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. President
Bush speaks of "justice to the most wanted terrorist in Iraq." Iraqis,
he says, "can be justly proud of their new government and its early
steps to improve their security."
Jun 8 The Christian Science Monitor reports that "150 tribal elders
have been killed in Waziristan in the past three years." The article,
by David Montero, adds that "Without the authority of the elders, there
is little to stop the growing power of radical mullahs and the Taliban
they support in a land where top Al Qaeda figures have been thought to
Jun 13 In the US, President Bush meets with Prime Minister
Maliki and says that Maliki "intends to develop a plan to ensure that
no entities outside the Iraqi government wield force in Iraq."
Jun 28 Montenegro becomes the 192nd member of the United
Jun 28 In response to the abduction of a corporal and the
death of two of its soldiers, Israel sends tanks into the Gaza Strip.
Jun 29 The US Supreme Court rules that President Bush has
overstepped his authority by ordering military war-crime trials for
Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Jul 1 A railway now connects China proper with Tibet.
Jul 3 Rockets fired from Gaza have hit the Israeli city of
Ashkelom. Israel sends troops into northern Gaza.
Jul 6 In Mexico, Felipe Calderon is confirmed the winner of
the presidential election held four days before.
Jul 12 Hezbollah seizes two Israeli soldiers, kills three
Israeli soldiers and demands a prisoner exchange. Israel's Prime
Minister, Olmert, calls Hezbollah's actions an act of war.
Jul 13 Rockets fired by Hezbollah strike Haifa.
Jul 14 Israeli airpower destroys Hezbollah's headquarters in
Beirut. To cut off help to Hezbollah, Israeli warships lob shells onto
the runway of Beirut's airport. Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz of Israel
announces that "If the [Israeli] soldiers are not returned, we will
turn Lebanon's clock back 20 years."
Jul 16 Possible US presidential candidate Newt Gingrich tells
Meet the Press, "We're in the early stages of what I would describe as
the Third World War."
Jul 23 Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declares that
Israel has "pushed the button of its own destruction" by launching its
military campaign against Hezbollah.
Jul 24 In Mumbai (Bombay) India the bombing of a commuter
train has killed 197 passengers and crew. Eight hundred others are
injured. Among those accused of the bombing is the fugitive leader of
an Islamic student group, SIMI, said to be dreaming of returning the
entire sub-continent to Islamic rule. According to Newsweek magazine,
"Indian police think SIMI may have 500 hard-core members and as many as
20,000 sympathizers who can be relied on for assistance and shelter."
Jul 30 Israel has warned Lebanon's civilians to vacate
Hezbollah areas and has been using its airpower against Hezbollah
rocket launching. The Israeli bombing is killing Lebanese civilians.
Israel claims it is aiming only at targets of military significance.
Some are accusing Israel of a "disproportional" response.
Aug 1 In Iraq the deaths of civilians and policemen surged in
July to 3,190, up from around 1,000 or less estimated for each of the
months from January to June. (Iraqi Health Ministry, reported by the
Washington Post, January 08, 2007).
Kurnaz, presumably before he became a prisoner
at Guantanamo, where he
had no shave or haircut.
Aug 9 Prime Minister Olmert claims that Israel is fighting a
Syria-Iran axis: the powers behind Hezbollah.
Aug 10 British authorities claim to have broken up a plan to
blow up a number of passenger airliners flying to the United States.
Twenty-four young men are arrested.
Aug 15 After 34 days of fighting, a truce between Israel and
Hezbollah goes into effect. There have been around 1,000
Lebanese deaths, mostly civilians, and 159 Israeli deaths, mostly
Aug 23 Amnesty International accuses Israel of war crimes and
breaking international law by deliberately destroying Lebanon's
Aug 23 After almost five years as a falsely accused prisoner
of the US military, Murat Kurnaz, an ethnic Turk, returns to his home
in Germany from Guatanamo Bay. Persons in Pakistan made money from a
program that involved picking up suspicious persons and delivering them
to the US military. From Pakistan, Kurnaz was taken to Afghanistan and
thrown together with captured Islamic militants. His story is to be
described by 60 Minutes and Wikipedia. He owes his freedom to Germany's
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who asked President Bush, face to face, for
Aug 27 Today the BBC reports that the head of Hezbollah,
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, says that he would not have ordered the
capture of two Israeli soldiers had he known that it would lead to the
kind of war that developed.
Sep 14 Amnesty International accuses Hezbollah of war crimes
in deliberately targeting civilians in Israel.
Sep 20 Chávez of Venezuela delivers a speech to the UN
General Assembly and refers to President Bush as "the devil."
Sep 25 In Nation magazine, Chavez's speech is described as
having been received "with wild applause." The magazine adds that "When
Bush spoke the day before, the General Assembly's hall sounded like a
Sep 31 In Iraq in September, the number of insurgent attacks
each day have averaged 105 (Brookings Institute). US troops wounded in
September: 776 (Washington Post). Iraqi civilian deaths: 3,345 (UN).
Oct 3 In France, well known intellectuals publish their
support for Robert Redeker, a French philosophy teacher who is in
hiding and under police protection after writing an article critical of
the Prophet Muhammad. The group speaks of the teacher's fundamental
rights of self-expression and decries the tendency in Europe to avoid
"provocations" that anger Muslims.
Oct 5 Sweden's right of center government begins, after
twelve years of rule by the Social Democrats.
late Anna Politkovskaya
Oct 7 In Moscow, the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a
well known critic of President Putin and the war in Chechnya, is found
murdered. She is the thirteenth journalist killed contract-style since
Putin took office, in the year 2000.
Oct 9 China declares "resolute opposition" to North Korea's
"brazen" nuclear test.
Oct 13 Britain's foreign minister, Margaret Beckett, says
that detention at Guantanomo "without fair trial of prisoners is
unacceptable in terms of human rights, but it is also ineffective in
terms of counter-terrorism."
Oct 14 In India thousands of people have been attending mass
ceremonies at which hundreds of low-caste Hindus (Dalits) are
converting to Buddhism and Christianity.
Oct 17 The population of the United States reaches 300
Oct 23 Two of the three people accused of plotting to steal
trade secrets from Coca-Cola plead guilty.
Oct 25 The supreme US commander in Iraq, General George
Casey, says it will take 12 to 18 months before Iraqi security forces
are ready to take over in the country.
Oct 26 President Bush signs into law the Secure Fence Act,
which calls for the building of 700 miles of fence along the US Mexican
border. The bill passed by a large majority in the House and
Oct 27 In Chile a judge orders the arrest of
Augusto Pinochet, for torture, murder and kidnapping during the early
years of his regime, three decades ago.
Oct 29 In Oaxaca, Mexico, striking teachers, students and
leftist activists have been demanding that the state's governor, Ulises
Ruiz, be sacked for abuse of power. Federal police seize the city
center, which the protesters have been occupying for five-months.
Oct 30 US Vice-President Dick Cheney claims that insurgents
in Iraq have increased their attacks in order to influence the upcoming
US mid-term elections.
Oct 31 US troops killed in Iraq in October: 110
(GlobalSecurity.org). Iraqi civilian deaths: 3,709 (UN)
Nov 1 Turkish archaeologist Muazzez Ilmiye Cig, 92, who
specializes in the study of the Sumerians, is acquitted of inciting
religious hatred, a charge made after she published a book stating that
Muslim head scarves originated with Sumerian priestesses who initiated
young men into sex. Her trial lasted one hour.
Nov 1 On the internet, reports have surfaced that hordes of
young men harassed women at the end of Ramadan, that veiled and
unveiled women were targeted. Shopkeepers rescued women and one is
reported as saying, "There were hundreds of young men outside trying to
break down the door." It is said that Egyptian newspapers did not
report the incidents, and it is said that many young men in Egypt
cannot afford to get married and that premarital sex is strictly
Nov 3 Police in Oaxaca, supported by helicopters and armored
vehicles, invade the local university campus, to which protesters
withdrew after being evicted from the city center.
Nov 3 In Darfur, militias kill 63, many of them children.
Nov 7 In the US the Democratic Party wins a majority in both
the Senate and House of Representatives, the new Congress to begin in
Nov 8 A bomb blast outside an army training center in
northwest Pakistan kills at least 42.
Nov 9 In Kyrgyzstan, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev gives in to
more of the "tulip revolution" that he once led. He signs a new
constitution that weakens his branch of government in favor of the
Nov 9 The UN releases a report that declares Norway, Iceland,
Australia, Ireland and Sweden as the best five countries to live in.
The United States is ranked eighth place, after Canada and Japan.
Nov 10 Scientists at Rice University discover a way with
chemistry to reduce arsenic contamination of groundwater.
Nov 12 Israel says "as a last resort" it will launch air
strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities. Iran's foreign ministry
states that it would "retaliate with a crushing blow."
Nov 13 At a meeting in the White House, President Bush gives
an hour long optimistic assessment of what is happening in Iraq. He is
followed by his CIA director, Michael Hayden, who, speaking about
Iraq's government, says that "the inability of the government to govern
seems irreversible." Director Hayden adds that he cannot "point to any
milestone or checkpoint where we can turn this thing around." (Source:
Bob Woodward, Washington Post, 13 July 2007.)
Nov 14 In Baghdad, gunmen wearing Iraqi police uniforms
kidnap as many as 100 from a Higher Education Ministry building.
Nov 14 Indonesia and Australia sign an anti-terrorist
Nov 14 South Africa's parliament passes a law that legalizes same-sex
Nov 15 In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph
Kabila, son of the assassinated former president, wins 58 percent of
the vote and is elected president - the first democratic elections
since independence in 1955.
Nov 18 In China the government blocks access to Wikipedia,
less than one week after access had been allowed.
Nov 19 In Tonga, a leader of the pro-democracy movement
criticizes Australia and New Zealand for intervening in response to
riots against authoritarian rule.
Nov 19 In a London television interview, Henry Kissinger says that a
military victory in Iraq is no longer possible, "if you mean by
'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and
whose writ runs across the whole country..."
Amine Gemayel, assassinated
Nov 21 Lebanon's Minister of Industry, Pierre Amine Gemayel,
a popular Maronite Christian, is assassinated while driving in daylight
in a Christian area of Beirut. He was driving a rented car to reduce
the ability of assassins to spot him.
Nov 21 An Israeli advocacy group claims that 39 percent of the land
used by Jewish settlements in the West Bank is private Palestinian
property. The group contends that construction of the settlements
violated international and Israeli law guaranteeing the protection of
property rights in the occupied territories.
Nov 21 Iraq and Syria renew diplomatic relations, broken in 1982 - a
move by Iraq's government away from the United States and toward a
political solution to the conflict in Iraq.
Nov 23 In what is reported as the deadliest attack since the
beginning of the Iraq war, three suicide car bombs and two mortar
rounds hit against Shia in Sadr City, killing at least 145 people and
wounding 238 according to a first-day report. The attackers are
believed to be Sunni.
Nov 24 The BBC reports that manipulating a single gene can
create a new variety of wheat with enhanced protein, iron and zinc. The
gene is said to be natural in wheat but was turned off during the
domestication of wheat plants.
Nov 26 As the sectarian violence continues in Iraq, there are
isolated instances of Sunni and Shia neighbors trying to protect each
other, and they fear being considered traitors - described in today's
Nov 26 Also in the Washington Post, an article by Senator
Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska and another boots-on-the-ground
combat veteran who opposes President Bush's policies in Iraq. Hagel
writes that "Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. They
will decide their fate and form of government." He calls President
Bush's attempt to control Iraq "an arrogant self-delusion." He writes
that there will be no military solution for Iraq.
welcome for Pope Benedict
Nov 26 Thousands of Muslims in Istanbul protest the visit of Pope
Benedict, complaining that he insulted the Prophet Muhammad, still
confusing the Pope's views with the views of the 14th century Byzantine
emperor he was commenting on.
Nov 28 Possible US presidential candidate Newt Gingrich
speaks of Europeans "accepting elegant decay."
Nov 30 US troops killed in Iraq in November: 76
Dec 1 The London-based Economist magazine declares Sweden as leading
the world in democracy, followed by Iceland and the Netherlands.
Dec 5 France and Germany tell Syria to stop interfering in
the affairs of Lebanon and they invite Syria to develop normal
relations with the international community, particularly with the
Dec 6 In the city of Futian, in southwestern China, the
police department parading prostitutes to shame them has brought a
storm of protest and shame on itself for violating rights of privacy.
Dec 6 Saudi Arabia beheads a Pakistani man and his daughter
for heroin smuggling.
Dec 7 The massive sit-in in Beirut has been going on for a week. Its
leader, the Shia cleric Hassan Nasrallah, vows to continue his campaign
to oust Lebanon's Western-backed government, but he says his Hezbollah
militia will not be dragged into a civil war.
Dec 12 President Ahmadinejad has told a conference in Teheran
that "just as the USSR disappeared, soon the Zionist regime [Israel]
Dec 18 Donald Rumsfeld resignation as US Secretary of Defense
takes effect - a triumph for the strategy that has been urged by the
Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.
Dec 22 The New York Times reports that in Baghdad "at least
10 neighborhoods that a year ago were mixed Sunni and Shiite are now
almost entirely Shiite." Shia families have been taking over homes that
had been Sunni, and Shia are feeling more secure because of the Shia
army - the Mahdi. Some in the Shia -dominated government are saying
that the Americans should let the fighting run its course, that getting
involved will prolong the fighting.
Dec 27 In the Shia holy city of Najaf, a raid by US and Iraqi
troops have killed a "top deputy" of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, Sahib
al-Amiri. Thousands of angry al-Sadr loyalists march through the
streets of Najaf and shout "stooges" at Iraqi soldiers and local
Dec 28 A military force from Ethiopia drives Islamists out of
the Somalian city of Mogadishu. Somalia's prime minister, Ali Mohammed
Ghedi, an enemy of the Islamists, arrives in Mogadishu and is cheered
by people who line the streets. Some others in Mogadishu are hostile to
Ghedi and the Ethiopians. Ethiopia is ruled by Christians who recently
responded to Islamist incursions into Muslim dominated border areas
Dec 30 Saddam Hussein goes to his death stoically. He curses
"traitors," the United States and Iran, and is hanged.
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