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United States

Yearbook 1998

USA. This year, domestic politics was dominated by discussions about President Bill Clinton's sexual slant with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and the aftermath of this relationship, see the Lewinsky affair. The deal led at the end of the year that Congress decided that Clinton should face state law, which will likely begin in January 1999. He thus becomes the second US president to face state law - the first was Andrew Johnson in 1868. Richard Nixon chose to resign 1974 to escape national law after the Watergate scandal. However, Clinton refuses to lose the battle and has announced that he intends to remain president "until the last hour, the last day of my term".

1998 United StatesAccording to Countryaah, Clinton still has strong voter support and his own party behind him - after all, he is considered a good president. For example, the US economy has recovered faster than expected. In 1997, political agreement was reached to reach the budget balance in 2002, but after a dramatic improvement in public finances is already in balance in the budget - for the first time since 1969.

Despite the domestic political pressures, the president continued to maintain a high profile internationally. During an official tour of six African states (Botswana, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda) in March, Clinton spoke of the "sins" the United States committed in African countries during the slave trade era and pledged $ 180 million. dollars in compensation. Clinton also acknowledged that the United States was responding too slowly to the conflict in Rwanda, and therefore owed some of the blame for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people in ethnic violence in 1994.

On August 7, car bombs exploded outside the US embassies in Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es-Salaam (Tanzania), causing great destruction and killing Americans and many locals. US diplomats were evacuated from the embassies in Albania, Uganda, Malaysia and Pakistan. The previously unknown Army for the Protection of the Islamic Holy Sites took on the blame for the death, and on August 20, the United States fired cruise missiles at a Palestinian terrorist base in Afghanistan and a poison gas plant in Sudan in retaliation. The attacks were condemned by Iran, Iraq and Libya but were greeted with great acclaim by Israel.

Bill Clinton was widely recognized for his driving role in the spring peace talks in Northern Ireland and for new progress in the Middle East peace process during a historic visit to Israel and the Palestinian parliament in Gaza in December.

Clinton, on the other hand, criticized the new attack on Iraq December 16-20, ie. during the time when the vote on the president was to be put before the national court took place in Congress. The president was accused of trying to draw attention from his personal problems by ordering an attack on Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein but was backed by Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, who claimed the day for the new Iraqi attack was the right choice. British air forces took part in the attack on Iraq for refusing UN weapons inspectors access to their weapons factories.

The death penalty debate re-emerged when the first woman was executed since the American Civil War. 38-year-old Karla Faye Tucker was executed with a poison injection in February for participating in a double murder in 1984. A strong emotional debate also erupted when 2 boys, 11 and 13 years old, shot dead four students and one teacher and injured another 11 youths in a school in Arkansas. The act aroused deep amazement and concern; national statistics revealed that 11,000 weapons incidents occurred in US schools in 1997.

In April, 70-year-old James Earl Ray died in the Nashville prison in Tennessee. Ray acknowledged the murder of Martin Luther King in 1969, but withdrew the recognition and then fought in vain for three decades to bring a new trial.

1998 United States

Cold War

After World War II, Europe was in ruins for the second time in 30 years, and the United States emerged as the undisputed leader of the capitalist world. The war had not destroyed the superpower industry, but on the contrary, helped to finally overcome the economic crisis of the 30's. The country represented 6% of the world's population, but accounted for 50% of industrial production. The United States' biggest rival was now no longer to be found among the developed capitalist countries. The Soviet Union was the only state that could threaten the world hegemony of the United States. This was the backdrop to the development in the United States of the Cold War strategy. In 1949, the United States created NATO, which was explicitly targeted at the Soviet Union and its peripheries in Eastern Europe. Already in 1944, the superpower had been driving the creation of the IMFand the World Bank, which was to play a central role in the development of the post-war capitalist world system. A system where the United States made its own currency - the dollar - into a global reserve currency.

In 1950-53, the United States actively entered the war in Korea. In 1952, General Dwight Eisenhower was elected President of the United States. He had been commander-in-chief of the superpowers in Europe during World War II and Secretary General of NATO. During his presidential term, under the leadership of Senator John McCarthy, a crusade was carried out against any supposed or imagined communist infiltration of public life in the United States. After France in 1954 had been defeated strategically by liberation forces in Vietnam, the United States stepped up its assistance to the government of South Vietnam. The superpower was being drawn into what was to become the Vietnam War - and a strategic defeat for one of the world's poorest countries.

Meanwhile, military and political rivalry continued with the Soviet Union. After World War II, the two superpowers had developed and tested increasingly powerful nuclear weapons, and in the late 50's this race was conducted outside the earth's atmosphere when the Soviet launched its first Sputnik satellite. A meeting between US President Eisenhower and Soviet Kruschov went in the sink when the Soviet failed to shoot down a North American U-2 spy plane that was spying on the Soviet Union.

Escalation of the rivalry under Kennedy

In 1960, young Democrat John F. Kennedy was elected president. Many North Americans had the illusion that international tension with him would be diminished. Yet it was he who in 1961 provided the green light for the CIA's counter-revolutionary invasion of the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. That same year, Kennedy launched the Progress Alliance aimed at curbing the spread of the Cuban revolution in Latin America. The United States had traditionally supported reactionary governments and dictatorships in Latin America. As the country's former president Truman had stated about Nicaraguasdictator Somoza: "He's a pig, but he's our pig". The Cuban revolution, therefore, in many Latin American countries created hope for change. It was these revolutionary changes Kennedy will prevent - through financial and military assistance. At the same time, efforts in South Vietnam were stepped up. After Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, continued the same policy.

Johnson was re-elected president in 1964 and continued to step up the war, but at the same time undermined the political foundations of the war. Already in the early 1960's, a strong civil rights movement had developed among the country's African American population. Despite the fact that it was 100 years since slavery was abolished, discrimination and racism continued to be totally dominant in the southern states of the United States. The civil rights movement succeeded in changing this situation, but at the same time there was both a qualitative and quantitative extension of the struggle. The militant Black Power movement broke with the civil rights movement, in 1968 representatives of the chipewa founded the American Indigenous Movement(AIM), which the following year, together with representatives from 50 other ethnic groups, occupied the empty Alcatraz prison in San Francisco to protest the abuses against the indigenous population and to advance its claims. The youth developed the anti-authoritarian hippie culture and began waging ever-stronger protests against the war in Vietnam. Some of the most radical groups formed guerrilla units - such as the Weathermen - that were defeated by the authorities as early as the early 1970's.

 

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