Terrorism, War, and Bush 43: Crash Course US History #46

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“I m john. Green this is crashcourse nus. History and today we ve done it it we ve finally reached the 21st century ntoday. We boldly go where no history has gone before because your teacher ran nout of time and never made it to the present also if you re preparing for the ap test nit s unlikely that today s video will be helpful to you because you know they nnever get to this stuff.

Mr. Green. Mr. Green awesome free period nyeah me from the past there s no such thing as a free period.

There s only time nand. How you choose to use it also me from the past. We re in your future nhold on i ve got to take this stuff off it s hard to take me seriously with that nwe re in the future for you which means that you are learning important things about nthe. You who does not yet exist you know about lady gaga.

Kanye. And kim bieber nwell. You re not going to find out about any of those things because this is a history nclass. But it s still going to be interesting intro nso.

The presidency of george w. Bush may not end up on your ap exam. But it s very important nwhen. It comes to understanding the united states that we live in today nthe controversy starts with the 2000 election democratic presidential candidate al.

I ninvented the internet. Gore was sitting vice president and he asked bill clinton nnot to campaign much because a lot of voters kind of hated bill clinton nthe. Republican candidate was george w. Bush.

Governor of texas and unlike his father a nreasonably authentic texan. You know as people from connecticut. Go nbush was a former oil guy and baseball team owner. And he was running as a compassionate nconservative.

Which meant he was organizing a coalition of religious people and fiscal nconservatives. And that turned out to be a very effective ncoalition and george w. Bush got a lot of votes. He did not however get as many votes as al ngore.

But as you ll no doubt remember from earlier nin crash course us history in the united states presidential elections are not decided nby popular vote. They are decided by the electoral college. Nso. The election was incredibly close it solidified.

The red blue divide that has become a trope nfor politicians since and in the end gore won the popular vote by about 500000. Votes nhowever al gore did not have the necessary electoral votes to become president unless nhe won florida did he win florida. I don t even want to go there nin florida. The vote was ridiculously close.

But george w. Bush had a gigantic advantage nwhich is that his brother jeb bush was the governor of florida nso. When it came time to certify the election jeb was like yeah. My brother won no nbig deal.

But then the gore campaign sued to have a recount by hand. Which is allowed nunder florida law. But then bush s lawyers asked the supreme ncourt to intervene and they did their decision in bush v. Gore remains rather controversial nthey ruled that the recount should be stopped interfering with a state law.

And also a state s nelectoral process. Which is a weird decision for strict constructionists to make nhowever..


One of the strong points of the united states these past couple centuries has been nthat sometimes we have the opportunity to go to war over whether this person or that nperson should be president and we chose not to nso regardless of whether you think the recount should have gone on or george w. Bush should nhave been elected he was and he set to work implementing his campaign promises. Including nworking on a missile defence system. That was very similar to star wars.

Nand. That was ronald reagan s star wars. Not george lucas star wars. Man.

If we could nget. A federally funded new star wars trilogy. That doesn t suck that would be awesome nanyway in the first 100 days of his presidency bush also barred federal funding for stem ncell research and he supported oil drilling in the arctic national wildlife refuge nand speaking of environmental policy the bush administration announced that it would nnot abide by the 1997 kyoto protocol on carbon emissions and that didn t go over well with nenvironmentalists in the us or in all of these green parts of not america because they nwere like you guys made all the carbon to which we said. This is america nlibertage bush also attempted education reform with nthe no child left behind act.

Which mandated that states implement rigorous standards nand testing regimes to prove that those standards were being met nthe no child left behind act is especially controversial with teachers who are great nfriends of crash course us history. So we will say nothing more nmost importantly. George w. Bush pushed through the largest tax cut in american history in n2001 claiming that putting more money in americans pockets would stimulate growth nin an economy that had stumbled after the bursting of the dot com bubble.

In 2000 noh it s time for the mystery document the rules here are simple ni. Guess. The author of the mystery document. I either get it right or i get shocked with nthe shock.

Pen alright. What have we got here today. I ve got a feeling. It s going to nbe a sad one it was a beautiful fall day with a crisp nblue sky.

I was coming in to work late that day. I guess i didn t have first period nclass. It was only the second or third day of school. When i emerged from the subway union square nwas.

Strangely quiet which only added to the beauty of the day people were standing. Still nwhich is weird in new york under any circumstances and looking down university place towards nlower manhattan. Before i even looked i asked a passerby what had happened she or he ni really don t remember said that a plane had crashed into the trade center. Then i nlooked and saw the smoke coming billo wing out of the south tower.

I thought it was an naccident. But i knew that this was not going to be an easy day nwell. It s obviously someone who was in new york city on september 11. 2001.

But that nonly narrows it down to like 10 million people. However i happen to know that it is crash ncourse historian and my high school history teacher. Raoul meyer. Who wrote that account nthis is the saddest.

I have ever been not to be shocked nso. Whether george bush s domestic policy. Would have worked is up for debate. But the nevents of september 11.

2001. Ensured that foreign policy would dominate any discussion nof the opening decade of the 21st century that morning terrorists affiliated with al nqaeda hijacked 4 airliners two planes were flown into manhattan s world trade center na third was crashed into the pentagon in washington and a fourth also headed for washington dc ncrashed in. Pennsylvania when passengers overpowered the hijackers nalmost 3000. People died including almost 400 policemen and firefighters nas americans rushed to help in the search for survivors and to rebuild a devastated ncity a shared sense of trauma and a desire to show resolve really did bring the country ntogether.

President bush s popularity soared in the nwake of the attacks in a speech on september 20. The president told americans watching non television that..


The terrorists had targeted america because. We love freedom and nthey hate freedom. This is another critical moment in american nhistory. Where the definition of freedom is being reimagined nand.

We were reminded in the wake of september 11th. That one of the central things that government ndoes to keep us free is to keep us safe. But at the same time. Ensuring our safety sometimes nmeans impinging upon our freedoms and the question of how to keep america.

Safe nwhile also preserving our civil liberties is one of the central questions of the 21st ncentury at any rate in the september 20th speech. Nthe president announced a new guiding principle in foreign policy. That became known as the nbush doctrine. America would go to war with terrorism making nno distinction between the terrorists and nations that harbored them nbush laid out the terms for the world that night.

Either you are with us or you are nwith the terrorists. But that dichotomy of course would prove to nbe a bit of an oversimplification so on october 7. The united states launched nits first airstrikes on afghanistan. Which at the time was ruled by a group of islamic nfundamentalists called the taliban who were protecting osama.

Bin laden al qaeda s leader nthis was followed by american ground troops supporting the anti taliban northern alliance nin chasing out the taliban and setting up a new afghan government that was friendly nto. The united states this new government did undo many of the worst ntaliban policies for instance. Allowing women and girls to go to school and even to serve nin the parliament more women than girls in the parliament. Naturally nbut by 2007.

The taliban was beginning to make a comeback and although fewer than 100 americans ndied in the initial phase of the war. A sizeable force remained and in the ensuing 12 years nthe. Number of americans killed would continue to rise nand. Then by january 2002.

Bush had expanded the scope of the global war on terror by proclaiming nthat. Iran. Iraq and north korea were an axis of evil. That harbored terrorists.

Even nthough. None of those nations had direct ties to the september 11 attacks nthe ultimate goal of bush doctrine was to make the world safe for freedom and also to nspread. It and freedom was defined as consisting of political democracy. Free expression religious ntoleration free trade and free markets.

These. Freedoms bush. Said were right nand true for every person in every society . And there s no question that the saddam.

Nhussein led iraq of 2003 was not by any of those definitions. Free nbut. The 2003 invasion of iraq by the united states was predicated on two ideas. First nthat iraq had weapons of mass destruction chemical and biological weapons.

That they nwere refusing to give up and second that there was or at least may have been a link nbetween saddam. Hussein s iraq and the al qaeda attacks of 9 11 nso in march 2003. The united states britain and a coalition of other countries invaded niraq within a month baghdad was captured saddam hussein was ousted iraq created a nnew government that was more democratic than saddam s dictatorship and then descended ninto sectarian chaos after baghdad fell. President bush declared nthe end of major combat operations in iraq.

But troops soon found themselves trying to nmanage an increasingly organized insurgency that featured attacks and bombings. Nand by 2006 american intelligence. Analysts concluded that iraq had become a haven for nislamist terrorists. Which it hadn t been before the invasion.

Nin. Fact saddam hussein s socialist government..


While it occasionally called upon religion nto unify people against an enemy was pretty secular nalthough. Fewer than 200 americans had died in the initial assaults by the end of 2006 nmore than. 3000 american soldiers had been killed and another 20000. Wounded nhundreds of thousands of iraqis had died in the conflict.

And the costs of the war. Which nwere promised to be no more than 60 billion had ballooned to 200 billion dollars nso that and we try really hard here at crash course to be objective was a bit of a disaster nbut. Let s now go back to the domestic side of things and jump back in time to the passage nof. The usa patriot act.

Which believe it or not is an acronym for nthe uniting and strengthening america by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and nobstruct terrorism act of 2001. Oh congress you don t pass many laws these ndays but. When you do mmhm there s some winners nthe patriot act. Gave the government unprecedented law enforcement powers to combat domestic nterrorism.

Including the ability to wiretap and spy. On americans. Nat. Least.

5000 people connected to the middle east were called in for questioning. And more nthan 1200 were arrested many held for months without any charge. Nthe administration also set up a camp for accused terrorists in guantanamo bay in cuba nbut. Not the fun kind of camp the prison kind it housed more than 700 suspects nthe president also authorized the national security agency to listen in to telephone nconversations without first obtaining a warrant.

The so called warrantless wiretapping nin 2013. Americans learned that nsa surveillance has of course gone much farther than this nwith surveillance programs like prism. Which sounds like it s out of an orwell novel n. I mean both like the name and the actual thing.

It refers to nmeredith would like us to point out. That prism is also the name of a katy perry album proving nthat. We here at crash course are young. And hip.

And. With it. Who is katy perry oh. Right nshe has that song in madagascar.

3. Sorry. I have little kids nthe supreme court eventually limited the executive branch s power and ruled that enemy combatants ndo have some procedural rights congress also banned the use of torture in a 2005 defense nappropriations bill sponsored by republican john mccain. Who himself had been a victim nof torture in vietnam.

But the defense department did condone the ncontinued use of so called enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding nwhich. Most countries do consider torture. But george w bush won re election in 2004 ndefeating the surprisingly weak john kerry. Who was characterized as a waffler on na number of issues including the iraq war.

Kerry s history as a vietnam protester and nalso terrible windsurfer probably. Didn t help him much nbush s victory is still a bit surprising to historians admittedly at that moment the niraq war seemed to be going pretty well. But during bush s first term. The economy nwhich is usually what really drives voters wasn t that great at all na recession began during 2001.

And the september 11. Attacks made it much worse and while the ngdp. Did begin to grow again relatively quickly employment. Didn t recover hence.

All the ndescription of it as a jobless recovery. 90 of the jobs lost in the 2001 2002 recession nwere in manufacturing continuing a trend that we had been seeing for..


30 years the nnumber of steelworkers dropped from. 520000 in. 1970 to 120000. In 2004.

Nand. In his first term. George w. Bush actually became the first president since herbert hoover nto oversee a net loss of jobs now i want to be clear that that s not necessarily nhis fault as i have said many times before economics are complicated and presidents ndo.

Not decide whether economies grow. But at any rate. George w. Bush was re elected nand went on to have an extremely controversial second term let s go to the thoughtbubble nin.

2005. Several events undermined the public s confidence in the bush administration. First nvice. President dick cheney s chief of staff was indicted for perjury and then house majority nleader tom.

The hammer delay was indicted for violating campaign finance laws nthen in august 2005. Hurricane katrina slammed into the gulf coast near new orleans submerging nmuch of the city. Killing nearly 1500. People and leaving thousands stranded.

Without basic nservices disaster. Preparation and response was poor on the state local and federal nlevels. But the slow response of the department of homeland security and federal emergency. Nmanagement agency was particularly noticeable as thousands of mostly african american new norleans residents suffered without food or water damage to the city was estimated at naround 80 billion dollars and the katrina disaster exposed the persistent poverty and nracial divisions in the city while the katrina response probably contributed nto the reversal of fortune for congressional republicans in the 2006 mid terms.

It was nmore likely the spike in gasoline prices that resulted from the shutting down of refining ncapacity in the gulf and increased demand for oil from rapidly growing china voters ngave democrats majorities in both houses and nancy pelosi of california became the nfirst woman speaker of the house in american history nand. Then in 2007. The country fell back into recession as a massive housing bubble began nto deflate followed by the near collapse of the american banking system in 2008 nthought bubble. Thank you once again for the tremendous downer nso the bush years are still in the recent past.

And it s impossible to tell just what ntheir historical significance. Is without some distance nbut. The attacks on september 11. Had far ranging effects on american foreign policy.

But also non the entire world under the leadership of george w. Bush. The nunited states began a global fight against terrorism and for freedom nbut as always what we mean by the words is evolving and there s no question that in ntrying to ensure a certain kind of freedom. We have undermined other kinds of freedom nwe ll get to the even messier and murkier world of the 2008 financial collapse next nweek until then thanks for watching crash course is made with the help of all.

Nthese nice. People and it. Exists because of your support through subbablecom. A voluntary nsubscription service.

That allows you to subscribe monthly to crash course for the price of your nchoosing. There are great perks over at subbable. But nthe biggest perk of all is knowing that you helped make crash course possible. So please ncheck it out thank you for watching thanks.

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