Bridge to the 21st Centur3

Bridge to the 21st Centur3 - susceptible to quick or easy...

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Bridge to the 21st Century The Clinton and Bush II years Marked by intense feelings on both sides about the war and the cultural conflicts that  increasingly defined the differences between the two major parties, the campaign  revealed a nation nearly as divided as in 2000. The strong emotions of the race fueled a  voter turnout 20 percent higher than four years earlier. Bush won a narrow victory, 51  percent to 48 percent with the remainder of the vote going to Ralph Nader and other  independents. The Republicans scored small but important gains in Congress. George W. Bush began his second term in January 2005, facing challenges aplenty:  Iraq, increasing federal budget deficits, a chronic international balance-of-payments  shortfall, the escalating cost of social entitlements, and a shaky currency. None were 
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Unformatted text preview: susceptible to quick or easy solutions. Iraq was the largest and most visible problem. The country had adopted a new constitution and held parliamentary elections in 2005. Saddam Hussein, tried by an Iraqi tribunal, was executed in December 2006. All the same, American forces and the new government faced a mounting insurgency. Composed of antagonistic factions — among them Sunni supporters of Saddam and dissident Shiites aided by Iran — the insurgency could be contained, but not quelled without using harsh tactics that would be unacceptable at home and would alienate the Iraqi population. The constitutional Iraqi government lacked the power and stability needed to impose order, yet the costs — human and financial — of the American occupation eroded support at home....
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