The election was very close and the electoral votes of Florida would decide who won. For five weeks, it was uncertain who won Florida's ballots, some of which were defective or unreadable. The Supreme Court eventually ruled (on party lines) that Bush had won the presidency . Although Bush won more electoral votes, Bush lost the popular vote . (More people voted for Gore than for Bush.) VIII. Bush Begins Although he entered office promising to be a uniter between the Democrats and Republicans, President Bush was a very divisive president . He strongly opposed welfare programs opposed environmentalist policies. He rejected the Kyoto Treaty , which was an international treaty aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He enacted large tax cuts that, along with upcoming wars, turned a federal budget surplus into a massive budget deficit. IX. Terrorism Comes to America On September 11, 2001 , terrorists hijacked four aircraft and crashed them into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon, and rural Pennsylvania. Al Qaeda , which was based in Afghanistan and led by Osama bin Laden , was responsible for the attack. In October 2001, Congress passed the Patriot Act , which expanded the government's ability to monitor citizens' communication, and it allowed immigrants suspected of terrorism to be deported. In 2002, Congress created the Department of Homeland Security which sought to protect the nation's borders. Hundreds of immigrants were put into jail without formal charges. Guantanamo Detection Camp was created on the American military base in Cuba to hold captured Taliban fighters from Afghanistan. The attacks on September 11th coincided with the beginning of an economic recession. X. Bush Takes the Offensive Against Iraq In January 2002, Bush created the " axis of evil ," which included Iraq , North Korea , and Iran . Hussein had been harassing and dodging U.N. weapons inspectors for years. (Inspectors were supposed to be allowed in the country after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.) Bush was determined to invade Iraq and overthrow its dictator, Saddam Hussein (finish the job that his dad had started). Bush made a variety of
false claims in his case for war against Iraq: Iraq had weapons of mass destruction; Iraq could be a democratic beacon for the Middle East; Iraq supported Al Qaeda. The U.S. invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003 . Britain was America's only major ally in the invasion. Hussein was quickly defeated. On May 1, 2003, Bush made a speech in which he claimed that major combat operations in Iraq were complete.