The announcement by giant US bank JPMorgan Chase that it had lost US$2 billion in a shady deal shows the kinds of financial speculation that led to the 2007-2009 financial collapse continue to steam ahead. It also underscores that both Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Democrat president Barack Obama are in Wall Street’s pocket. As the financial system was collapsing in the waning months of the George W Bush administration, it responded with huge bailouts of banks and other financial institutions.
In a qualitative escalation, the government of President Barack Obama has for the first time used the “war on terror” against socialists in the United States. On September 24, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated early-morning raids at homes and offices in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina. The political police seized computers, passports, books, documents, cell phones, photos, financial records, diaries, maps and other materials. In one case, children’s artwork was confiscated.
More than one million people gathered in bitter cold in Washington DC to witness the historical inauguration of an African American as president.
Tens of thousands of people marched in Washington, DC, on September 15 demanding an end to the US war in Iraq. Pennsylvania Avenue was filled shoulder to shoulder from the White House, where the action began, to the Capitol building. The turnout was larger than expected, a shot in the arm for anti-war activists.
The January 27 demonstration in Washington DC was the largest anti-war protest in the US since September 2005.
The Bush administration’s decision to send more troops to Iraq in the face of rising opposition among ruling-class politicians and pundits, and against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the US people, represents a desperate gamble.
The November 7 US mid-term congressional elections were a massive repudiation of the US-led war against Iraq and of the administration of President George Bush. But while the majority of US voters have turned against the war, most of the politicians of both Democratic and Republican parties have a clue about what to do.