2002 2003 2004
- Greater London imposes the Congestion Charge.
- Progressive Nestor Kirchner is elected president of Argentina. Faces down IMF, begins economic recovery.
- Code 46 is released.
- China's population is 1,292.27 million.
- January 10: British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell arrested for drunk driving in Hawaii, a pologizes but says he won't resign.
- January 14-February 25: Trial of Russian Navy Reserve Officer Islam Sheikh-Ahmedovich Hasuhanov. Sentenced to 12 years in strict regime labour colony by Supreme Court of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alanya.
- January 28: George W. Bush utters the infamous 16 words in his State of the Union Address. Includes update on each of the rogue states. One-fourth of the text of the speech is devoted to Iraq.
- January: Democratic Governor of Maine John Balducci takes office and faces a current budget shortfall of $50 million and an expected revenue gap of $1 billion over the next two year period.
- January 22: The Netherlands conducts parliamentary elections.
- February 1: Space shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas, killing all seven astronauts. America is still paying the price for Pres. Nixon's disastrous decision to build the space shuttle to promote near Earth space commerce rather than establish a permanent manned base on the moon and a send a manned mission to Mars.
- February 2-3: NASA extends search for shuttle remains.
- February 5: Secretary of State Colin Powell lies to the United Nations.
- February 12: Darwin Day
- February 19: Iranian plane crashes in a mountainous area of southeast Iran, killing 302 Revolutionary Guards.
- March 1: Iraq begins destrruction of its Al Samoud missiles.
- March 2: Estonia conducts parliamentary election.
- March 4: Micronesia conducts general elections.
- March 16: Finland conducts parliamentary election.
- March 16: Vice President Richard "Dick" Cheney states on Meet the Press that, "We believe that Saddam Hussain has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
- March 17: U.S. President George W. Bush delivers his "cowboy" ultimatum to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq within 48 hours or else face attack.
- March 19: U.S. declares war against Iraq, the war begins at 5:30 AM Baghdad time (9:30 PM EST). Canada, France, Germany, Russia and China refuse to participate.
- March 21: Aerial bombardment of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities begins. The campaign is publicized in advance by the Pentagon as an overwhelming barrage meant to instill "shock and awe."
- March 23: 12 members of U.S. Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company captured by Iraqi troops.
- March 30: U.S. Marine and Army units launch first attack on Iraqi Republican Guard units 65 miles outside Baghdad. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld shrugs off criticism the U.S. has not deployed sufficient numbers ground troops in Iraq. As is so often the case with neo-conservative policy decisison his decisions will be seen as correct in the short term but disastrous over the long term.
- April: Argentinian lawyer Luis Moreno Ocampo is elected the first prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
- April 2: U.S. Special forces stage a "rescue" of Pfc. Jessica Lynch from a hospital in Nasiriya. She was one of 12 members of the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company captured on March 23. See D.W. Griffiths Birth of a Nation for the racial subtext of this PR event.
- April 3: U.S. forces seize control of Saddam International Airport, changing the airport's name to Baghdad International Airport.
- April 5: WHO reports that SARS cases exceed 2,400.
- April 9: Baghdad "falls" to U.S. forces in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government collapses and U.S. military appears to take control of Baghdad. Some institutions are guarded, others not.
- April 11: International Solidarity Movement activist Tom Hurndall is shot in the head by the Israeli Army while he attempts to shield Palestinian children.
- April 19: Striking Nigerian oil workers take 97 foreign workers hostage on four offshore drilling rigs.
- April 19: 12 more die from SARS in Hong Kong.
- April 21: U.S. Gen. Jay Garner moves to Baghdad and takes over as miltiary governor.
- April 23: WHO increases SARS travel warnings in China.
- April 29: Nervous U.S. troops fire on largely peaceful demonstration against their presence in Falluja, Iraq. Marks the beginnigns of the Sunni Iraqi resistance.
- May 1: George W. Bush dons a flight suit with amusingly conspicuous codpiece, rides a fighter plane onto the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln off the coast of San Diego, and, under the banner of Mission Accomplished, declares "Major combat operations are over" in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
- May 3: Nauru conducts parliamentary elections.
- May 3: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or محمود احمدینژاد is appointed mayor of Tehran.
- May 9: Kiribati conducts general elections.
- May 12: L. Paul Bremer III replaces Gen. Jay Garner as governor of Iraq. He begins hiring a small army of inexperienced Young Republicans most of whom had never been out of the U.S. to reconstruct and democratize Iraq.
- May 13: Powerless and illegitimate new provisional government, the Iraqi Governing Council, is established by Paul Bremer.
- May 21: Barbados conducts parliamentary election.
- May 31: Peter MacKay is elected the new leader of the Progressive Conservative Party at the party's convention in Toronto, Ontario.
- June 3: NDP wins power again in Manitoba, taking 35 seats. Conservatives get 20 seats and Liberals only two.
- June 9: New Brunswick's Conservative premier barely wins re-election victory, with 28 seats for the Conservatives, 26 for Liberals and only one for NDP.
- June 25: Gen. John P. Abizaid comments that it is "perplexing" that no WMDs have been found in Iraq but then expressed confidence that a new group of miltiary investigators would solve this mystery. He also comments that a large number of U.S. troops will be needed "for a while." Source: Eric Schmitt. "Further Attacks on Allies Predicted by U.S. General." The New York Times. June 26, 2006. A14.
- June 26: Former Senator Strom Thurmond dies at the age of 100.
- July: Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi is arrested while filming outside Evin Prison on Teheran and is beaten to death in custody.
- July 3: U.S. offers bounty for the capture of Saddam Hussein. It was $25 million U.S. plus $15 million for his sons Uday and Qusay. They are later killed in a shootout with U.S. forces.
- July 4: Kiribati conducts presidential election.
- July 17: British PM Tony Blair makes an impresively poor prediction when he addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress. He denounces critics of the war in Iraq, saying that history would look kindly on it, even if weapons of mass destruction were not found.
- July 18: Second Bush administration agrees to suspend threat of secret military hearings against 9 Britons being held at Guantanamo Bay Naval base pending further negotiations.
- July 25: Russian Army Col. Budanov, commander of 160 Tank Regiment, sentenced to 10 years in strict regime labour colony.
- July 27: Cambodia conducts parliamentary election.
- August 3: North Korea conducts parliamentary election. Korean Workers Party wins with unsurprisingly absent party competition.
- August 5: Nova Scotia's Conservatives, led by John Hamm, holf onto power but lose their legislative majority when they win only 25 seats in the 53-seat provincial legislature.
- August 7-29: Bombings in Baghdad of the Jordanian Embass and UN HQ and of a Mosque in Najaf kill 122 people.
- September: Japanese rightists plant a "bomb-like" device in the garage of Deputy Foreign Minister Tanaka Hitoshi, Japan's chief negotiator with North Korea.
- September 10: Cancun Round, or Fifth Ministerial of the WTO begins.
- September 11: Respected Swedish foreign minister and a prominent campaigner for Sweden adopting the euro, Anna Lindh, dies after being stabbed while shopping in Stockholm.
- September 14: Vice President Richard "Dick" Cheney states on Meet the Press admits that he "misspoke" when he stated flatly that, "We believe that Saddam Hussain has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." The manly response would have been to admit that he lied.
- October: Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorovsky is arrested on charges of fraud and tax evasion.
- October 2: Iraq Survey Group issues initial report that it has been unable to find any stocks of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
- October 4: Hanadi Jaradat, 27 year old apprentice lawyer and Palestinian suicide-bomber kills herself and 19 others in Haifa.
- October 7: Arnold Schwarzenegger elected governor of California, replacing Gray Davis, who is recalled by the voters.
- October 15: China sends its first astronaut, Yang Liwei, into space aboard a Long March 2F rocket known as the Shenzhou V.
- October 23: Russian Prosecutor-General conducts police raid on the offices of the Agency for Strategic Communications (ASK) as part of investigations of Yukos.
- October 26: Rocket attack on the Green Zone's Rashid Hotel, kills 1.
- October 27: Wave of car bombings across Baghdad. Car bomb explodes at the Red Cross HQ in Baghdad, killing 30.
- November 5: George W. Bush signs into law a bill banning a medical procedure known as Intact Dilation and Extraction, also referred to as so-called partial-birth abortion.
- November 12: Car bomb kills 19 Italian Carabinieri and wounds 12 more in Nasiriyah.
- November 17: Canadian media mogul Conrad Black resigns as chief executive of his media empire after revelations of improperly disclosed payments to him and his senior executives.
- November 18: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules that same-gender marriage will become legal statewide in 60 days, setting off a firestorm around the country.
- November 25: British Law Lord condemns the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detentions as a "monstrous failure of justice."
- December 11: Union organizers in Quebec cinduct a Day of Disruption to protest proposed changes to the Labour Code.
- December 13: Saddam Hussein, heavily bearded and barely recognizable, is captured. Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar are still at large.
- December 31: German national Khalid Masri is kidnapped in Macedonia in an extraordinary rendition to a secret prison in Afghanistan by the CIA. After 5 months of mistreatment and torture he is dumped on an abandoned on a hillside in Albania. Get Smart