November 26, 2005 – The Thanksgiving holiday weekend – but not much of a holiday, especially if you were a GM worker, as you most likely got the news that you and some 30,000 others were losing your jobs. All that, in an effort to stop the bleeding and try to put the former Number One car manufacturer on even keel. With sales sliding and loses soaring, GM announced sweeping changes in the form of job cut and plant closings. Estimates that somewhere around a quarter of GM’s American workforce will be out of jobs by 2008, as GM struggled to get back on the road to profitability. But the job cut might not be enough for GM. Consensus of opinion was that GM needed to make better cars and trucks if it was going to stay competitive in the marketplace. That said, the sad fact was that some 1 million people were, in some form or fashion dependent upon GM for their jobs. So that, when General Motors suffers, it’s felt throughout the entire economy.
And President Bush’s trip through Japan, South Korea, China and Mongolia left Asia watchers unimpressed over this 8-day trip. The Mongolia stop, a former Communist satellite, was now so friendly with the U.S. that it sent 120 of its troops to Iraq. It was the first time a sitting President visited the country. He came with a message; that he compared the current fight with Islamic radicals in Iraq to Communism in the former Soviet satellite.
However, the Iraq war was following Mr. Bush seemingly everywhere. He asked Japan to roll back its ban on U.S. beef imports, which could possibly happen but didn’t while he was there. Korea, the host nation announced plans it was planning on bringing home about a third of its force in Iraq. On China, Bush confessed it was “a work in progress”.
The debate over the Iraq War was now at its sharpest point, due largely to opinion polls. The situation was dragging on and going nowhere, but the argument was what sort of timetable should be used. And that was the sticking point. Meanwhile, car bombs and the attacks in Falujah continued, raising one to ask “was thing every going to end?” In 2006, there were no solid answers.
And that’s just a small sample of what went on the world, this week ending November 26, 2005 as reported by CBS Radio’s Weekend Edition.