Every year, I make predictions for the new year, some serious, some less so. This year will be no different. So, without further ado, here are my predictions for 2005:
The elections in Iraq will have sporadic violence, but will still result in a win for pro-democracy forces. After the elections, the violence in Iraq will steadily taper down although not disappear entirely.
After the elections in Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld will decide to step down as Secretary of Defense, citing family reasons.
In the wake of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, Vladimir Putin will face increasing calls for his resignation due to the increasing authoritarianism of the Russian government.
Fidel Castro will die, causing a brief chaos as his son Raul tries to take control of the government. However, with the help of Cuban exiles in Florida, massive pro-democracy protests will force the Cuban regime to hold free elections in which reformist candidates win decisively. After the elections, the sanctions on Cuba will be lifted and the Cuban economy will skyrocket due to a massive influx of US tourists.
The hot gadget of 2005 will be the Motorola/Apple iPhone announced at MacWorld San Francisco in January.
Mozilla Firefox will end the year with a marketshare of over 25%. (In some cases, it’s nearly there already.)
Iran will become a nuclear power.
Osama bin Laden will be shot by US forces trying to flee from a raid along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
Ayman al-Zawahiri will be captured shortly after.
Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi will be betrayed by Iraqi Sunni clerics seeking an end to the violence in their country. His badly mutilated remains will be found some days later outside Fallujah.
President Bush will nominate Ted Olson to serve as Chief Justice after Justice Rehnquist succombs to cancer.
Michael Moore will marry Anna Nicole Smith in a secret Vegas ceremony. Those two massive walking trainwrecks were made for each other.
President Bush will get serious about cutting the deficit, making him much more popular among conservatives and much less among everyone else. The projected deficit will go down due to lowered spending and increased economic growth.
The MoveOn wackos will break away from the Democrats after Howard Dean is rejected as head of the DNC. The organization will disband due to internal squabbles shortly afterwards.
Kim Jung Il will remain in seclusion, fueling speculation that he had died some time ago. No one will know for sure, and the North Korean government will continue to be the most oppressive on Earth.
We’ll all be a year older.