In their own words

But expect more

“America has never experienced an event like this before.” — US President Barack Obama on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

More equal than you

“The US is a big and important market for BP, and BP is also a big and important company for the US.” — BP chairperson Carl-Henric Svanberg.


“The team executed the operation perfectly and the technology worked without a single hitch.” — BP chief executive Tony Hayward, on the “top kill” manoeuvre that failed to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil flow.

Stunner stunned

“There is stunning potential here.” — General David Petraeus, commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, on the “discovery” that the country has lots of valuable minerals.


“We’re funding both sides of the war.” — A NATO official in Kabul, quoted in the June 6 New York Times, confirming reports that Afghan companies paid to protect trucks carrying supplies for the US and its allies’ military forces regularly bribe the Taliban to allow them to pass.


“I do not believe we will ever have a final agreement on climate change, certainly not in my lifetime.” — Christiana Figueres, the new executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Massive gap

“Developing countries were today shocked by new UN data showing that rich nations will be able to increase their carbon emissions by up to 8% if they take advantage of a series of major loopholes in their pledges ... When combined with calculations of loopholes and carbon market mechanisms, it shows a massive gap between the 30-40% cut that scientists have said is needed to stem catastrophic climate change and the cuts which have been pledged by rich countries so far.” — From a report in the June 9 British Guardian.