BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

How has Obama handled the Gulf oil spillage?

11:58 UK time, Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Seven weeks after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank opinion polls suggest many Americans believe President Obama has handled the disaster poorly. Do you believe the president is doing enough?

Mr Obama has made three visits to the oil-hit coast since the disaster began in late April.

He has continued to defend his response to the spill from the BP-operated oil platform, strongly criticising BP's chief executive Tony Hayward.

How do you rate President Obama's handling of the oil spillage crisis? Do you think Mr Obama should do more? What further action would you like to see?

Your oil spill solutions

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    BADLY!

    All that Obama has done is blame BP for something that they have not even been proven guilty of, despite the fact they have taken responsibility!

    And whilst BP, an oil company, have tried evrything they can think of regardless of cost to solve the problem at source they have continually been criticsed for not doing enough by a man who has turned up three times and done nothing except criticise.

    BP should cut their liability to that set by US law and walk away just like an American company would do. They should also increase the price of all oil products sold in the US to cover the cost of spurious claims that are no doubt being manufactured by dubious lawyers as we speak.

    The only person who has really done nothing is the one making the most noise. Maybe the American people should consider sacking Obama?

  • Comment number 2.

    Obama's comments don't help - it seems in his governments apparent inability to fix the problem directly, all they can do is be "furious" at BP and state that they would dismiss the BP CEO - a person he's never met or spoken to!


    I think BP have done and are doing all that they can to stop the leak. The question that should be asked is where are Halliburton & Transocean in all of this, I've not heard a peep from them! BP has, from the outset put it's hands up & taken responsibility.


    America needs to realize that it cannot have its cake & eat it - you want to drive gas guzzlers & have an oil dependant economy, then you need to drill for oil & with that come the risks such as this tragic accident.

    In such situations as this political & business leaders need to get over themselves & pull together to solve the problem. Name calling & anger will get us nowhere - now is not the time for political posturing!

  • Comment number 3.

    Obama should order an immediate solution to leaking oil. He allowed a spill in the ocean. The United States Navy is responsible for the safety of the public. Obama spends too much time listening to his special interests.

  • Comment number 4.

    In spite of the careful calculations of his political advisors the president's response has been uninspiring. His speeches seem contrived instead of from the heart, his emotional displays forced and worst of all the Federal response has been slow and ineffective, delayed by red tape and a lack of clear direction on how to proceed.

    Perhaps worst of all he insists on browbeating BP executives for the failure to complete the highly technical and complex operation of capping the well instead of focusing on matters he can control by urging his own people to do more to contain the spill and clean it up.

  • Comment number 5.

    The problem is it's a mile down, and of course Obama walks on the surface!

  • Comment number 6.

    I fail to see what more a politician can do other than distance themselves from the blame. It is all about PR with politicians nothing else. Politicians do not get things done they get other people to get things done. It is more preferrable for BP to take the rap and come up with the solution to the problem. I don't see any other oil companies stepping into the breach, do you?
    Once the immediate crisis is over then the great blame game shall begin and no doubt President Obama shall do his duty and shout louder than anyone else. I would feel sorry for BP except they are hardly a shining example of moral business practise. The best option for the UK Government is to tax BP for every penny they have before the US sue them out of existance.

  • Comment number 7.

    "Seven weeks after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank opinion polls suggest many Americans believe the president has handled the disaster poorly."

    Aside from the healthcare plans (which from this side of the Atlantic look to be very devisive), he's failed to deliver spectacularly.

    What hasn't he done poorly so far?

  • Comment number 8.

    He has handled it like many a politician... lots of rhetoric and bluster, sacking where he can and blaming where he can´t.
    The time to apportion blame will come after reasoned investigation... now is the time to do what can be done to stop the outflow of oil as soon as can be, to contain the damage and to assist those most affected.
    It is very noticeable that others, speaking about this disaster, have been more circumspect in their language... and more fulsome in their actions. Perhaps politicians are not so good at disaster management which requires a cool head at all times. When at sea you do not compound a disaster by unduly risking the lives of others on desperate actions.

  • Comment number 9.

    Prety well. Not much he can do exept fine Bp too pieces.

  • Comment number 10.

    The way he handles everything. Distance and disinterest at first, then a succession of visits to the Gulf to show "empathy" in that phony way cold fish personalities like Obama do. And a heaping helping of political postering, fingerpointing and hectoring on the sidelines. And yes, Obama is an Anglophobe so get use to it, Brits. You hated when Bush said "Yo Blair" and wanted the "Special Relationship" severed and Obama has fulfilled your wishes and then some.

    The fact is that there is little, as usual, government can do in such industrial accidents. Those who store such faith in "them" are always disappointed, as the residents of New Orleans were during Katrina.

    But Obama who is a socialist to the core of his being HAS to do something to prove his beliefs. And this is the best he can do. And to think you all on HYS were in rapture over this empty suit!

  • Comment number 11.

    I don't know what you yanks think Mr Obama can do? Do you really believe he is the new messiah who can simply raise his hands and the problem ends?

    What is important is that, in the future, Mr Obama does not let BP away with it and that BP are made to put things right.

  • Comment number 12.

    How on earth is Obama to blame for BP's mess? Did he cause the leak?

  • Comment number 13.

    When in trouble or in doubt
    Run in circles, scream and shout

    I think he's done that quite well, really. Not noticed him doing much else.

  • Comment number 14.

    How has Obama handled the Gulf oil spillage?
    Very poorly.
    Ask yourself these questions:
    Do you feel that you know what caused this catastrophe?
    My answer is NO. Therefore, I feel that something has happened that the President and BP do not want the world at large to know - perhaps damage to the earth's crust itself, damage that subsequently could trigger earth quakes along fault lines.
    When the Government appears so secretive, it raises my hackles - like what is wrong with the truth and why aren't you guys telling us the truth?
    Three visits to the oil-hit coast do not an explanation make, nor do these visits help the affected coastliners in any meaningful way.
    Defending his response to the spill, strongly criticising BP's chief executive Tony Hayward, do not actually help anyone either - just makes rather ineffective hot air.
    How do you rate President Obama's handling of the oil spillage crisis?
    less than 5% affective.
    What further action would you like to see?
    I would like to see a clear, comprehensive statement about what happened; I would like to see the President throwing himself into diplomacy to take advantage of the offers from countries like
    - Russia which offered its Mir submarines, and
    - Iran, a country with much expertise in oil spills.
    But Obama and BP would rather play close the vest, no matter whose livihood is affected.

  • Comment number 15.

    Obama gave BP permission to deep water drill. If responsibility goes to the top then instead of trying to get the BP guy sacked he should be resigning himself.

  • Comment number 16.

    I don't know what goes through Obama's mind, but it is not the American people affected otherwise he would of done something by now. Now he has shown the true side of his nature, don't do anything until the lawyers are involved, then if it goes wrong he can blame them as well. This is your country Sir, deal with it, recover from the disaster and stop pointing fingers like a schoolboy and get active.

    Are you going to pin the Gas explosion in Texas on British Gas now Mr Obama. Perhaps you need to look at your internal safety rules, this was bad timing. Who's going to pay for that, you need to fine the contractor $billions, sack the senior manager and close down the gas company for not having safety valves for these occasions when someone ruptures a pipe.

    Or you can just admit accidents happen and the best option is recover as quick as possible whatever it takes. BP are doing this alone, exactly how you want it so no dollars are spent, while you watch your people suffer. You made the threat to send in the navy, well everybody is waiting, they have nothing else to do and you pay for them whether they are active or not.

  • Comment number 17.

    I assume that the "Many Americans" quoted as criticising the President are wannabe members of the Tea Party, vote Republican, read the Huffington Post and watch Fox News? If so - and I was Mr Obama - I wouldn't be losing any sleep over their inane bleatings.

    These are the same people who voted in the Bush administration which was responsible for more American deaths than any conflict since Vietnam. Today they are still railing against the provision of free health services for less fortunate members of American society. One way or another, they want the common herd to die, whether GI's, immigrants or busboys.

    It is hardly his fault if there are no truly American oil companies with the expertise or technology to even attempt the repair of this tragic accident-waiting-to-happen. Let's face it; it was an American sub-contractor who caused the disaster in the first place.

    Short of putting on wellies and gloves and spooning up the goo himself, he seems to have done everything that a leader could do to get the mess under control - including finding the funds to pay for the whole operation and its aftermath without hitting US taxpayers. I'd say that all-in-all he's doing a pretty good job.

  • Comment number 18.

    So much for yes we can. more like no we cant.Many Americans are deluded. they must think that Obama can put on some kind of Superhero suit go down underwater and plug the hole with his little finger. Look if it happend to us we'd be in uproar.BP must Pay to the hilt Not like they cant afford it mate.

  • Comment number 19.

    As a so called world leader, I think that he has acted in a childish manner. All he has done is lay the blame at BP, when the fault lies with a US company that BP contracted to work for them. Why is he not criticizing. the US company? Why is he not trying to find solutions to the problem instead of trying to play the blame game?

    I also see that there has been another oil problem, but I don't see Obama saying anything about that. Not that I am really surprised.

  • Comment number 20.

    Besides going three time on holidays in Louisiana and Florida and pointing a finger to BP what has Obama done???

  • Comment number 21.

    I guess it depends on what side of the fence you sit on. If you're a left wing socialist then clearly he has done no wrong as beating on large corporations is what they do regardless of the facts. If you are more open minded then i think we can agree that he has done a terrible job in managing this crisis. Not once has he actually offered any help. He is deliberately blaming BP for everything to disguise his own ineptitude. I have to agree with the 1st post by pzero. Obama has done nothing to help the crisis. Spinning words left right and center does not fix leaking wells. In his eyes BP are gulty already without investigating the facts. That is what dictators in third world communist countries do. It doesn't matter if it was BP, Exxon, Shell or whoever. He probably would have done the exactly the same i.e. nothing. He reminds me of an american donut. Nothing in the middle but all sugary and sweet on the outside.

  • Comment number 22.

    I can't see why Obama is attacking Tony Hayward. BP are doing all they can to stop the leak. BP are producing the Oil that America needs. Instead of making unfair attacks on Tony Hayward - he should concentrate on helping BP stop the leak.

  • Comment number 23.

    The President should have demanded the head of BP in his office on day one, sent the FBI to bring him there, and quietly behind closed doors demanded answers. The President should have brought in the Big "Brains" from NASA and the other Big Oil companies listened to all their ideas and then put someone not affiliated with BP to oversee BP's plans and their actions.
    During Hurricane Katrina the news media bent over backward to blame it on President Bush, and now the same media bends over backward to protect Obama from criticism.
    Obama has failed the test of leadership here and on ever other issue facing our nation, and America is coming to realize that.
    Obama could not stand one day with the same level of media scrutiny Bush endured for 8 years

  • Comment number 24.

    Although I'm an American, I have to side with BP. Obama is only trying to make political hay out of the situation, while BP is doing the work and being attacked constantly at the same time. I do hope that BP will recapture their losses in the long run as it is they, and not the U.S. politicians, who provide us with something of value.

  • Comment number 25.

    Obhama is handling this, oh I thought it was Bodgit and Slodgit!
    I thought he was wringing his hands, blaming the foreigner, BP.
    The lad has gone there three whole times, well that makes all the difference.
    The guy has the capacity of a British minister – something is happening, Does not know what to do!
    But hey, photo-opportunity!

  • Comment number 26.

    Obama: Do what you were voted in to do. Help the citizens of your country. All the slanderous words is not going to change what has happened. Quit your threatening behaviour and lead your country. You have money, you have resources. If you can send your military to start wars that are unwinnable war at a horrendous cost to your taxpayers then surely you can use some of those funds to actually help the people of the southern states who need the help the most.

  • Comment number 27.

    If anything, Obama has made the oil leak (not spill) crisis worse.

    He is a bigger threat to the USA than the oil leak will ever be.

  • Comment number 28.

    I don't think that this bodes well for any of us. My expectation of a world leader is to lead by example and measured response. All we seem to be getting from "Obi-wan" is a knee-jerk response. What will we get if there's a major international crisis in say North Korea? Name calling? Political posturing to appease the American public? Wow, that'll help!

    "Obi-wan" is supposed to be one of the cooler Jedi Knights who doesn't succumb to the dark side...perhaps he should listen to master Yoda?

    "Remember, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."

  • Comment number 29.

    The Man is President of the USA not a Janitor. His job is to influence and co-ordinate the response, not to mop up the spillage with a sponge and bucket.
    The Presidents job is to 'Kick A**' from Washington.

  • Comment number 30.

    Obama is making what he (or his advisors) thinks is all the right noises and soundbites that seem designed to appease his public and let it be known that in no way his Government are in any way to blame - which may be fair comment. However it seems to be overdone - how "furious" he is with BP's effort and attempts at tackling the problem. It should be remembered that this type of leak is something that has never been tackled before. BP seem to be trying everything they know and a few new ideas as well. What more can they do?

    It should also be remembered by Washington & the lambasting public that the U.S. comsume 38% of all the oil used by the world each year! Where do they think it all comes from? It's their demand for the black stuff that is trying to be met and the oil industry is a dangerous business littered with deaths & spills.

    The U.S. Government should be working with BP without the acromony. They both have a common goal afterall.

  • Comment number 31.

    The President is not a god; he has no magical powers. He can do nothing that BP isn’t doing already. We really need to move beyond our primitive impulse to make our presidents our Scapegoats-In-Chief. I know George Bush was a prime example and many Republicans feel “turnabouts are fair play” but it serves the country poorly. Sacrificing the President … or even Tony Hayward … will do nothing to solve the problem.

  • Comment number 32.

    President Obama has done a very good job, as good as he could have done.

    It is british petroleum who caused the leak and it is they who should be fixing the leak. They should also be forced to compensate everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.

  • Comment number 33.

    This whinging from the yanks about BP makes them the biggest hypocrites ever. The US consumes over double the amount of oil, per year, per person than the UK. For decades it has been the biggest polluter and its population consumed more than any other nation on the planet. It gave countries like India the Union Charbide Corporation and Coca Cola. It carried out hundreds of high altitude atomic tests from the late 50's onwards. It was also the ONLY developed country that didnt sign the Kyoto Protocol...etc.. Over and over again it has damaged, destroyed, polluted and changed the environment in other countries.

    Its a different story when it happens on their own doorstep though. Oooooh nasty nasty evil BP.

    If I were Tony Hayward I'd slap Obama and tell him to grow up.

  • Comment number 34.

    President Obama has been as helpless as anybody else involved in trying to stop the oil leak and protect the Gulf environment and it must be infuriating for all the American people to see the impact on beaches and wildlife..my own granddaughters were tearful watching the struggles of pelicans, porpoises, crabs and other sea creatures. However Presidents are expected to rise above the temptation to single out a scapegoat for his country's anger. Issuing threats about knowing whose ass to kick..and indulging in nationalistic, bordering on racist, based on a simplistic/ignorant 'B' in BP stands for British, so the UK better watch out...is unbecoming for a US President. BP is an international company like most oil giants; many employees, top managers and investors are American; the Oil Industry Regulators of offshore drilling are American; Obama has approved and authorised more drilling in sensitive environments and this disaster must be an embarrassment for him. Angry people might find his reaction comforting but I would think that cooler heads would like to see culpability spread a bit wider than BP.

  • Comment number 35.

    ((((12. At 1:18pm on 08 Jun 2010, marswalker23 wrote:How on earth is Obama to blame for BP's mess? Did he cause the leak? )))
    Did Bush cause Hurricane Katrina ?
    Did Bush cause 9-11 ?
    Things happen in this world and you can not predict what the next crisis will be, you are judged on how you respond to that crisis, and the public as a whole is generally very fair in that regard, no one is blaming Obama for the well blowout but for his incompetence and lack of response after it happened.

  • Comment number 36.

    Apart from sdpending millions in US tacpayers cash to buy in exactly the same equipment as BP was already using and taking over the operation himself what more could he have actually done?

    Certain interested parties are determined to make this Obama's Katrina. But the there is a key difference - Bush had the resources and equipment to more in the wake of Katrina and chose not to.

    For the US to any more in the wake of the BP debacle they'd have had to pay for equipment and expertise that BP already had.

  • Comment number 37.

    This has been a godsend to Obama. At a time when his popularity was starting to wane, he is gifted a multi-national foreign scapegoat to deflect attention away from himself. He's just saying what he thinks the American public want to hear...nothing unusual there though, isn't that normal for any American politician?

  • Comment number 38.

    Stop the pay / employment of the Labour Ministers and managers of the FSA that got us in this mess in the first place. So much money has been spent over the years on regulation and to no affect it transpires.

  • Comment number 39.

    Obama has been involved in a pathetic blame game to divert attention away from his own disastrous presidency in which he has achieved absolutely nothing.

  • Comment number 40.

    The President's patience and tolerance with BP had reached a saturation point as they had been experimenting to plug the oil leak since the last week of April. Prez Obama visited the site three times to personally see the progress. Like any mortal, he lost his cool at the slow progress made by BP who were consequently the culprit for the spillage and the damage they caused in marine life, environment depradation and sheer waste of millions of barrels of oil. It is easy yet wrong to criticise Prez Obama for BP's failure. If BP had been successful in plugging the leak in time, the chapter on spillage would have been closed and the critics' slur naturally shut.

  • Comment number 41.

    'How has Obama handled the Gulf oil spillage'? is the HYS question.

    Like many others, perhaps, I think Obama is between a rock and a hard place? As I understand it, deregulation for deep water oil extraction in the Gulf of Mexico was introduced by Bush administration and Obama also considered going with that to decrease America's dependence on oil imports - which is understandable and crucial?

    So, was Obama, as President in the wrong job at the wrong time? In other words - this horrendous and tragic situation was caused by an explosion that killed 11 workers? Layers of safety failures don't usually happen overnight - this appears to be a combination/culmination of issues yet unknown.

    As a Britain, may I sincerely give my condolences and sympathy to rig workers' families whose close ones died. Have lost an uncle, who traveled the world and loved his job; but we lost him in a rig fail emergency. Plus praying for all those whose livelihoods are affected by this disaster. God Bless.

  • Comment number 42.

    29. At 1:55pm on 08 Jun 2010, barryp wrote:

    The Man is President of the USA not a Janitor. His job is to influence and co-ordinate the response, not to mop up the spillage with a sponge and bucket.
    The Presidents job is to 'Kick A**' from Washington.

    -------------------------------------------


    I agree, the man is not a janitor, but the way he is acting he may as well be. The words coming from him are the words of some union representative, all about how bad it is, how bad the management are etc etc, but not coming up with any viable solutions.

    The presidents job is not to "kick a**" from washington, it is to lead the people of the US and solve the countries problems. So far he has done nothing to solve this problem bar try and act the big man by telling BP how angry he is at them, thereby wasting their time when they could be trying to get on with the job of fixing this mess that a US company created.

  • Comment number 43.

    17. At 1:25pm on 08 Jun 2010, fastbowler wrote:
    I assume that the "Many Americans" quoted as criticising the President are wannabe members of the Tea Party, vote Republican, read the Huffington Post and watch Fox News? If so - and I was Mr Obama - I wouldn't be losing any sleep over their inane bleatings. "

    At the risk of spoiling your off-topic diatribe, Fastbowler, I rather doubt the loathsome conservatives you criticise read the Huffington Post. That, sir, is a hatemongering LIBERAL website. You might want to check it out, though. You'd fit right in....

  • Comment number 44.

    I dread to think how McCain/Palin would have handled it.

    Of course we can expect neocon rants to blame Obama - in spite of the flagrantly obvious fact that contracts and licenses were issued during the Bush/Cheney presidency - it's their job to do the US oil industry's PR. And BP will also be viciously attacked at the behest of it's competitors.

    At least BP has the decency to pay for it's own PR rather than lobby GoP hawks to do it for them.

  • Comment number 45.

    27. At 1:54pm on 08 Jun 2010, bill wrote:
    If anything, Obama has made the oil leak (not spill) crisis worse.

    He is a bigger threat to the USA than the oil leak will ever be.

    ----

    Slightly off topic, but after the venom that surfaced on all sides during the US election and the near riots that accompanied the Health Care reforms and now some of the rather nasty allegations about Obama surfacing about the oil fountain I really think its time that the US electorate took a step back from the brink.

    All the hyperbole, smears and lies your media and increasingly individual US citizens are disseminating about their political rivals have got you well on the road to civil conflict.

  • Comment number 46.

    Well... for the first time in memory, the US isn't directly responsible for a man made crisis! BP, being a British based multinational, is getting savaged by American politicians and pundits because it alleviates some of their crushing guilt from having made a horses arse out of most other things. They actually on occasion refer to the company as 'British Petroleum', an entity that hasn't existed since it's merger with certain American oil giants in the late 90's.

    Perhaps if America didn't consume 25% of the worlds petrol they wouldn't have had to contract BP to drill in such extreme fashions. Based on the evidence it seems that BP could have been far too lax with safety and regulation but punishing them is barely even a half measure.

    It's disgusting that the debate is still being heavily framed around the notion of 'where will the world get its oil?' when an event such as this should be the final and emphatic push away from fossil fuels. Ironically, companies like BP invest substantially in new energy markets and research, but as long as we're buying petrol they're not going stop producing it! And as long as the US refuses to tax petrol, Americans won't be encouraged to wake up and smell the fumes because it's still the cheapest fuel.

    Essentially, the guzzling hedonistic behemoth that is America needs a sharp wake up call. Until they take fundamental looks at their own lifestyle they havn't a right in the world to criticize anyone but themselves.

    With a little help from big oil, America's favourite bed-mate, they have visited this environmental catastrophe on themselves.

    Oh and as for Obama... well, watch Tuesday 1st June episode of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Revealing.

  • Comment number 47.

    What annoys me about Obama's attitude is that, in an interview I saw a fer minutes ago, he said basically that we mustn't prejudge PB and then in the same breath effectively accused them of corner cutting and safety violations. He must know that mud will stick and he is prejudging them.

    This isn't to say that there is no fault on BP's part, but what part of the story do you think will stick in the mind of John Doe when he ends up on a jury in one of the inevitable civil suits somewhere down the line?

    Again, just what does Mr Obama think he could have done better? And if so, why didn't he?

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    does MR obama remember that the BP he refers to as BRITISH PETROLEUM,is an anglo british company,40% british,39%american,????

  • Comment number 50.

    39. At 2:29pm on 08 Jun 2010, John Sparks wrote:
    Obama has been involved in a pathetic blame game to divert attention away from his own disastrous presidency in which he has achieved absolutely nothing.

    ----
    Yeah, two years in and not a single new war - what on earth does he think he's doing!

  • Comment number 51.

    WE'LL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!

  • Comment number 52.

    Obama has shown what he is, a shallow populist, he hasn't a clue what is going on, he has left it to BP , he is attacking the symptoms not the problem. Rather than playing the blame game he should rise above it, put the resources of the US to work where they can help. Engage and support what BP is doing to solve this incredibly difficult problem. Comments like ''plug this hole'' and ''I have my foot on their neck'' are just not helpful. If this was simple it would have been done. Stop criticising get into action.

  • Comment number 53.

    Obama has made a complete fool of himself! The yanks want all the oil - but then squeal if a mess is made - BUT all want to drive 4 7litre v8 monsters on the drive to toddle 300 yards down the road to buy 700lbs of groceries for the week, the want fridges that resemble a warehouse, 44 televisions in each house, air con, humongouse burgers, an overblown war machine........and precisey where do they expect the energy to come from? Pixie land?

    It's about time yank land WOKE UP! The era of soft living with all families driving 7ltr V8's is over!

    Perhaps if obama is such a genius he'll tell BP how to cap the well 5000ft down - in the dark & oceanic currents? Well Obama - we're waiting!

    All he has done is moan, carp & criticise in a populist move to a credulous Yank electorate!

    Oh yes....what about the MESS the US left behind in Iraq - eg depleted uranium shells, explosives in Vietnam, in Korea etc!

    Something about kettles & pots comes to mind!


  • Comment number 54.

    32. At 2:04pm on 08 Jun 2010, thelevellers wrote:
    President Obama has done a very good job, as good as he could have done.

    It is british petroleum who caused the leak and it is they who should be fixing the leak. They should also be forced to compensate everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.

    .........

    Er.....I thought it was a faulty blowout valve....which I thought was of Yank manufacture???!

  • Comment number 55.

    I think this whole mess is a complete debacle. If the US government had not told the oil companies they could not drill in coastal waters, this would not have happened. Conversely, BP took a huge risk by drilling 50 miles offshore in deep water without having the appropriate safeguards in place. So I think there is a 50/50 share of blame here. However, I think th current president will not go down as a great one. In the past presidents have taken action and when the action was seen to be effective then they made comment and gained poitical ground. This president is so good at talking and placing blame, but seems to have no idea as to how this problem can be solved. Surely he has more resources at his disposal than anyone, but still he takes no action. If anyone should be 'fired' it is President Obama.

  • Comment number 56.

    The President should be running his country and foreign affairs not dicking around the gulf of Mexico stating the obvious.
    Afterall, did they not set up FEMA to tackle these type of incidents.
    Obama is using the Deepwater disaster as cover to avoid more important Global issues like:
    Israeli attacks on aid ships
    Israel signing up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
    Nuclear Iran
    North Korean incident.

  • Comment number 57.

    Obama has been utterly direspectful to the hard working people of BP america. Family men and women who have done nothing wrong apart from working for a big corporation. These are ordinary people who go to work everyday to make a crust but got caught up in a terrible tragedy. The way he has defamed their character is reprehensible and he should be disgusted with his behaviour. He has turned out to be nasty piece of work and nothing more than a racist bigot. At least we have all now seen the true Obama. This is the treatment you get for helping to fund his electoral campaign and supply a service to the american consumer that his administration sanctioned. Thanks for absolutely nothing.

  • Comment number 58.

    46. At 2:46pm on 08 Jun 2010, rockhallfame wrote:

    "Well... for the first time in memory, the US isn't directly responsible for a man made crisis! BP, being a British based multinational, is getting savaged by American politicians and pundits because it alleviates some of their crushing guilt from having made a horses arse out of most other things"

    could not have said it any better myself!!!! You are right on the money

  • Comment number 59.

    for those people defending BP, realise this; it was highlighted on the rig that the blowout valve was dodgy by haliburton, however BP ignored that advice and over-rode the decision to stop drilling.

    Obama is not the god like creature everyone hoped he would be, he is human and like one poster said;well and truly stuck between a rock and a hard place. I think he has done the right thing forcing BP to take responsibility; hopefully drilling companies will now think twice before endangering the environment, and maybe, just maybe it will encourage the big energy companies and motor to do some serious research in to alternative sources and modes of transport.

  • Comment number 60.

    Obama - about as effective as a chocolate fireguard.

    All mouth and no substance - quite scary to think he is the most 'powerful' man in the world.

    I take it to be a suitable candidate for the White House you must have an MBA in the 'Blame Game' - the last two custodians - Obama & Bush - (aka janitors) of the White House must been the top of their class.

  • Comment number 61.

    When I read some of the comments here, obviously from the right wing, I say to myself "how could Obama do more." The problem is one of engineering. Experts from ALL the oil companies and around the world, should be consulted as to possible solutions. This is a global disaster that I am sure will happen again and politics and dislike of Obama has no place in all of it. After all, one could say the BP oil lease was granted under the previous administration.

  • Comment number 62.

    That's what happens when you drill in to an oil field, oil comes out!
    There has been no proof of responsibility as the part that supposedly failed isn't a BP part, Yet they are willing to help sort it out from minute one. maybe it is there fault maybe not but if it isn't there fault all Obama has done is make himself and his entire country look like a stupid bully.

    Assuming for one second it is all BPs fault then all this shouting and arm waving is causing a big distraction that can only divert attention away from what needs to be done. I also notice nothing the US government is doing to solve the problem or minimise the consequences but warn BP that even if they perform a miracle that they will be taken to the cleaners.

    I cannot see why any oil company would want to work anywhere near the USA after this and even have a very good reason to not even sell the oil to them. accidents happen and if the risk is that you go out of business for a mistake or accident then you will think twice before exposing yourself to that risk.

    Interesting side note BP have been spending allot of money on fusion research that would be of use to all of humanity I can only imagine this funding will now go to some dodgy US lawyers

  • Comment number 63.

    BP has to carry the can, I hope the US government will seek appropriate legal compensation & perhaps imprison those responsible. It endangers the planet.

  • Comment number 64.

    Whilst I agree that Obama is not to blame for the spill, I do think he has become overly focused on the blaming BP, setting up commissions to ensure blame is properly assigned later, and so on...This negative focus can result in side-effects. Like others playing the blame game...on Obama...

    I would also suggest he has been trying too hard...just to be seen to be doing something...well if all you are doing is being seen to do something, rather than actually doing something, then you can run into trouble...

    And finally, he was always going to get it in the neck for this...there is a bitter core at the heart of the American political system and a lot of people who are ill informed and impassioned only by their prejudices...they hate him, whatever he does, so catch 22 really...

  • Comment number 65.

    I agree completely with comment #1. BP has done more than enough to assist in controlling this incident. There is no proof whatsoever that BP was even responsible for the leak and as a member of a private pension fund that owns BP shares, I want to see the company protecting itself against future claims and I want to see its dividends being paid. Quite frankly, the USA can go take a hike.

  • Comment number 66.

    Has anyone noticed that when an american company fouls the roost if it is on foreign land tough "Lets get out of it if we can!" Bophal for an example is an onrunning disgrace .The Torrey Canyon was a real disaster .The whole countryside smelt of petroleum and only when the oil came ashore did the americans lift a finger , the same with Amoco Cadiz .But Now it is the USof A which is hit now this is a real tragedy and someone must pay ,,BP and is.In spite of all BP's efforts on the edge of technology are beginning to make progress in spite of the hate mills working hard to sabotage their efforts.The American citizen is lucky that BP is a tough company which will stick to it's last and finish the job many would walk away from it

  • Comment number 67.

    15. At 1:23pm on 08 Jun 2010, Dorfkcots wrote:

    Obama gave BP permission to deep water drill. If responsibility goes to the top then instead of trying to get the BP guy sacked he should be resigning himself.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    That's nonsense. If you're a manager of a company and you hire a reputable market leading firm with specialist knowledge to do some building work and they mess it up, you wouldn't resign would you?

    You're suggesting he should know how to do the drilling work himself.

  • Comment number 68.

    48. At 2:58pm on 08 Jun 2010, Rather_Be_Cycling wrote:
    36. At 2:23pm on 08 Jun 2010, Delirium wrote:

    "Certain interested parties are determined to make this Obama's Katrina. But the there is a key difference - Bush had the resources and equipment to more in the wake of Katrina and chose not to."

    that is an absolute LIE. The reason it's called the United STATES of America is the individual states, through their Governors, have the first obligation to mobilise their National Guard and to ASK for Federal assistance in such cases. The President cannot force the issue. The real failure of Katrina during the essential immediate response lay entirely with the Democratic (black) Mayor of New Orleans and the Democratic (woman) Governor of New Orleans. Bush didn't "chose not to" anything and you know it.

    ---

    I'm terribly sorry for my mistake.

    I didn't realise that the colour of the mayor and the gender of the governor were key to the events following Katrina.

    I think I understand where you are coming from now.....





  • Comment number 69.

    Mr. Obama needed to be more pro active and offer US assistance rather than spending his time with a lot of rhetoric.
    They want to have their cake and eat it.
    All that he has done is to level criticism at BP and its CEO who in my humble opinion have really worked hard to try and resolve this most serious crisis.
    Both the US and BP need to work in harmony in the interest of all affected parties.

  • Comment number 70.

    Ironically there is no comment/criticism from GOP or the Tea party activists who are well funded by the oil lobby.Wonder what's the views of the 'Drill baby drill" author,Ms Sarah Palin on Pres Obama's handling of oil-spill.

  • Comment number 71.

    I don't understand!!! Since when is a leaking well is the responsibility of a President?!! The OIL companies are the ones who drill the wells to make Billions NOT the President so it is their responsibility, in this case BP's, to fix the well and clean up the MESS that their well caused unless Obama is on the take from BP, it is NOT his responsibility. Those who are bashing Obama at every opportunity is just using this case as an excuse to bash him more... He is doing the right thing by penalizing BP and monitoring the developments. In simple terms, you do not let a Taxi driver to fly a Jumbo Jet or do you?!

  • Comment number 72.

    He's only the messenger; not the "Messiah"!

  • Comment number 73.

    The media still seems to have a big problem with holding black politicians accountable. This is why I vote for white males. When things go bad, nobody makes excuses for them.

  • Comment number 74.

    54. At 3:08pm on 08 Jun 2010, W Fletcher wrote:
    32. At 2:04pm on 08 Jun 2010, thelevellers wrote:
    President Obama has done a very good job, as good as he could have done.

    It is british petroleum who caused the leak and it is they who should be fixing the leak. They should also be forced to compensate everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.

    .........

    Er.....I thought it was a faulty blowout valve....which I thought was of Yank manufacture???!

    ------------------------------

    Thats correct and it was a yank company that actually caused the problem.....but funnily enough Obama seems to have let this slide and only criticizes BP who hired the US company to do the work and subsequently caused this whole mess. After hearing of an explosion in a gas pipeline, one has to wonder if the US has any saftey measures with regards to natural resources such as oil and gas.

  • Comment number 75.

    BP's assets in America are all the old amoco kit - (i.e. an american company, staffed by americans, operated by americans under american law with permits and oversight issued by the American authorities). The deepwater horizon was leased from and operated by Transocean, an american contractor with Halliburton,an American contracted to assist with the construction of the oil well. As the (joint) owners of the oilfield, under American law, BP is responsible for clearing up any spills (because they are the only ones with the knowledge and cash to handle something of this scale). BP said from day 1 that they would pay for the full extent of the clean up and would waive their ability to cap liabilities at $75m as they are entitled to under US law.

    You'll notice that the word "american" crops up a lot. Perhaps Obama would be better off shutting his mouth until he has some idea of what he is talking about. This was an american cock up, created in america by americans for americans.

    BP has behaved admirably, compare and contrast with Union Carbide in the Bhopal disaster, US company shields its executives from massive chemical leak, the Chairman does a runner back to the US and the company spends 20 years trying to wriggle out of its liabilities using any legal trick in the book.

    Suck it up america, the chickens have come home to roost.

  • Comment number 76.

    ?? - ... 'get the Head of BP and demand to know what happend' - make BP pay to the hilt, it was their fault this and their fault that..' '..make BP pay they can afford it..." ? You people are crazy! You sound just like Obama!
    Americans wanted the cheap oil there rather than clean energy - Obama lobbied like crazy to get it and it was obviously hugely popular because he won! The oil is obviously pouring out like a volcano and whoever dug there would have had the same problem so bet Americans are glad their name is not 'BP'? - and er, didn't someone re-mention it was an 'American' subcontractor that made the accident happen in the first place??? I notice they have stopped referring to that bit on the news nowadays - maybe they should bring it up again? The only real thing that is being hidden here is Obama trying to shrug the blame from his shoulders by focusing his wrath on BP!
    So...what is it? seven weeks now of pointing the finger/ laying the blame / non-stop condemnation - take a breath America and let BP get on with it - because you - the American public are not lifting a finger to help! When we had huge oil spills on our coastlines there was a massive response from the Brits who all turned up at our beaches to help clean up the mess and the animals - regardless of whose fault it was. BP have a brilliant reputation for returning the landscape back to what it was so transfer some of that useless hot-air energy into some action and get off your backsides and - go and help them and yourselves out for a change !

  • Comment number 77.

    Obama has shifted the blame off him to BP. It is under his administration's guidance that this has been managed poorly. To a large degree, I believe he is making policies which will act as an over correction for the lack of oversight he is trying to make up in policy.

    Bush was blamed for a natural disaster from Katrina and now Obama should take the blame for the oil rig and leak which occurred under his watch and approval. Natural disasters are something we can plan for but man made issues such as the leak due to lack of oversight and policy are construed against the maker.

  • Comment number 78.

    57. At 3:14pm on 08 Jun 2010, pitbull1711: What the heck are you talking about!! What does the incompetence of one of the biggest oil compnaies in the world has to do with Obama? Obama doesn't run BP or check the safety of the wells!! You MUST be talking about Palin who wants to drill in Alaska... That way the OIL companies can truly screw up the world... Think before you post..

  • Comment number 79.

    President Obama has handled this crisis to the best of his ability. He has put the blame squarely on BP as the company should have the expertise to plug spillages. If the BP experts are not able to stop the spillage effectively, they should not be in the oil business. There has been a lot of unfair criticism of the President on this issue by armchair critics. Here is a President who thinks on his feet and is determined to find answers. He has not shied away from taking the bull by the horns if need be!!

  • Comment number 80.

    Well... for the first time in memory, the US isn't directly responsible for a man made crisis! BP, being a British based multinational, is getting savaged by American politicians and pundits because it alleviates some of their crushing guilt from having made a horses arse out of most other things"
    *******************************
    Sadly this is mistaken as pretty much every link in this chain of disaster was american. The contractors were american, the company was american (amoco), and the regulation was american. The only thing thats not american here is the money being provided for the clean up, which is British. Thank god there are still some companies that are willing to step up and take their responsibilities seriously. Any american company would have cut and run back to america with its tail between its legs looking for the nearest "lawyers direct" office.

  • Comment number 81.

    There is a sense of double standards in this blame game. The fact is that america has been quite happy to be the biggest gas guzzlers in the world and have never, until now, worried about the environmental consequences. Why? because air is free and plentiful and does not hang around their own shores like an ocean. Suddenly they are on an environmental charge when the problem has come home to roost.
    There is a lesson for all of us, including americans, there are consequences to our insatiatable apetite for fossil fuels and its about time America sat up and looked at the consequences of their behaviour.

  • Comment number 82.

    I am disgusted by Obama's handling of this disaster and in particular by his constant critism of BP. Regardless of whether the investigations eventually show that they were negligent or just a victim of back luck, bad planning or bad subcontractors, no one in their right mind can doubt that they are doing everything that they can to fix the problem. Obama should have been working with them to fix the problem not simply trying to divert the finger of blame away from his and previous US administrations, who are also at least partly responsible for this due to their lax oversite.

    I am used to the idea that someone, even a company like BP, is innocent until proven guilty. Until the investigation into the cause of the accident has been completed it cannot be 100% clear to anyone to what extent BP have been negligent. Depite this, Obama's attitude it to treat them like major criminals. Is this really what one would expect from a US president? The treatment of BP by the the Obama administration is reminiscent of a lynch mob. This may be the way things would be handled in a banana replublic but I would have hoped for a more statesman-like response from "the leader of the free world". The underlying anti-British tones to his utterances has, for me, firmly placed the coffin lid on the terminally ill "US-UK Special Relationship". I only hope the new leaders in the UK have the courage to nail the lid firmly shut.

  • Comment number 83.

    What exactly is he meant to do? I don't belive expertise in deap sea oil drilling are a usual qualifications for politicians and he is certainly not a miracle worker - he can't just wave his hands and it will go away as some of the posters here seem to think he should do.

    So what, other than putting pressure on BP (the people with the expertise to solve this) and recruiting other experts to consult on clearing up the slick is he really meant to do?

  • Comment number 84.

    To be fair there is little Obama or BP could do which they aren't already doing. If the oil leak was easy to plug it would have been done weeks ago.
    The problem is that the demand for oil is such that we are having to drill for oil in technically difficult locations, which make it very difficult to take action when things go wrong.
    You could argue that the American Government was lax to allow oil firms to drill for oil in these technically difficult areas, however that decision would have been made by the previous administration.
    BP is by far the best organisation to try and cap the oil well. Certainly the American Government has a lot less knowledge.

  • Comment number 85.

    Just Perfect everything is going as planned.

  • Comment number 86.

    Arrogantly and hypocritically.

    Stop putting the blame everywhere else President Obama. Stop scowling and stamping your feet like a two-year old.

    * The US has been at the forefront of nations demanding 'more, more' production when it comes to oil supplies and keeping prices down.
    * The US has also been at the forefront of demands for oil companies to spend more (money, time, energy, innovation) on oil exploration.
    * The US licenced this exloration.
    * US companies may well have been instrumental in causing this disaster.
    * The US admits it does not have the technology, manpower or money to cap the well,stop the leak, or clean up.

    And all Obama can do is sit there in his shirtsleeves for interviews (or walk round in shirtsleeves for interviews) scowling, sounding intense, blaming BP, threatening BP, badmouthing BP........but doing absolutely nothing constructive himself.
    How easy it is to be an armchair critic.

    Now compare this with the Bhopal disaster in India when America's Union Carbide Corporation's pesticide plant spewed 40 tons of toxic gas into the air, killing between 3,500 and 10,000 deaths in the first 3 days, with about 25,000 subsequently dying from complications. A lot more serious than this oil spill. But did Union Carbide or America admit blame, or even make genuine restitution.
    Union Carbide paid just US$470 million as compensation to victims; an amount of just $550 for each victim.

    President Obama you are making a fool of yourself. Wake up and smell the coffee. Instead of apportioning blame, do something positive. Take responsibility for helping to solve this problem and stop trying to make out its everyone else's fault and responsibility.

  • Comment number 87.

    43. At 2:43pm on 08 Jun 2010, Rather_Be_Cycling wrote: "At the risk of spoiling your off-topic diatribe, Fastbowler, I rather doubt the loathsome conservatives you criticise read the Huffington Post. That, sir, is a hatemongering LIBERAL website. You might want to check it out, though. You'd fit right in...."

    = = = = = = = = = =

    Sorry if you feel slighted, RBC. My point was not off-topic, it was pointing out where the majority of Obama's critics were coming from, and the Huffington Post huffs and puffs with the best of them. Not one critic has suggested a practical alternative to what is already being done but, oh my God, they can certainly muddy the waters even more than the oil slick.

    Yes, he's unfairly criticized Tony Hayward but the man’s the CEO of one of the biggest multinational companies in the world and obviously has the skills to maintain its success - and repair any glitches as they occur - or he wouldn’t have been chosen for the job above all the other hopefuls available when the multi-company merger took place. However, he’s definitely somewhat challenged when it comes to public speaking, but at least he didn’t bottle out and hire a PR mouthpiece to do the job.

    Obama is naturally angry about the catastrophe, and even more angry about the unwarranted criticism he’s getting from his own countrymen. Thank the Lord he doesn’t flail about looking for scapegoats other than those directly involved.

  • Comment number 88.

    First of all we are not yanks, we are Americans! Tony Hayward ruined his own pr buy announcing that he wanted his life back. That is a very rude, and non-compasionate thing to say when hundreds and thousands of Americans are having their jobs and way of life ruined! Not to mention the eleven men dead, and the hundreds of thousands of animal species that are dieing and being affected. It was BP's desicion to pull that drill out quicker. Transocean and the other contracter's wanted to be more cautious. BP is responsible. Everyone else they sub-contracted with is irrelavent. It's like when Haliburton hired mercenaries to fight in Iraq. It was still our responsibility. BP was the ultimate boss. It was their operation. I don't care who's regulations they were following or where they were drilling. They should have their own standards regardless and take responsibility. They need to stop whinning, along with the Brits and learn to eat a little crow! If we lose our entire gulf coastline, especially Florida...you think were mad now, wars have been started over less!!!

  • Comment number 89.

    #59. At 3:19pm on 08 Jun 2010, Curious_Geoge wrote:
    for those people defending BP, realise this; it was highlighted on the rig that the blowout valve was dodgy by haliburton, however BP ignored that advice and over-rode the decision to stop drilling.

    Obama is not the god like creature everyone hoped he would be, he is human and like one poster said;well and truly stuck between a rock and a hard place. I think he has done the right thing forcing BP to take responsibility; hopefully drilling companies will now think twice before endangering the environment, and maybe, just maybe it will encourage the big energy companies and motor to do some serious research in to alternative sources and modes of transport.
    _________________________________________________________

    Wow Curious you've got access to some pretty hot info there, considering that there's been no official investigation output yet...BUT, if I give you the benefit of the doubt that this is right then there are a few things that you need to understand about the oil industry and how things are operated.

    If Halliburton did point out that the BOP was "dodgy" that's an automatic STOP. BP have NO say in "over-riding" the decision of the OIM (Offshore Installation Manager) the buck stops with the OIM on ANY rig.

    Obi-wan did not "force" BP into taking responsibility. They've always said they own this problem and would see it through to the end, they've never said anything else from day 1.

    I do agree though that this will make oil companies think twice about high risk drilling activities, but maybe it's time that the US brought its regulations relating to drilling activities into line with European regs? Oil companies operate to the rules & regulations given to them by the country they operate in. BP should have been operating to the higher European standards (that's what their policies state), maybe that's something they should be looking into themselves when it comes to their own investigations into how this tragedy came about?

  • Comment number 90.

    The President has handle it really well, I am PROUD of him.

  • Comment number 91.

    67. At 3:38pm on 08 Jun 2010, joe strummer wrote:

    15. At 1:23pm on 08 Jun 2010, Dorfkcots wrote:

    Obama gave BP permission to deep water drill. If responsibility goes to the top then instead of trying to get the BP guy sacked he should be resigning himself.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    That's nonsense. If you're a manager of a company and you hire a reputable market leading firm with specialist knowledge to do some building work and they mess it up, you wouldn't resign would you?

    You're suggesting he should know how to do the drilling work himself.

    That is right matey, so how come Transocean and Hallibuton are escaping blame.

  • Comment number 92.

    Presumptively most comments are those coming from the UK. The comments have been negative for Obama, but restrained in demeanor. In this commentators view no such restraint is necessory. Obama's reaction was soley one of unproductive banter. The efforts for the government taking charge of the attempts to lesson the impact on the envirnment were his immediate duty and the only efforts done to that end were blame.

    All effort to stop the flow of oil from the sight by necessity were those of BP and were done and will continue to be done. The administration threats are not helpful but are a hinderance to the proplem.

    Hayward has displayed a very competant job even if not grat at verbalizing it.

  • Comment number 93.

    Obama has done badly. However, given that the worlds oil experts are all working on this, there is NOTHING his government can do. Perhaps send in a squad of crack bureaucrats to tick boxes?

  • Comment number 94.

    I honestly wish Bush was still in charge of this country, whether you hate him or not he did not play the finger pointing game. He was a soft spoken man who would have instead of "Putting the boot to BP's neck" would have immediately given them whatever federal support was they needed to get the job done. He would have approved Bobby Jindal's plan's to save Louisiana's coast and would not be running around waving his arms in the air. I dont care if you hate him for starting war's or because he was not a good public speaker, things got done with Bush. Obama is too interested in polls and being populist, Bush did what he thought was right.

    Whether it's war or cleaning up a oil spill, I have now seen two poll's that say the country would feel safer with Bush running this operation.

  • Comment number 95.

    I am in US at the moment and Americans raise this as though all Brits are to blame. My retort is to point out their own energy greed and safety/standard complacency has contributed to this, wasn't the rig itself not manned by Americans at a local level and managed by Americans at a regional level? Which Brit is exactly at fault here? Yes BP should compensate but the safety and technical gate keepers are also to blame. Obama and Americans always want to blame someone else - remember Bhopal and Union Carbide - that was positioned by the US as a local fault issue as have a host of other US directed environmental disasters since.

  • Comment number 96.

    73. At 3:47pm on 08 Jun 2010, California Mojo wrote:
    The media still seems to have a big problem with holding black politicians accountable. This is why I vote for white males. When things go bad, nobody makes excuses for them.
    --------------------------

    Ya, white males just can't catch a break...

  • Comment number 97.

    Will you all please just give it a rest?

    Let the experts get on and do what they have to do. Stop hindering them.

    All politicians, reporters, s**t stirrers go and find some Pop Idol somewhere or track down Fergie - give yourself something to do!

  • Comment number 98.

    "The yanks want all the oil - but then squeal if a mess is made - BUT all want to drive 4 7litre v8 monsters on the drive to toddle 300 yards down the road to buy 700lbs of groceries for the week, the want fridges that resemble a warehouse, 44 televisions in each house, air con, humongouse burgers, an overblown war machine."

    Do I sense a little jealousy here?
    Tell you what, you keep your nanny state, 1 litre putt putt and massive taxation. I'll keep my 5.4 liter truck, my yummy groceries and my big house. Plus all the free cash I have from not being taxed to death. Is that OK by you?

  • Comment number 99.

    Apposite that the Union Carbide, Bhopal, case was concluded today. 15000 people killed, land poluted in the long term, minimal damages paid and not too much protest in the US media! Oh, sorry, I forgot.... that was an Amercan company wasn't it and it was only Indians that suffered and continue suffering.

  • Comment number 100.

    Obama suggested that Israel should carry out the investigation into the floatilla debacle.

    What would be his reaction to the suggestion that BP should carry out the investigation into this oil leak disaster, taking into consideration that it was an American company that actually caused it in the first place and BP are sorting out the mess beyond their legal requirements.

    It's good to know who has the real special relationship with the USA, it certainly isn't Britain despite our sons and daughters being slaughtered in Iran & Afganistan on their behalf.

    It's good to know who your real friends are.

 

Page 1 of 6

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.