Compare opinions of world leading experts and influencers.

The Economist


Barack Obama


If Mr Hussein refuses to disarm, it would be right to go to war.
23 Feb 2003    Source
Agree Should the United States invade Iraq? Disagree
I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.
02 Oct 2002    Source
The country no longer looks in imminent danger of flying apart or falling into everlasting anarchy. In September 2007 this newspaper supported the surge not because we had faith in Iraq but only in the desperate hope that the surge might stop what was already a bloodbath from becoming even worse (see article). The situation now is different: Iraq is still a mess, but something approaching a normal future for its people is beginning to look achievable.
12 Jun 2008    Source
Neutral Can the US military presence in Iraq help create democracy? Mostly Disagree
We should be more modest in our belief that we can impose democracy on a country through military force. In the past, it has been movements for freedom from within tyrannical regimes that have led to flourishing democracies; movements that continue today.
20 Nov 2006    Source
[The Economist was] founded in 1843 to support the cause of free trade.
01 Jan 1843    Source
Agree Is free trade generally beneficial for a country? Agree
Globalization is not someone's political agenda. It is a technological revolution that is fundamentally changing the world's economy, producing winners and losers along the way. The question is not whether we can stop it, but how we respond to it. It's not whether we should protect our workers from competition, but what we can do to fully enable them to compete against workers all over the world.
30 Jun 2005    Source
Mr Obama had it right. Speaking to the enemy is an ordinary part of diplomacy and does not on its own amount to appeasement. In Munich in 1938, Neville Chamberlain's sin was not that he talked to Adolf Hitler, but that instead of standing up to him he sold Czechoslovakia down the river. Had the British prime minister then been Winston Churchill, the outcome of the meeting, and the history of the world, might have been different.
22 May 2008    Source
Agree Should the US president talk face to face with Iran's president? Agree
...if we show ourselves willing to talk and to offer carrots and sticks in order to deal with these pressing problems [then] if Iran then rejects any overtures of that sort, it puts us in a stronger position to mobilize the international community to ratchet up the pressure on Iran. Our unwillingness to talk or the perception that we are trying to bully our way through negotiations, that's eliminated as an excuse for them not dealing with these issues in an appropriate way.
23 Jul 2008    Source
Russia has made perfunctory attempts to justify the invasion. ... The latest fighting in South Ossetia may have been triggered by the Georgians, but it was largely engineered by the Russians, who have, over the years, fanned the flames of the conflict.
14 Aug 2008    Source
Disagree Is Russia's invasion of Georgia justified? Disagree
Russia must back up its commitment to stop its violence and violation of Georgia's sovereignty.
13 Aug 2008    Source
The case for allowing gays to marry begins with equality, pure and simple. Why should one set of loving, consenting adults be denied a right that other such adults have and which, if exercised, will do no damage to anyone else? Not just because they have always lacked that right in the past, for sure: until the late 1960s, in some American states it was illegal for black adults to marry white ones, but precious few would defend that ban now on grounds that it was “traditional”.
26 Feb 2004    Source
Agree Should gay and straight couples have the same legal benefits? Agree
When it comes to federal rights, the over 1,100 rights that right now are not being given to same sex couples, I think that's unacceptable, and as president of the United States, I am going to fight hard to make sure that those rights are available.
09 Aug 2007    Source
Relying on tribal structures may work best in the south-east of the country, where the tribes are comparatively stable and cohesive. In the south, however, tribal structures are weaker, warlords tend to dominate and insurgents exploit tribal rivalries. In Iraq, the Sunni tribes were vital to success; in Afghanistan, tribal rivalries may undo the best-laid plans.
18 Dec 2008    Source
Neutral Can the military presence in Afghanistan help create democracy? Agree
Success in Afghanistan is vital to the security of the United States, to all NATO members, and to the people of Afghanistan. NATO's leaders must therefore send an unambiguous message that every country in NATO will do whatever needs to be done to destroy terrorist networks in Afghanistan, to prevent the Taliban from returning to power, and to bring greater security and well-being to the Afghan people.
03 Mar 2008    Source
Politicians, business and the unions all want a bail-out of Ford and General Motors [but doing so] would be a bad use of public money. It would be bad in principle, because it would be an open invitation to companies everywhere to apply for aid to survive the recession [banks are an exception because the entire economy depends upon their services]. [Unfortunately Congress will do so because they are] itching to “save jobs” and to counter the public-relations disaster of bailing out Wall Street.
13 Nov 2008    Source
Disagree Should the US Government bail out car companies? Agree
The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. ... I have made it a high priority for my transition team to work on additional policy options to help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis, and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars here in the United States.
07 Nov 2008    Source
With a cap-and-trade regime, where annual emissions are strictly capped, variation in these costs implies significant price volatility. It also forces the market to cut emissions at times when emission reduction costs are high. A carbon tax, on the other hand, would allow firms to cut emissions most when doing so is cheapest. This is a strong argument in favour of the overall efficiency advantages of a carbon tax. But there's more to the story than that. ...
15 Feb 2008    Source
Disagree Does Cap and Trade beat carbon tax for reducing emissions? Agree
I think cap-and-trade system makes more sense. That’s why I proposed it because you can be very specific in terms of how we’re going to reduce the greenhouse gases by a particular level. ... [With] a carbon tax the cost will be passed onto consumers and that won’t happen with a cap-and-trade.
06 Jan 2008    Source
...the complaint seems to boil down to a vague sense that doing Muslim stuff near ground zero is an unhappy reminder of terrorism, because the terrorists claimed to be acting in the name of Islam. ... [In any case, it's] impossible to be sensitive both to those who see the mosque as an affront and those who see opposition to it as proof of prejudice, which is why America has a constitution to adjudicate such disputes. And in this [case it] comes down squarely on the side of the mosque-builders.
17 Aug 2010    Source
Agree Do Muslims have the right to build a mosque near ground zero? Agree
...in this country, we treat everybody equally in accordance with the law. Regardless of race. Regardless of religion. I ... will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country's about and I think it's very important that as difficult as some of these issues are, we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about.
14 Aug 2010    Source