Some call it the War on Terror; some call it the Clash of Civilizations; one man calls it just another conflict on the global political game board to resolve. And for him that’s just another day at work. With the Obama Administration in office, dialogue seems to return once again to the world agenda as the most effective way for resolving conflicts.
Alastair Crooke knows well the power of dialogue. As a negotiator for the MI6, the British Secret Service, he spent more then 30 years contributing to mediation and resolution of conflicts around the world, from Northern Ireland to the Middle East. Now, with his organisation “Conflicts Forum”, Alastair fights for his belief that dialogue is the best strategy to find a way out of the War on Terror.
Crooke sees the incapacity to distinguish between different Islamist movements as the biggest threat to Western security. And he believes that misinformation about Islam culture is increasing unjustified violence and impeding peace talks: ‘Open the channels of communications, yes, even though the bombs are going off.’
To do so Alastair Crooke uses his relationship with high-ranked leaders in both the Western world and the Middle East to organise ‘exercises in mutual listening’, in which leaders from both sides sit around one table, talking face to face with one another. This documentary shows Crooke bringing together leaders of the Islamist movements Hamas and Hezbollah and the British political heavy weight Michael Ancram, MP and former British Minister for Northern Ireland.
Contains interviews with Michael Ancram, Alastair Crooke and Usama Hamdan, one of the political leaders of Hamas, and others.
Director: Chai Locher
Research: Chai Locher / Gijs Meyer Swantee
Producer: Judith van den Berg
Editors in chief: Jos de Putter/Doke Romeijn
Source: VPRO Backlight