A Way Out of the War on Terror

A Way Out of the War on TerrorSome 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.

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.

Watch the full documentary now

Ratings: 7.67/10 from 9 users.

More great documentaries

45 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Jorge Gutierrez

    Great Documentary. If only these Government would listen to what these people have to say,and take in consideration what they really want,I believe things would be much different today,and the World would be a much batter place.

  2. dmxi

    ....just that other interrests are in power which make his efforts as
    effective as a whistler in a hurricane!

  3. Juraj Filkorn

    yes. there are people that do not give a F...

  4. kist

    This is the way of the white man. Sc rew up things Mr Know it all and regret it later. Now sit back relax and enjoy the ride with the kids.

  5. lakhotason

    Peacemakers are history's toys.

  6. Geoffrey Grekin

    I really don't understand what this "Conflicts forum" is trying to achieve?
    As a Canadian Historian (graduate level), I have a somewhat decent understanding of Islamic culture, political life, different religious schisms and their rich history.
    Furthermore, I agree that a dialogue is much needed so that both sides (specifically the populace) understand each-others mentalities and come to the realization that core fears, and goals are similar. We are after-all all human and have the same needs, wants etc.
    Nevertheless, despite all this, the true problem lies with governmental institutions and powerful interest groups that actively enticing these conflict by maintaining the public vile through deception.
    Unlike the public, these interests have a deep knowledge and understanding of their enemy. But their goal is to bring about conflict not resolve it, and they need the public to back them...
    Ultimately this is circular logic, Western public is misinformed about Islamic countries, culture, people for a reason. Therefore this negative polarizing view on Islamic/west wasn't created in a vacuum but was deliberately indoctrinated for a purpose.
    This "conflict forum" doesn't address this, they are trying to solve the surface problem of conflict, but not its root cause.

  7. lakhotason

    Does the problem lie with the governmental institutions or does it lie in our unique human behavior?

    Granted, if you say it is with our institutions then I can counter with those institutions are uniquely human - but I won't. But I will keep it in mind.

  8. Simple Simon says

    Lol, this whole hollywood script is about controling the supply fo money, money is not just paper but oil, control the energy and you control those that use it, same tatics used by the same people before oil became of use to us, these peple invented the whole so called terrorist thing to further their ends, these banking families have been farming the human race for 100's of years of not 1000's, they now control all our media and education, they have led man into the dark ages in more ways than one, they have made sure that all are educated with a false science so that we can't advance, they created the patent system so that they control all tech we have, and have created more false flags than you can count so as to keep all confused, the human race is being taken over by stelth and reduced to dumb slaves.

  9. Edward Campbell

    Being someone who comes from Belfast, N. Ireland I have grown up with the cultural results of nearly 500 years of conflict between Protestant and Catholic, since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church at Wittenberg, in 1519. What happened after that was hundreds of years of power politics and wars of conflicting interests. Each side built up its assets to confound the efforts of the other side to gain ascendency.

    By today's standards, although those wars were actually more bloody, protracted and all encompassing, they didn't have the strategic effect of modern conflict.

    The difference today is in the advent of mass media, control of economies by financial cartels, and the utter subservience of whole populations and polarised cultures to antithetical life objectives. AS in many cases whole drone-like populations need to have the conflict explained to them in simple terms in order to support the war. During WW2, homeland Americans were confronted with "Why We Fight" pseudo-documentaries ((little more than 'anti-Jap' dressed-up propaganda).

    The trouble with most international conflict is that the average person is only interested in earning a living and bringing up his/her family in reasonable comfort, not blowing off some strangers head to feel better about their own pitiful plight.

    As Churchill said, "Jaw, jaw is better than war, war", but unfortunately, as in the concluding comments about Northern Ireland, assuming an overly generous attitude to 'mindless terrorist violence' is not necessarily a constructive approach. Violence is an inappropriate, primeval response to survival stress and has no place in a civilised, intelligent society. War is Darwinism in reverse. The exception to progress, which proves the rule. Religion merely clouds the basic physical nature of the universe with mystical thinking. It does not solve the equation between long-term survival and ultimate extinction.

    An approaching mountain-sized asteroid, a marauding black hole (millions floating around in our own galaxy), a nearby supernova, or flood basalt eruption - would make religious, economic and political conflict utterly irrelevant. We are merely germs fighting over a speck of dust in a vast universe which doesn't care about us in the slightest, and which sadly precious few apart from astronomers fully understand.

  10. kist

    Please dont call it a war. This was never a war. It was and is about genocide.

  11. wald0

    This doc gives me a lot of hope, especially the son of the Islamist leader speaking at (27:21). He is exactly right, the hope for this conflict is with the peoples of these nations not the politicians and religious leaders who have their own private interests in making sure this conflict continues. Both the citizens of the west and the Middle East have been misled about each other. These religious leaders, militant leaders, western and eastern politicians are playing the role of the bully on the play ground that keeps everyone fighting because he has a personal interest in conflict.
    The only thing I think this movement is lacking is contact with the general public in these places of conflict. If they could somehow get the general public of these different countries to understand each other’s cultures, goals, religion, etc.- get them to understand that the American conception of Islam has been purposely distorted by Western governments and think tanks in an attempt to preserve conflict and that their own perceptions of American culture have been distorted by religious, military, and political leaders who also seek to preserve this conflict- Maybe then the public could and would open a dialogue and we could begin to dismantle the public support that these war mongers so desperately need.
    The medium for such an exchange is already in place, the internet; all we need is someone to facilitate this cultural exchange. It seems that is exactly what this group is trying to do; they are just going about it in the wrong way in my opinion. They should be working with some kind of technically proficient movement, like Anonymous and trying to center their efforts on the general public.

  12. fhade

    Ever since the first brutal genocide by their God when he flooded the world and murdered millions.. the sons will keep following the father. Its all about private interest and personal agendas. Like father like sons.

  13. Jack1952

    If its about genocide, then they are doing one lousy job of it. Genocide would seem to indicate a drop in population due to mass executions...but populations continue to rise.

    Quite the blanket statement you made. What war are you talking about and who is doing the genocide anyway?

  14. Jack1952

    The American people were thrust into a war they didn't want when Pearl Harbour was attacked. Once it started, the morale of the public had to be supported. Quite often, the side that loses heart first, loses the war also. That is unthinkable. To prevent this from happening those anti-Jap videos were made as a way to keep the morale of the people at a standard that would help to prevent losing the conflict. Morale is as much a weapon as guns and bombs. Any government that loses sight of this may find themselves in deep trouble in any war.

  15. Jack1952

    Islamic populations are also being misled about Western culture. For many of these fundamentalist groups to exist as a power structure, it is imperative that the West become demonised. There is a reason for calling the West the Satanic power. It goes both ways.

  16. Jack1952

    "Way of the white man". I guess there is no negotiating with that mindset. You already know where the problem lies. I'll bet you have a solution, too.

  17. Martin Hedin

    "This "conflict forum" doesn't address this, they are trying to solve the surface problem of conflict, but not its root cause."

    I understood that they are trying to address a part of the very problem that you are describing. Alastair mentioned to not listen to the demonization of the middle eastern groups (in western media/culture) and instead engage in discussion and understand their arguments, goals etc. This is directed to institutions and not the western population, although we all participate in our nations.

    Maybe they do not intend to change the misinformation in the west (but indeed they do so very much by participating in this documentary), but they are taking one step that way by trying to open dialogue.

    Basically if they just open a dialogue that is a big step. But as you say; there are very clear intentions to bring about conflict from the west, but also in a democracy there are also other elements that want the contrary. So I think simply that is what they are trying to achieve, the same thing that happened in Northern Irland.

  18. Rick Tucker

    That's a generalization and not a broad fact. The fact is most of those in the middle east like the west, it's why they immigrate there. It's the west that has the broad based lack of understanding where in those middle eastern nations where they don't like us are few. Well coached and all have issues with pronounced poverty and massive unemployment. I have friends and acquaintances from Iran, Egypt and Pakistan and they love the west if not the politics.

  19. Rick Tucker

    But we're not engaged in a global war that actually threatens the U.S. If that were the case we would be asked to contribute to the cost. We are not. This is an entirely different situation and not some desperate battle for the survival of anything.

  20. Rick Tucker

    Actually it's about perpetual war for profiteers. It's like the Israeli's beef with Palestinians revolving much more around real estate and who controls it than it is about establishing a Jewish state.

  21. Geoffrey Grekin

    Yup, I don't disagree with your statement. I'm fully aware that the demonizing dogma is a two way street. In fact, I think i mentioned this in my post earlier (although I paid greater attention to the western dogma, with good reason).
    Western culture, specifically capitalism has strongly influenced Islamic states. Secondly, Islamic countries are more often the true victims from these conflicts by the West.

    Take for example, the recent wars in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and the growing tensions with Iran and countless other conflicts where western powers have been either directly and indirectly involved.
    this is in clear contrast to a western nation being invaded by a Muslim one. The last true conflict by Muslim nations against western powers was the failed invasion of Israel.
    Ultimately, if a modern war breaks out between a western nation and a Muslim one. usually Western powers and its people may suffer a significant social cost with increased gas prices, war debt and the loss of life of soldiers.
    In contrast, Muslim nations often face subjugation, occupation, terroization, destruction of property, devastation of their economy and the death of hundred thousands of civilians....
    So is it truly a two way street?
    In fact, Muslims have more of a justifiable reason to hate the West, than the west does to hate Islamic, because many Islamic people have lost their home, friends, family and lively hood by the result of these wars perpetrated by the Western nations in our name.

  22. Jack1952

    I am prone to believe that the Western state is more liable to invade a Muslim country than the other way around is due as much to the West having the military, economic and financial means to accomplish it. The Muslim world cannot compete in these areas but if they could they may be just as aggressive as the West. Like this video is saying, people are people no matter where they come from. Weaker nations do not invade more powerful nations. That does not give the weaker the moral high ground. That is something to be earned. The power structure in those Muslim states are as corrupt as any in the west and their positions as leaders are earned through violence and heavy handed rule. It is an in your face dictatorship which means the ordinary citizen of those countries may have a difficult time of it, especially if a member of minority group. That is one reason that these people do like the west. They know that they will have greater freedom if they migrate to the west but it doesn't mean they always like their politics. I would imagine that many individuals don't like the politics of either side.

  23. Jack1952

    My response to you would be similar to my response to Geoffrey Grekin. The people that I know from these countries don't like the poverty and the lack of opportunity in their homelands. Many also don't like the politics and the lack of freedom to follow a chosen lifestyle if they choose. Political structures in the Muslim world are just as corrupt, maybe more so due to any lack of political or judicial reprisals. The leaders in the West must be held to account, at least to a certain degree, in the West.

  24. Geoffrey Grekin

    Wow Jack1952...
    Your really splitting hairs on this matter, and as usual completely distorting what i'm trying to espouse.

    This has nothing to do with their political structures, internal corruption, social claims, dogma, propagation methods etc.. (A.k.a I'm not saying the Muslim dictator is a better person than an American President). What im merely stating is that in conjunction with each-other the Islamic nations have more to fear justifiably from the WEST than the WEST has to fear from the Islamic nations. And Yes this has to do with Power relations.

    Therefore, I'm not talking about Moral high ground, rather, it's the Moral obligation of the Powerful nation to prevent war because as you elegantly stated in your post, "Weaker nations do not invade more powerful nations".
    In terms of dialogue and conflict resolution this moral responsibility to avoid war lies primarily with the powerful nation, because theoretically if powerful nations only waged in defensive wars, and weaker nations don't invade more powerful ones than there wouldn't be any conflict and all war would be avoided.

  25. Jack1952

    It was never my intention to distort anything that you wrote. I was adding a few thoughts of my own.

    The big guy is generally seen as the bigger criminal not because he is but because his reach and influence go much farther. Transversally, if the big guy does something for altruistic reasons the effects are felt more deeply and by more people. So one would hope the big guy would behave in a more responsible way. However, it is more likely if the big guy does act in the best interests of all, he is treated with suspicion. It goes with the territory.

    Your statement about stronger nations only engaging in defensive wars has its merits...like you say, in theory. It calls to mind the Gulf war where Iraq invades Kuwait. When the United States becomes heavily involved in the protection of Kuwait, there were many who criticized them or were scornful of their efforts, even though the defence was mandated by the United Nations. That was criticism that was not based on merit but on a pathological dislike of the United States.

    What is a huge problem with American foreign policy is the idea that they have been chosen by God to protect the world from evil. It is hard to trust anyone who believes that they are a special entity who have an obligation to look after those inferior beings who can't look after themselves.

  26. marc v

    Jack, As long as Muslims keep immigrating here, they haven't got a damned thing to say about us! Period. We have been listening since 9-11. Enough listening! And naturally I will be so politically correct to say that almost all the worlds heroin comes from Afghanistan. Those poor Mexican farmers being run off their own land are really concerned about if the US is being "fair" with them. I also wont mention how much Israel ,you know... "those Jew Devils" have given in aide just medically to the enemies they have fought with that still spit on them!

  27. marc v

    Until you make the choice NOT to live with the white man, use his Facebook, You tube, Personal computers cars, electricity and everything Africa has to import from us, why not just say thank you, and be on your way. Whites in the last 50 years,have done more for "all" people in every corner of the globe...simply because they can! Malcolm X and Al Sharpton almost gave us a second civil war. I know this, I was there. I am no kid. I know many Americans of all races that prefer it somewhere else....so they go! They do not stay here and whine. So please, we all know the US is ranked only #7 in" best quality of living," countries. Anyone not happy here can just go to Sweden and Denmark or Holland. Why stay here and whine? Seriously, I may one day leave here, but it will be with a thank you to all the soldiers and doctors and police who allowed me to live healthy and safely. Even Malcolm X did not refuse health care from White run hospitals, when his wife and 5 girls were ill, I'm sure. Every terrorist who is in the U.S. now would never think to say thank you to the American people who gave them air conditioning and indoor plumbing to use here, so they can live in cool comfort while they plot to kill us.

  28. wald0

    Just because you have a few friends from the MIddle East don't make the huge mistake of not believing these cultures are just as misled about us as we are about them. I have watched entire documentaries dedicaed to just that fact, how Islamic religious leaders mislead the people about the West. These docs talk to the people on the ground about the West and clearly show their opinions first hand, trust me the vast majority are not positive nor accurate. For instance, when the last bunch of Christians decided to make yet another insulting movie about Islam, (boy don't they love to help the peace process) many religious, military, and political leaders in the Middle East told their followers that the movie was government sanctioned and approved, that it represented the majority of Western opinion, etc. Now these people know that isn't true, they knew it wasn't true when they told their followers, and this is very usual for their mode of operation. I mean where do you think terrorist volunteers come from, do you think people blow themselves up in an attempt to kill westerners because they love the West?
    If you are talking to someone from the Middle East online, or however you guys communicate, then I am sure they are great people and I do not mean to insult them or you in any way nor to belittle your friendship. If you read my post below you will see that I call for all peoples of the West to try and make contact and open a dialogue with someone from the Middle East, I think that is how we will re-inform the people there of the truth of who we are and vice-versa. I also recognize there are probably many Middle Easterners that are sophisticated and savy enough to see this propaganda campaign against the West for what it is, just as there are many Americans that see it from their side clearly but, the simple truth is movements do no exist without supporters, if we do not work to end the public support both here and there for violence against one another it will never stop.

  29. wald0

    I agree, we aren't in a global war that threatens the U.S. in any serious military way- however, the proof of that has nothing to do with the cost. The reason we are not asked to contribute is because the defense budget is so huge they don't need to ask for that and they know it would kill public support immediately if we Americans had to feel the financial squeeze from this war directly. If you haven't noticed it is very rare to even hear a politician talk about the war unless asked, many Americans don't even know we are at war (isn't that wonderful). During the republican convention guess how many times the war in Afghanistan was addressed, zero. That is right, we are at war and the man running for president says not even one word about it while giving his convention speech- doesn't that strike you as a bit odd? Its obvious in my opinion that the leaders here know the support for their little war game is coming to an end fast, that is why they don't mention it. That said don't kid yourself, this is costing as much or more than WW2 and unlike then we are getting no financial or employment boost from the war. In fact these wars have been fought on the credit, credit we the people will repay one day with interest.

  30. wald0

    You said, "Actually it's about perpetual war for profiteers."

    I say, hear, hear- you hit the nail directly on the head my friend. Just the profit made by private military contractors is enough to choke the American tax payer up. At one point our congress authorized billions in cash to be shipped to Iraq, they had it on pallets and showed it on the nightly news, more cash than I had or will ever see in one place in my life time. To this day no one can explain what happened to that money, its just gone. Yet there were never any hearings, no one was called to account for it. People that worked for contractors talk openly about burning brand new vehicles worth thousands of dollars simply because they had a flat or some other tiny easily fixed problem. Then they simply bill the tax payer for a new one. Because they are a private company they do not face the checks and balances of our military, they can do whatever they like- including killing innocent civilians apparently. The privatization of our military should serve as an example when we hear these far right republicans telling us to do the same with education, social security, medicare, etc., etc.

  31. wald0

    No, its not a two way street when we talk about who has payed more with loss of life, liberty, etc. Of course the smaller less technically advanced country will always pay more in such a conflict. But, when it comes to rhetoric they match us tit for tat in my opinion. Now, does the fact of what the West has done to these countries make it much more easy for their people to buy the rhetoric, absolutely. Once you have seen another country come into your own and kill your family members, destroy your home, imprison your fellow country men with no due course of law- its very easy and even somewhat correct to see them as monsters. This is a fact I neglected in my previous posts, thankyou for bringing it up- its only right that it should be stated clearly. See how easy it is, even as a well meaning person that disagrees with the war in Iraq, to overlook things that make a world of difference. What we did to these people could not have been more wrong and I have to really commend any of them that have the ability to see past that and try to find a peaceful dialogue with us, they are doing something I probably could not.

  32. wald0

    I'm no kid either pal, my parents were there and I remember it very well. Your statements make me sick, how prejudice and small minded are you? Blacks, browns, reds, and whites plus many more worked on the innovations you say belong somehow to the white man. Genetically you are so much the same as any black or brown person that it is hardly worth mentioning, so am I and all other white people. Your ancestors were black, and so were mine- mankind originated from Africa and this has been proven beyond doubt. Facebook would not exist without the thousands of blacks, browns, reds, and more that helped to develop if not inventing directly the supporting technology that made it possible. Not to mention all the blacks, browns, reds, etc. that educated those who went on to invent whatever, minorities are educators just as often as whites if not more often. In short there is no justification for your attitude of superiority other than your own vain ignor@nce. This world and the body of knowledge and invention built by mankind belong to each and every one of us, whether you approve or not. The west doesn't live the way we do free of charge, and I am not talking about money here. The rest of the world has to pay for our excessive life styles via environmental catastrophe, starvation, poverty, etc. Just the grain used to feed the meat we take for granted will be served with every meal would feed every starving person on this planet, the resources we practically take from third world countries at gun point could be used to enrich the people of those countries who instead live in poverty so we can drive SUVs that get maybe 15 miles to the gallon, and when the seas rise and the oil runs out who do you think will pay the most- us or them? Keep in mind in America alone we use a quarter of the world’s oil and are home to less than five percent of the world’s population. Now considering the state of the environment, geopolitics, and peak oil what is it that we provide the world that justifies this gross excess? When we went over and destroyed Iraq, killed innocent civilians, murdered peoples family right in front of their own children, what were we providing the world with then? There is a reason people all over the world hate America and the west in general, getting angry about it and spewing a bunch of prejudice nonsense doesn't solve anything- it simply adds a little more fuel to the fire and justifies peoples preconception of the blind ignor@nt American living in excess not aware of the damage he is causing in fact convinced that his culture is somehow helping the world.

  33. Nick Drake

    You are severely indoctrinated.

  34. KsDevil

    Dialogue is always important but not sharing that dialogue or narrowly restricting the forums for it's dissemination defeats the entire purpose.
    You can't alter the macro if all you work on is the micro.

  35. Jack_Burton

    Operation Desert Glass.... Problem solved...

  36. John Jacquard

    monetary systems will always require domination based on the fundamental design and values of such an exploitative construct.

  37. John Jacquard

    the micro assembles to BE the macro.

  38. John Jacquard

    people are conditioned regardless of geographic location, by the culture and customs of society and the economic system and what behavior and values it rewards to survive.

  39. John Jacquard

    name a person that chooses what accent they have. name a person that has a capacity larger than the environment and values they where raised coupled with the information and methods of extracting what is relevant.

  40. John Jacquard

    a way out of war is to make it obsolete, not have systems in place that inevitably lead to it.

  41. Dean Edgington

    This is the way of the white man? You’re suggesting any other race would make a better job of it. If so then the white man must be inherently flawed. Give me a break racist.

  42. jlindabest

    Talking, listening, understanding what is being said can get to the heart of situations.

  43. UnclearFizzyCyst

    It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. - Churchill.


    Where is the 'meta" discussion of qui bono. All of these conflicts are powered by private corporate interests. Everyone knows that freedom from deprivation is the only solution to global conflict. So why waste time yakking at the victims? They can't change anything that is causing them to fight.

    We should go directly to those responsible for selling the arms, repressing the societies, controlling the financial flows, torturing, herding the population, etc.

Leave a comment / review: