Alastair Crooke

British diplomat

Alastair Crooke CMG (born 1949) is a former British diplomat, and is the founder and director of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum, an organisation that advocates for engagement between political Islam and the West. Previously he was a ranking figure in both British intelligence (MI6) and European Union diplomacy.

Quotes edit

  • You can lose a relationship in a day and it might take you 20 years to repair it.The point is to understand the people who it is hardest to understand. It is easy to talk to people who you might want to have around your dinner table.
  • The Jewish radicals have waited decades to reach office. They have the numbers now, and are loath to let this window of opportunity slip their hands.
  • Events in the Middle East have been moving fast -- a ‘decade of change’ has been compressed into barely a few months: A world-shaping Entente has been sealed between Putin and Xi Jinping; China has mediated an accord between Iran and Saudi Arabia. President Raisi will meet King Salman after Eid; serious ceasefire talks have begun in Yemen. China, and Russia, have persuaded Turkey and Saudi to rehabilitate President Assad; the Syrian FM has visited Riyadh. Saudi Arabia has shifted towards China; OPEC+ has shrunk crude supplies. And everywhere from the Global South to the Middle East, the US dollar as a trading currency is being dropped in favour of national currencies. A new paradigm is consolidating.
  • What are the reasons for this shift? Part of it, has to do with the increased influence of national-religious sentiment as the Occupation grew into a broad-based subculture of Israeli society. The settler movement is more than simply the aggregate of those living in settlement homes: It includes an intellectual and educational framework; a vision of Zionism as Greater "Israel" - or of what Chaim Gans calls, “proprietary Zionism” – i.e. one which sees the land -- from the river to the sea -- belonging exclusively to the Jews.
  • Hubris consists in believing that a contrived narrative can, in and of itself, bring victory. It is a fantasy that has swept through the West – most emphatically since the 17th century. Recently, the Daily Telegraph published a ridiculous nine minute video purporting to show that ‘narratives win wars’, and that set-backs in the battlespace are incidentals: What matters is to have a thread of unitary narrative articulated, both vertically and horizontally, throughout the spectrum – from the special forces’ soldier in the field through to the pinnacle of the political apex. The gist of it is that ‘we’ (the West) have compelling a narrative, whilst Russia’s is ‘clunky’ – ‘Us winning therefore, is inevitable’.
  • To be blunt, both the US and Europe have stalked brazenly into traps of their own making. Caught in the lies and deceit woven around a claimed inheritance of superior cultural DNA, (vouchsafing, it is said, almost certain victory), the West is awakening to a fast-approaching disaster to which there are no easy solutions. Cultural exceptionalism, together with the prospect of a clear ‘win’ over Russia, are draining rapidly away – but exiting delusion is both slow and humiliating.
  • It is getting very messy. Verging on insanity. A new indictment with four charges in respect to the events of 6 Jan has been issued to former President Trump – who has now been charged with more than 75 crimes. These latest charges however are likely only to further eradicate confidence in the Federal Justice process, and in the integrity of the American political system itself. The indictment is to be heard in the District of Columbia which is notoriously politicised, and unlikely to empanel anything but a wholly hostile jury (the saying in DC is that the Justice Dept could convict a hamburger with a DC jury).

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