Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Darfur

Genocide is currently occurring in Sudan. Despite former US Secretary of State Colin Powell stating last September that genocide was in fact taking place, the atrocities continue. Australia announced this week that it will be sending a small deployment (a paltry 15 people) to assist the UN mission in the country.

Brian Steidle is a former US representative to the African Union who spent six months in Sudan monitoring the so-called ceasefire between rebels and the government and militia. He has now spoken out and detailed the horrors he witnessed.

“…probably say 95 per cent of the attacks, maybe even more – 99 per cent – were from the government of Sudan. It was the government of Sudan working in conjunction with the Arab militias using their helicopter gun ships and their Antonovs to bomb and terrorise the people.”

Steidle’s descriptions were chilling. He witnessed weapons that caused a man to have “his back…shredded by a cheese grater.” Entire villages were burnt to the ground and women were mass raped.

“..outside the village of Adwah there was a bone field. It was probably about 50m by 50m and you couldn’t walk around without stepping on human bones. We don’t really know how many people were killed there, but they apparently had been taken from one of the village by the Janjaweed [militia] and executed and left there to rot.”

And why doesn’t the world act? Steidle said it was simple. “Innocent people are being killed by a government that is aimed at wiping them out, pushing them out of Darfur, killing them, simply because they are black Africans.”

Rwanda recently marked the tenth anniversary of the 1994 genocide that killed close to 1 million people. The world has clearly learnt nothing after the worse atrocities since Cambodia under Pol Pot were committed.

The EU announced in August last year that its fact-finding mission had discovered widespread violence in Sudan but no signs of genocide, a crucial distinction allowing the Europeans not to intervene.

Sudan.net has the latest news from the country. Watching ABC TV last night and witnessing gruesome pictures of decomposing bodies and burning villages, one couldn’t help but feel helpless. Human Rights Watch is but one NGO trying to stop the ethnic cleansing.

We must act. It’s already too late.

8 comments ↪
  • Anonymous

    Antony, as the old Ottoman expression goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Love, Anonymous.

  • J F

    Incorrect. The UN found genocidal intent but no genocide. In other words, not enough people had died yet.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    That wasn't my understanding but you may well be right. Pretty shaming, either way. Tens of thousands are dying and we're worrying about definitions.

  • Anonymous

    But Antony doesn't get the real point here: the criminal incompetence of the UN. Talk to some of the Diggers who were sent to Rwanda under UN auspices and they'll tell you how they were forced to sit by and watch while thousands were slaughtered under their very noses. And why? Because of the UN's 'rules of engagement' that prohibited any use of lethal force, except in cases of self-defense. Australian soldiers who have first hand experience with the UN in Rwanda and E Timor generally detest that organization. And with good reason.But then I guess he wanted to rely on the UN to deal with Saddam Hussein. Go figure.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I'm fully aware of the massive failings of the UN in these areas. Criminal would be an understatement. HOWEVER, to suggest, as many do on the right, that the UN should be abandoned or weakened is missing the point. Are we to rely on a world ruled by American interests alone? No bloody way. The UN is a flawed body and needs reform, but is vital if we believe in any kind of international law and justice.Trashing the UN is easy. So is the US. Let's think of a better way.

  • theswanker

    You're right. We should be trashing China instead.

  • Anonymous

    International politics are like physics in that a vacuum will always seek to be filled. If the choice is between American hegemony and global rule by the UN, I unreservedly vote for the former. As hegemons go, the Americans are reasonably benign. Not perfect, but a helluva lot better than the tin pot despots, genocidists and scam artists who populate the UN. The only sort of international law in which I believe are the treaty commitments that are freely adopted by sovereign nations. As for this pipe dream of world government that you seem to harbour, it would be an unmitigated disaster to give the UN global suzerainty.

  • Andjam

    It's easy to talk about how things are bad in Sudan. But being sad isn't enough. What are we going to do? Boycotts? Kick them off the human rights commission? Enact a no-fly zone? Invade?