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.

War pimps and pigs at the trough

Condoleezza Rice was key speaker at the pro-Zionist American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIJAC) Annual Policy Conference on May 23:

“Let me begin by saying that Israel has no greater friend and no stronger supporter than the United States of America. (Applause.) For over half a century, AIPAC has strengthened the religious, cultural and political bonds that unite our two great nations, and I thank you for that. (Applause.)”

And America is touted as an honest broker in the Israel/Palestine conflict?

Rice: “The United States and Israel share much in common. We both affirm the innate freedom and dignity of every human life, not as prizes that people confer to one another, but as divine gifts of the Almighty.”

The sheer hypocrisy of such a statement is breathtaking. Indeed, many in the Arab world recognise this. Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and American forces abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo, along with so-called “rendition” of “terror” suspects to dictatorships for torture, shows the world the real face of Bush’s much touted freedom and democracy. Rice continues:

“Some in the Arab media have even asked why the only real democracies in the Middle East are found in the “occupied lands” of Iraq and the Palestinian territories. What an incredible thought. Today, citizens in the region are demanding that their governments respond to this simple, audacious question.”

Freedom of speech is indeed missing from most of the Middle East but to legitimise two illegal occupations, and suggest that only through occupation can truly open expression occur, is classic imperial thinking: only “we” can bring what “they” want.

I spent some time today with cultural critic and political thinker, Tariq Ali, in Sydney for the Writer’s Festival. His eloquence on the Israel/Palestine question reminded me of the lack of real debate on this matter in Australia. In the West, he told me, many official organs are only capable of seeing issues as what serves Western interests. In the Middle East, for example, Islamist parties could well win government in many countries if true democracy would be allowed to flower. This, of course, would be totally against American interests and is therefore unacceptable. Take the Bush rhetoric on democracy with this in mind.

Scribe Publishing recently released a collection of Ali’s talks called “Speaking on Empire and Resistance.” Many issues are discussed, but on Israel and America’s role towards the Middle East’s Jewish “democracy”, he has this to say:

“In the US, they [Israel] don’t need to worry, because the House and the Senate essentially passed a blank cheque of support for Israel. It’s unheard of – they don’t give that sort of support to their own government, but they’re prepared to give that support to Israel. There is an Israeli offensive against dissent, abroad and at home…the Palestinians have become the indirect victims of the Judeocide of the Second World War.”

5 comments ↪
  • michael

    I think Riverbend has Condi down to a tee.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Such a great blog. Pure evil, indeed…The way the Western media fell in love with 'Condi', post Colin Powell, masking her true agenda, and her background, is typical media amnesia.Why should we be surprised…?

  • David Heidelberg

    I think that the theocratic states of America, supports Israel from a Christian Zionist perspective. In other words, the jews must be in Israel before Jesus can return.It is really scary stuff, and incredibly patronizing to jews in my opinion. According to biblical prophacy, they will all burn in hell unless they convert to Christianity at the last minute!!

  • David Heidelberg

    That should be 'prophecy' Sorry

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Many Christian fundamentalists do indeed share this view, and sadly, many Jews are happy to accept their support. A match made in hell, I reckon, and one likely to burn them on the arse, badly, in years to come…