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.

Freedom fighters love torture

The “People’s Mujahideen” of Iran (MKO) are a revolutionary army based in a US protected camp in Iraq. They’re a 4000 person strong anti-Iranian dissident group. They’re supported by a number of high profile British politicians, human rights lawyers and some Washington neo-conservatives. They’re now accused of torture and brainwashing.

The Guardian report is extraordinary:

“The group, known as the ‘tank girls’ because of the preponderance of women in its ranks, has also won the support of the UK Daily Telegraph, which wants it to help overthrow the mullahs in Tehran. It says in a leader: “We should back the main resistance group, the People’s Mujahideen … Give them the tools and they will finish the job”.

“There is a growing right-wing campaign in parts of Washington and London for regime change, citing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But leftwing UK figures have also joined the campaign to legitimise the Mujahideen, whom they see as freedom fighters.”

Refugees from the Mujahideen tell stories of torture and life under a fundamentalist cult. Human Rights Watch has gathered enough eyewitness reports that suggest an extremist organisation with friends in very high places.

Read the whole report.

The Bush administration recently announced an increase in funding to so-called pro-democracy activists against the current Iranian regime. One wonders if the groups receiving these funds are more trustworthy than the Iraqi group primarily supported by the Bushies and Democrats before the 2003 invasion: Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. We all know what happened to that relationship.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair’s New Labour campaigning methods are providing inspiration for a number of Iranian politicians, including Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf, a religious hardliner standing in this month’s Iranian presidential election. Qalibaf’s background should be a cause for concern. A former national police chief, he is accused of urging a violent crackdown on pro-reform students in 1999.

From a believer in curbing civil rights and launching illegal foreign wars to a man who advocates violent suppression of dissent, it seems like a match made in heaven.

2 comments ↪
  • the young-lib brigad

    The MKO was founded by saddam hussein, who trained and supplied it. There are similar anti-iraqi organizations on the iranian side. Its a leftover legacy of the iran-iraq war. America is keeping them going because for all their faults they are usefull allies against Iran. And lets not loose site of the bigger picture.One one side you have a 4000 man militia which is clearly not fundamentalist muslim due to the large amount of women in its ranks, who are accused by human rights watch (who seem to accuse anyone and everyone these days) of human rights abuses. On the other side you have a fundamentalist islamic regime of 70 million people that finances terrorism, and whose human rights record is infinately worse then that of some rag-tag group of iranian kurds.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I'm clearly missing the perspective…It's OK that groups funded by the West commit human rights abuses because, hey, they're not as bad as the REAL baddies. I am right? Furthermore, when a superpower's policies are based on hypocrisy, how do you expect other countries to follow it, let alone believe it when it talks about freedom, democracy etc…?Let's not forget that the INC, funded for years by both Republican and Democrats, was led by a convicted fraudster, Chalabi, who then lied about Iraq's WMD, for personal political gain.Mmmm, my mistake, as long as human rights abuses are happening under 'our' watch, that's ok.