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.

The real truth about Iraq

The deceptions around the Iraq debacle are becoming clearer by the day. Take the latest Downing Street memo written eight months before the invasion detailing the apparent lack of US plans for any occupation problems. The current explosion of violence there proves that America had little or no idea about what to expect in Iraq and leading US senators now openly talk about bringing back the draft. As I’ve written before, this is a surefire way to send public support for the war to new lows. Bring back the draft!

Meanwhile, Pepe Escobar writes in the Asian Times on some possible scenarios for Iraq in the coming years. Key point:

“Several Iranian websites have widely reported a plan to break up Iraq into three Shi’ite southern mini-states, two Kurdish mini-states and one Sunni mini-state – with Baghdad as the seat of a federal government…The plan is an exact replica of an extreme right-wing Israeli plan to balkanize Iraq – an essential part of the balkanization of the whole Middle East. Curiously, Henry Kissinger was selling the same idea even before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.”

America’s lack of sufficient troops in the country means that the world’s pathetic superpower will have to rely on Shi’ites and Kurds to fight Sunnis. The fight over oil in the north of the country rages daily. Escobar’s conclusions are bleak:

“The Bush administration though is pulling no punches with Iraqification. It’s a Pandora’s box: inside one will find the Battle of Algiers, Vietnam, El Salvador, Colombia. All point to the same destination: civil war. This deadly litany could easily go on until 2020 when, in a brave new world of China emerging as the top economy, Sunni Arabs would finally convince themselves to perhaps strike a deal with Shi’ites and Kurds so they can all profit together by selling billions of barrels of oil to the Chinese oil majors. If, of course, there is any semblance of Iraq left at that point.”

Of course, you won’t read any of this here. The good man of Queensland is currently hoping that actor Sean Penn, on a journalistic project in Iran, will “prove that he’s motivated by humanitarianism, however misguided, rather than anti-Americanism of the kind officially approved by Iran’s rulers.” God forbid Penn displays scepticism towards Bush’s mission in the Middle East.

9 comments ↪
  • michael

    Perhaps shabadoo! might examine his argument by reflecting on how he would react if the US administration decided that Australia would be easier for them to govern if the artificial unity of the continent imposed by the British colonials was dispensed with and the place was divided up according to rival football codes (or, more seriously, by ethnicities according to how well they were perceived to be co-operating with the US).

  • michael

    Does everyone get the same Google ads on the Escobar article that I do?

    Seems you can get everything on eBay these days.

  • the young-lib brigad

    Do you seriously believe that the US administration would implement the draft knowing full well that it would make the war unpopular? Only in youre fantasies. They will simply increase the pay bonus for enlistment and attract new recruits like that.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The US government/military may have no choice soon enough. I'm sure they're aware that reintroducing the draft will make the war more unpopular, but if they want to keep on fighting imperial wars, the manpower has to come from somewhere.And wonder why people aren't enlisting…They're already offering massive financial incentives, and yet…

  • shabadoo!

    Ant — I know you're a great skeptic; doesn't it occur to you that Iran might have some other agenda in suggesting this partition plan? You need to examine everyone's motivations, not just the evil ones of Chimpy McHitlerBurtonStein.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Iran most certainly has its agenda and it too should be treated with serious suspicion. However, did you notice who is also suggesting partition? Not just the Iranians…

  • shabadoo!

    Furthermore, can you name any US Senator who is seriously talking about bringing back the draft (and not in a "no, there's no way we'd ever bring back the draft" sense) who isn't doing it for anti-war purposes?

  • shabadoo!

    Also, re: the partition, isn't Iraq just an artificial lines-on-the-map construct of the British colonials? I mean, why is there an obligation to preserve those borders?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Democrat Jo Biden is talking about the draft. Seriously, perhaps not yet, but he's hardly a fringe player. For anti-war purposes, perhaps, perhaps not, but not to be ignored.As for Iraq being drawn on British colonial lines, you're right, they've always been artificial, but the point is that to divide and conquer the country is very much against the supposed reasons for invading and occupying the country.