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.

Ideology before morality

Unidicted war criminal Henry Kissinger appears in today’s Australian. The article is sickening and proves the Murdoch broadsheet cares little about the broader implications of publishing a figure like Kissinger. He talks of his “anguish” over Vietnam and the “the West’s statesmanship in shaping a global system relevant to its necessities.”

Kissinger has neither crediblity nor respect. He should be in the dock and charged with war crimes. For Murdoch, however, power always comes before morality.

11 comments ↪
  • leftvegdrunk

    Says a lot about our national daily, doesn’t it?

  • Armagnac Esq.

    Indicted beautifully by Christopher Hitchens, back when he wasn't a class-A cock.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Hitchens, before he was seduced by easy answers and easy friendships, was a vital voice, on Kissinger and Mother Teresa, and others.As for the Oz, they've published him before and will continue to do so. As I wrote, they don't care what he's done, he's the 'voice of the establishment' and that's what matters. We wait for the rantings of Saddam on the op-ed page soon enough…

  • Ian Westmore

    Oh, well, Rupert has been playing Joseph Goebbels to Dubya's Adolph Hitler for several years now, so printing the deluded thoughts of another war criminal (and murderer) is no surprise.Anyway, Rupert is expecting a big present or two from another unidicted war criminal, John Winston Howard, any day now!

  • Vasco Pyjama

    Okay, I am running the risk of sounding utterly naive here. I mean, I find Kissinger problematic too. I dislike even his language, which is tinged with arrogance, and fear and hatred of The Other. However, we (as in the coalition of the willing) have created this bloody awful mess. Are we just hoping that everything that Kissinger is saying has no validity? I mean, personally, I think that we have directly escalated this ideological war between Islam and the West by going into Iraq. And I think his warmongering about how moderate Arab states getting involved next is rubbish. I think they would only get involved if we force their hand.But I do worry about the potential for civil war. I do worry about what will happen to the Kurds who have so strongly aligned themselves with the Coalition. I mean, is Iraq like Afghanistan? Is it heavily armed? How many combatants (insurgents) are there currently? Who are potential combatants? Is it strategic to leave now before the conflict escalates further so that potential combatants don't become combatants? Or is it too late? As Australians, and participants (whether we liked it or not) in the coalition of the willing, we have a certain duty of care here. It would be sad if we withdraw and later find mass graves of Kurds.(I'll stop my rant here).

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Vasco,Much of what you say is correct, BUT, elevating a person like kissinger, a man who contributedmuch to profound suffering around the world, as having a valuable insight is dangerous. Sure, listen to what he has to say but treat him with the contempt he deserves. Think about why the Oz publishes him…

  • leftvegdrunk

    Hmm. Sound points, Vasco. Your thoughts on this topic have always been quite logical and considered. I disagree that we should allow Shrub and Co to continue with the occupation on principle, but concede your views that further violence may result.Need the answer be confined to withdrawal or occupation, though? Kissinger (and his role in "sideshows" in the past) aside, we should also consider the usefulness of occupying forces to prevent massacres in the past. What good did the military campaign in Yugoslavia do?I don't think you can convince me that having US troops in Iraq is safe-guarding security for civilians. Quite the opposite appears true, in light of statistics about suicide bombings and attacks on Iraqi authorities.Can we do something that will at once end the occupation by the US and preserve the security situation for Iraqis and reduce the incidence of violence? Maybe, maybe not. What is clear is that any solution to the raft of problems facing Iraq – problems that go far deeper and extend far wider than "freedom haters" – will be more complex, more difficult, and possibly more subtle – and certainly more international – than any strategies so far proposed.Why? The current "strategy" is not intended to protect Iraqis. It is there to protect US interests and preserve the greater geo-strategic plan.And back to Antony's main point – what are Kissinger's credentials on human rights and peace making? We can be sure that any suggestions he makes will be coming to us via the same machiavellian perspective he applied while in formal positions of power.I'll leave it there. Let's discuss again. I need a beer.

  • Psi Star Psi

    Vasco, I'll answer your questions as they seem to me.Iraq is far, far worse than Afghanistan. It is even more heavily armed, because it had 30 years of a paranoid, warmongering dictator buying weapons from compliant western governments with oil revenue, and the armouries were looted immediately after the invasion while American troops were busy securing the Oil Ministry. Afghanistan IS heavily armed, but not to the same extent, because it didn't have the infrastructure to support such a massive army. Ammunition is more of a problem in Afghanistan too. Iraq is still overflowing with Saddam's munitions, which is one of the reasons there are so many roadside bombs there compared to Afghanistan. Afghanistan is rich in light weaponry, but in Iraq the insurgents have thousands of artillery shells but no artillery.Current US estimates are generally range of about 20,000 to 50,000 insurgents. I imagine this is far more than the number of Taliban actively engaged in Afghanistan, and the other combatants are not united against occupation. A quick look at respective casualty tolls in the two countries for American troops is enough to indicate the scale of the difference – over 800 dead per year in Iraq on average, about 50 per year in Afghanistan.Also, the Americans currently have about 8,000 troops out of about 13,000 foreign troops in the country, compared with over 150,000 foreign troops in Iraq, about 138,000 of which are American. Yet Iraq has mass violence on a scale Afghanistan doesn't even approach.Re potential combatants, the biggest groups are the Kurds and the Shiite militias. The most immediate threat would probably be al-Sadr's militia, but if al-Sistani throws in his lot against the Sunni, as the terrorists in Iraq are trying to achieve, the country would fall about. A lot of analysts regard him as the most powerful man in Iraq, and I'd agree. Luckily for Iraq, he knows he's got more to gain from working with the Americans and nation-building than by fighting, and his power is, for the moment, enough to keep the Shia extremists in check.If the insurgents manage to assassinate him, though, the Shia could go into open revolt. If that happens, expect the Sunnis to respond. Really, mass graves of Kurds are the least of your worries. Saddam's days are over. The Kurds will be largely left alone until the Sunni and Shia are done killing each other.And to your final question, no, it's not strategic to pull out now in my opinion. Much as I hate to admit it, the Americans are the only force that's holding Iraq together now. They're clinging on by their fingernails, but they're clinging very hard. If the Americans leave now, the entire country will collapse, I have no doubt. Firstly, insurgents will concentrate again, as they did in Fallujah before the second US offensive in November scattered them. After consolidating, they will take over large parts of the country, including throughout the Sunni triangle. From there the radical Islamic groups will strike at the Shia, and it's likely the nationalist and Ba'athist factions will begin to fight them (and there is already evidence of this happening). Expect Shiite militias to respond and you'll get at best a failed state with endemic violence, at worst a civil war.Not that I'm saying the Americans staying will accomplish much. They really need to increase their troop commitment, and hold it for at least a decade, probably longer. It's the only chance they have to restore order, and it's a slim one at that. But the American public and politicians have the short attention span usual with democracies, and they won't do it, particularly in the face of mounting casualties. They also just can't afford it, long term. No other countries or groups of countries, including Iraq's neighbours, have the will, ability or money to replace the Americans there. And the Iraqi National Guard certainly can't handle it – even though Australian troops are heavily involved in training them, which is probably the best assistance we can give them.So if the Americans can't do it, no one can. Sad truth of the equation. I predict they'll pull out in a few years, and the country will go to pieces. Possibly not as far as civil war, but the US has really screwed this one up. The above is, of course, entirely my personal opinion based on my own research and analysis.

  • Vasco Pyjama

    AL, DBO and PSP… thanks for your thoughts. Sorry I took so long to come back. Pre-deployment is not only annoying, but is also time consuming. First of all, AL and DBO, I agree with you that Kissinger lacks any veracity in this debate. His track record in international peace and diplomacy is appalling. I do not intend to credit him with 'valuable insight'. I find his attitude too problematic. I suppose I just was wondering if we should not just pull out of Iraq purely because we are anti-war, or anti-Kissinger, or anti-Bush.Secondly, PSP, you have given me much to think about. I would like to move this discussion to another forum. Will post a comment here once I write it up.

  • Vasco Pyjama

    PSP and others, I have posted for discussion on a peace discussion community on livejournal, MyPeaceTank.

  • Vasco Pyjama

    Oh forgot to say, happy to move this discussion elsewhere if anyone has other suggestions.