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.

Be proud

David Frum is a former speechwriter for George W. Bush. He coined the term, “Axis of Evil.” He co-wrote a book with Richard Perle called “An End to Evil“, “a how-to guide for winning the war on terror.” Their answer? “The United States is good, those who pose a threat, current or future, are evil and must be neutralized or destroyed.” Why anybody would listen to either of these morons is beyond me, especially after the Iraq debacle.

Frum was on ABC Lateline a few nights ago and it was a sight to behold. Along with strategic analyst Harlan Ullman – the ABC website called the debate, “Experts discuss Iraq’s political situation” – they analysed the current quagmire in Iraq, the political process and constitution and increasing influence of Iran. Ullman is a pragmatist – he coined the military term, “Shock and Awe” – and sees issues in purely strategic terms. He’s long called for a greater US troop commitment in Iraq.

Frum, on the other hand, was flailing. Some “highlights” of his expertise:

“I know Ahmed Chalabi not well but reasonably well. He is not a perfect man. But in a country full of very, very imperfect people, I think he is and always has been our best hope as somebody who shares democratic ideals, has political effectiveness, understands the system, is committed to a united and democratic Iraq.”

“I don’t think getting out of the mess should be America’s top priority. I think fixing the mess should be our top priority. I think what everyone would agree or almost everyone, at least in this country and in this city, would be regardless of what your opinion was about the beginning of the Iraq war, Iraq is a major prize in the Middle East. The possibilities of success are very great and the danger from failure is very great. This is as close as you can get to the heart of the strategic interests of the Western World. It is essential to succeed.”

“The United States using all of the arsenal of power at its disposal, not just military means but not excluding military means, needs to begin by saying this is a regional conflict and regional players who intervene in Iraq will face consequences, there should be diplomatic pressure on the Saudis and the Jordanians, very clear warnings to the Iranians and hot pursuit across the Syrian border and air strikes in Syria if the Syrians continue to let their land be used as a base.”

So, he advocates bombing Syria, holding Iraq as the Western “major prize” – the people of Iraq are not his concern – and bringing back fraudster Chalabi as the country’s saviour.

It’s a damning indictment that one of the “experts” on Iraq is so open about his country’s imperial ambitions (though perhaps we should be grateful that they no longer hide it.) The Iraq war is lost but people like Frum are clutching onto anything that may even vaguely resemble success.

Pro-war supporters, Frum is your man. Stand proud.

UPDATE: Leading American analysts claim that the Iraq constitution falls far short of American goals. George Monbiot, meanwhile, offers some possible solutions.

UPDATE 2: Thanks to a perceptive reader for pointing out this “new” reason for invading and occupying Iraq:

“Standing against a backdrop of the imposing USS Ronald Reagan at a naval air station near San Diego, the president gave a fresh reason for American troops to continue fighting: protection of the Iraq’s vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorists.

“Bush said the Iraqi oil industry, already suffering from sabotage and lost revenues, must not fall under the control of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida forces led in Iraq by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

“If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks,” Bush said. “They’d seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition.”

“A one-time oilman, Bush has rejected charges that the war in Iraq is a struggle to control the nation’s vast oil wealth. The president has avoided making links between the war and Iraq’s oil reserves, but the soaring cost of gasoline has focused attention on global petroleum sources.”

4 comments ↪
  • Glenn Condell

    A real spectrum of opinion wasn't it? From your Axis of Evil to your Shock and Awe. From neocon mania to US strategic imperatives… trust Tony to ignore the opportunity to oppose both strains of American imperialism – the Israel first faction (Frum) and the US first faction (Ullman). I remember seeing Ullman a few times in the lead up; he didn't have the war hubris as badly as Frum and his chums, but it was bad enough. He's changed his tune a bit. And Frum is just another hypersmart but morally vacant Washington cipher with a foreign country's agenda in his heart – a spinner, a finesser, a bullshit artist. He looked pretty desperate and well he might.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Agreed, Glenn. Weezil's "neo-con-artists" come to mind! And we could probably throw Krauthammer into this nexus, too.Ant, strong post. And thanks for the link to Monbiot's piece. (Reading for the train ride home!)

  • Iqbal Khaldun

    I really dislike Frum. He sounds eerily like Jerry Springer. Such a used car salesman…

  • Me

    What about this corker:FRUM: I think a lot of the Sunni opposition will be mollified through the informal processes of government like patronage and the distribution of money, the constitution gives the central government a lot of authority over oil funds and it can then make promises to Sunni tribal leaders to bring them in through patronage practices…(cont'd below)I love it! The warmongers in the US like to make you believe the democracy they're 'exporting' to the world is all about white picket fences and the protestant work ethic – but in the end it's still the same grubby game of greasy palms and kick backs. Of course – Frum doesn't consider it to be an American failing – they're having to lower themselves to the level of those oh-so-'primitive' arabs and their 'tribal' systems…then of course you get the disclaimer…for whatever it's worth…FRUM: …but in the end you cannot allow – you cannot get into a dynamic where the most violent people use violence to get a better deal and learn the lesson that the more violent you are, the better a deal is offered to you. You think?