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.

What makes a human bomb tick

The following review appears in today’s Sydney Sun Herald:

What makes a human bomb tick

Reviewed by Antony Loewenstein
September 11, 2005

Dying To Win: The Strategic Logic Of Suicide Terrorism
Robert Pape
(Scribe, $35)

BACK in June, Britain’s foremost foreign correspondent, Robert Fisk, noted something extreme about the conflict in Iraq: “How many suicide bombers have now immolated themselves against the Americans and their mercenaries and the new Iraqi army and the new Iraqi police force and their recruits? The figure appears to stand at around 420. Back in the days of Hezbollah’s war against Israeli occupation in Lebanon, a suicide bomber a month was regarded as phenomenal. In the Palestinian intifada, one a week was amazing. But in Iraq, we reach seven a day; Wal-Mart suicide bombing that raises the darkest questions about our ability to crush the uprising.”

It is a phenomenon that interests University of Chicago professor Robert Pape and his latest study challenges Western understanding of suicide bombing and its motivations. Al-Qaeda is stronger today than before 9/11, he argues, because more than 95 per cent of suicide attacks around the world are, in fact, not about religion but serve a specific strategic purpose, namely to pressure countries to withdraw military forces from occupied territory. Despite the rhetoric suggesting an irrational opponent hell-bent on Western destruction, Pape offers a perhaps more confronting reality. As he told ABC TV’s 7.30 Report in July, “the link between anger over American, British and Western military forces stationed in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Qaeda’s ability to recruit suicide terrorists to kill us couldn’t be tighter”.

Pape has compiled a database of every suicide bombing from 1980 to 2003 315 attacks in total. There is little connection between Islamic fundamentalism and suicide terrorism, he writes, and finds that the leading instigators of suicide attacks are Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers, a Marxist-Leninist group opposed to religion. They committed 76 of the 315 attacks, more than Hamas.

Pape is brave enough to state that although September 11 was a horrific event it was not unique. Non-Western nations had been suffering under the yoke of similar attacks for years but it took the lethal swipe at America’s heartland to awaken some in the West to the idea that terrorist strikes come for a reason. The world may have shifted for George W. Bush and his supporters, but many others know well the tragedy of indiscriminate killing.

There were 36 suicide attackers in Lebanon between 1982 and 1986, many directed at the Israeli and American occupation. Pape finds that 71 per cent of the attackers were, in fact, Christian with only 8 per cent Islamist. “What Lebanon’s suicide attackers share is not ideology,” he writes, “or organisational indoctrination, but simply a common commitment to resist foreign occupation. Alliances among disparate groups and individuals are common in nationalist rebellions”.

The most fascinating chapter in the book explores the background of three suicide attackers, their lives and possible reasons behind their action. Saeed Hotari killed 21 Israelis outside a nightclub in Tel Aviv in 2001. He came from a poor Palestinian family and resented the Israeli occupation. Before his death, he left a statement that reveals his thinking: “If we don’t fight, we will suffer. If we do fight, we will suffer, but so will they.”

This Australian edition of Dying To Win includes the Bali bombings and the ramifications. Pape urges an understanding of the motives behind all suicide attacks and a rejection of the simplicity of John Howard, who announced in the wake of the July 7 London attacks that “we are freedom-loving people” and our foreign policies would not change in the face of such atrocities.

10 comments ↪
  • leftvegdrunk

    WTF? Surely that's spam.Ant, sound review. Readers appreciate it when facts are presented and analysed without gloating, name-calling, or gutter politicking. Through the likes of Pape we come closer to truth, understanding, and eventual reconciliation.

  • Iqbal Khaldun

    Well done dude. I mainly agree, though I've read that Pape cites Israel as a model, viz, for eg, expressing support for Israel's user of the 'Security' Wall. See <a href="http://www.killingtrain.com/archives/000453.html.http://www.killingtrain.com/archives/000453.html…. />I should note I haven't read Pape' book yet so can't comment further than that. I'm glad Pape's book is out there but, assuming he views Israel as some sort of model, that's something of a concern also.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Not spam, just a sad, lonely fool with delusions of genocide. Ho hum.Pape has indeed cited Israel as some kind of model, and that is clearly problematic – perhaps I should have mentioned this in my review – but many of his grander points are sound.

  • Iqbal Khaldun

    Shite, that isn't spam, ie some loser actually bothered to post those 'comments'??I guess it's difficult to address all points in a newspaper column, and the greater theme is that we can't just assume terrorists are irrational and acausational.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I'm monitoring the situation. Pretty ugly and disturbing. At least the Nazis hate me, too, that's a positive sign.

  • Glenn Condell

    Antthere is a good review of Pape's book among others in a piece in the current NY Review of Books.While there, check out Jonathan Raban's essay on the northwest USA's different take on 911 and the Bush presidency. It was heartening in the way that reading Neve Gordon or Amira Hass is – it reminds you there are fine people everywhere, even, perhaps especially in the belly of our worst beasts.And if you have time left over, read Naomi Klein and especially Polly Toynbee in the Guardian a few days ago – both on Katrina. Thought provoking both.

  • Jews_Must_Die

    you're the nazi anthony you fucking mental midget. who's side are you on anyway? THINK about it toolhead

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I would remove the comment above, but actually, probably best to leave it. Let me guess, sitting in a darkened room is so comforting for a person without brains or guts?

  • Pingback: Western troops in Muslim lands can only lead one way | Antony Loewenstein()

  • A Non.

    Ant:

    You are hereby sumoned to facility 1391 in Israel forthwith. There will be no Red Cross or its equivalent. You will poop in a bucket, emptied ewery few days and you shall suffer in solitary confinement, the only hope for you is that  nice Mr Goot will represent you.

    Naturally, the US taxpayer will pay for your upkeep and feed.

    Pape might be credible if he woke up to the realities of who did not do 9/11.