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.

War is peace

William Shawcross is a journalist based in London and yet another media chicken hawk. He’s been a supporter of the Iraq invasion from the beginning and continues this line in today’s Age:

“It seems unlikely that many of the so-called peace marchers who trooped through Washington and London two weekends back listened last Thursday – at least not with an open mind or sympathy – to George Bush’s cogent explanation of why coalition troops are fighting and dying in Iraq.

“The sacrifice of US soldiers, of their coalition allies and of Iraqis is horrifically painful. But if we can stay long enough to enable the Iraqis to lay the firm foundation of civil society, their deaths will not be in vain. We should leave when the elected Iraqi government asks us to do so.”

Same old arguments, nothing new to offer. Shawcross suggests the Western forces in Iraq are on a noble mission to bring democracy and freedom to the country. Only Bush, Blair and Howard clones still believe this anymore.

Interestingly, the LA Times originally published this Shawcross article on October 9. The headline? “Peace is not the answer.” But ongoing violence and war clearly is.

Shawcross seems incapable of understanding that the mayhem will only intensify as Western troops remain in Iraq. As more of the country falls to the insurgency, perhaps ideologues like Shawcross will understand that the American, British and Australian troops have neither legitimacy nor right to remain in the country. And no matter how much Shawcross wishes it was different, people like him are contributing to our leader’s ongoing delusions of “victory.”

UPDATE: Letter writers in the LA Times respond to Shawcross. One example:

“I don’t need to be lectured by Shawcross on who he feels is moral. Regardless of his endorsement of staying the course, he refuses to admit the lies that got the coalition in Iraq in the first place. That would make those so-called peace marchers who he claims are not open-minded or lack sympathy considerably more moral than he is.”

KERRY MORSE

Irvine

14 comments ↪
  • James Waterton

    Same old arguments, nothing new to offer.Wow, you and him have something in common after all.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Ah Waterton…A student of life you are…So young and yet so much experience…Teach me, grasshopper.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Things have certainly changed since Sideshow.

  • James Waterton

    Antony : I would, but I've got some kittens to drown. Toodooloo!

  • James Waterton

    Incidentally, the term "Grasshopper" comes from the nickname of one of the main characters in a 70s TV series called Kung Fu. The character is the student, and Grasshopper is what his master calls him. So you're buggering up a cliche (and I know how DBO hates cliches – imagine how he'll react to this outrage!) when you say "Teach me, grasshopper". Antony, to use the phrase that has sunk into popular parlance; you have much to learn, Grasshopper.

  • anthony

    heh heh…

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Er, I was being ironic. But not in the Alanis M. way.Good night and God bless.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Waterton, you are a cliche. Do you ever have anything meaningful to contribute?

  • Pete's Blog

    The Iraq war is too good for key republican businessmen.The only persuasive force that will get US (and thus UK and Oz) troops out of Iraq is the will of the American public.This will take a higher rate of coalition casualties. Such is the circle of death.

  • James Waterton

    I know you were being ironic. Point is you muffed it up. Oh, you knew about the Grasshopper thing? You mixed up the meaning for ironic effect? It was all part of your big joke, huh, that I should have got but didn't? (long silence) Yup, I'm buying that.By the way, it's nice to see you're following the comments threads.DBO : Oh, I am a cliche? Woe is me! To answer your question re. meaningful contributions around these parts – not very often any more – I used to before, but I quickly learnt that it was a waste of time. However, I do enjoy playing with you guys. Don't worry, I'm on the way out. I used to find the sentiments expressed on this blog amusing, but now they're getting dull in their monotony – like the comment directly above this one (which is why I had to post again, sorry!) So you won't have to put up with me for much longer.

  • Ibrahamav

    James, I truly enjoy your retorts. Don't go just because of a troll.

  • leftvegdrunk

    James, I expected that you would enjoy the opportunity to trace Shawcross' political evolution from Sideshow to his latest work. Or perhaps even comment in some way on the content of the post.Instead, all that came out was a predictably childish snide remark. Oh well, Ibby is a fan, so you must be doing something right. Should I throw in an aside now about "irrelevance"? Or will that only encourage another outurst of drivel?

  • Ibrahamav

    I can't say whether or not James is right, just that he actually posts other than bigoted snide remarks as is dirts' stock in trade.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Bigoted snide remarks? Oh my! Well I never!