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 ties that bind

Dateline is Australian television’s finest current affairs show. It’s curious, investigative, questioning and challenging. Last night, reporter David O’Shea uncovered the murky world of Indonesian politics, where the military and police are disturbingly connected to Islamic militants. The West – including Australia and America – continue to provide untold millions to the Indonesians in its “war on terror.”

But what if that money is being used to fund terrorist attacks against Indonesians and Westerners?

As ever, friends and enemies are not what they seem.

15 comments ↪
  • Pete’s Blog

    Its all a policy of appeasement by the Indonesian government.

    To keep the disparate ethnic, religeous and geographical entity of Indonesia tegether the government tolerates radical Islam and the military.

    To take either on may cause Indonesia to unravel.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    That may be so, but it's an unholy alliance that should be openly debated in Australia and within Indo itself.Not unlike Timor, where Australia has not pressured Jakarta to prosecute the killers behind the '99 atrocities, our government never seems to learn…

  • Pete's Blog

    Yes (can I call you "Lowy"?) I think constant signals to the Indonesian military that the West is watching them may be one solution.Basically that the military's human rights abuses and links to Islamic terrorism are being recorded – one way or another.The Indonesia military puts up straw men (in 1965 it was the "Communists') to cement western support. The risk the military may actually be bombing to win this Western support is a factor that Western government must constantly consider.I think, in the end, the growth of the Indonesian economy is the main path to democratic and national stability. The West can contribute to this by not allowing oil prices to get out of hand.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Lowy? Ha, I was called that at school, so I'd prefer not. Sure you understand.Indo is certainly a complex case, to be sure, but simply hoping that Western aid will be used appropriately is misguided and typical of the West's newfound 'belief' in the 'war on terror.'Blowback rules.

  • Pete's Blog

    "AL?" Year well try bringing the real culprits of East Timor (eg. General Waranto – who was the Army Chief) before a World Court and u will get a nationalist reaction in Indonesia that will attract moderate Indonesian to nasty nationalist institutions.One such institution is the Indons brand of radical Islam. Another is the military ethos.Between my moderate pressure and your idealism there's gotta be a better path.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    AL suits just fine.A middle path? There certainly should be. Radical Islam in Indo needs to be tackled, but solely through funding corrupt military and police? I think not.

  • Pete's Blog

    Covertly financing moderate Muslim political/religious movements may also be useful.While this smells of corruption at least some money will buy support from those potentially drawn to the radicals. Noting that the radicals are partially funded by the Saudi's.All this, of course, is a dirty game.I can see your point about human rights abusers and hope, one day, a Labor government (not Rudd, as he hasn't got the guts) will "out" some of these Indonesian army animals. Some type of court should give them the "Corby treatment" or even worse.Pete

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Everybody's hands are dirty.The Labor party outing anybody? I think not. They're as complicit, if not more so than Howard and co. Let's not forget their years of supporting Soeharto.

  • Pete's Blog

    Yes AL thats the problem. Keating calling Suharto "father" ("pak" or "pater" or something like that).Not much hope. Only that principled leaders put themselves up for election and people vote for them.. putting human rights over hip pockets.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Pete, well said, mate.

  • Ian Westmore

    A couple of months before the brown stuff hit the fan in Timor the Yanks were going to send Madeline Albright to Jakarta to read the generals the riot act over their plans to destroy the country if the independence vote went against them.Howard and Downer weren't going to have that, insisted that we could 'police' our part of the planet without American help, thank you very much. So they sent then Vice-CDF AM Doug Riding to warn the generals we had the evidence to convict them if a blood bath ensued. Trouble was that Riding couldn't directly threaten Wiranto and the other TNI top brass so the "riot act" reading ended up being a lot tamer than it should have been, and as we know ineffective.Wiranto and most of the other brass just listened politely, occasionally disputing a point, but one general got extremely angry about our interference in their affairs – Lt General Bambang Yudhoyono, then the Indonesian Chief of Security, now Canberra's favourite "democrat"That is the "constant signal" we are sending to the Indonesian military!But I guess its understandable. War criminals have to stick together. 🙁

  • Pete's Blog

    IanLooks like one of your areas of expertise.Yes unfortunately it seems it takes the Yanks to take the initiative – and the world (or some occasionally criminal element in Indonesia) to take notice. Of course initiative often goes the wrong way, but anyway.All part of carrying a big stick. Something Australia doesn't think it has – maybe we do – depends on the scenerio.Further to Ian's well described example.When Australia with Cosgrove etc was almost too late saving the East Timorese, what went largely unnoticed (except by the Indonesians) was the buildup of US forces to add pressure to the Indonesian backdown. Hence "East Timor required the unplanned deployment of the Kitty Hawk battle group and the Belleau Wood ARG." offshore to keep the Indons honest. <a href="http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/timor-orbat.htmhttp://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/timor-… />So the moral of the story (I reckon) is that while the US more often than not sins, in East Timor (and Kosovo) they've done it right.

  • Wombat

    "So the moral of the story (I reckon) is that while the US more often than not sins, in East Timor (and Kosovo) they've done it right."The jury is til out on that one.Soeharto went into East Tomor only after the US (via Kissinger) pretty much gave him the nod. For how many years was the policy of Austalia and the US that East Timor was the territory of Indonesia? For how long was Indonesia supplied arms by the US and the UK?I suppose we're supposed to forget all that and pretend we had no complicity.

  • Ian Westmore

    gigolo pete said… what went largely unnoticed (except by the Indonesians) was the buildup of US forces to add pressure to the Indonesian backdown. Hence "East Timor required the unplanned deployment of the Kitty Hawk battle group and the Belleau Wood ARG." offshore to keep the Indons honest. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/timor-Well rumour has it that at the time Howard wasn't overwhelmed by the support he got from the US. He may have a point, though I suspect a) he was really angling for the Yanks to do most of the work and b) more than a bit of their reluctance had to do with teaching him a lesson about keeping things from Uncle Sam – we refused to pass on intelligence that may have made a difference for example. Plus the Yanks must also have been than a little P….. Offed by Downers antics in the months leading up to the independence vote.So the moral of the story (I reckon) is that while the US more often than not sins, in East Timor (and Kosovo) they've done it right.True. But the thing to keep in mind about American politicians is that they will always do what they perceive is America's best interest. If that means they help you, then good for you, but if they decide the other guy is a better bet then you're toast. The degree of your friendship won't matter.BTW-that isn't necessarily a criticism. We'd be a lot better off if our pollies did the same!

  • Ian Westmore

    Addamo_01 said…For how many years was the policy of Austalia and the US that East Timor was the territory of Indonesia?I'm fairly sure than the US, unlike us, never formally recognised Indonesian sovereignty over ET. OTOH, as you point out they didn't do anything to kick them out either until 1999.My big regret is that the trauma of ET's liberation has probably killed off any chance West Papua had of freedom from Jakata's yoke. In some respects they are more deserving than the Timorese.