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.

Taking a dive

Bush is in freefall.

And the Republican “revolution” is in trouble. Of course, the Democrats are no better, so let’s not expect any kind of radical change in 2008.

32 comments ↪
  • anthony

    AAAAAH HA HA HA! That's pretty good. Kept me busy until my washing was done…

  • Wombat

    The notion that the US is governed by a 2 party system is a myth. The push for withdrawign troops from Iraq is commig from the Right not the Democrats, who in fct are pushing for more troops.

  • Pete's Blog

    ALMaybe or maybe not.There may be a radical change. If rising US casualties in Iraq cause Bush to withraw the troops. The Republicans loss of face may make the more liberal-left Democrats (and other US power groupings) smell blood – therefore allowing them to push other radical foreign policy changes – whether the Democrats win in 2008 or not.The bipartisan desire for revenge after 9/11 may eventually cool – depending on bin Laden's agenda.US politics is unpredictable.

  • Human

    The politics of the U.S is very predictable. As we have Government by Corporation one only has to discern the bottom line of profit to feel which way the political winds blow. The wild card is the influence of the fundigelicals and Likudists/Mossad.

  • James Waterton

    Tinfoil hats, anyone? Your fellow human.

  • Human

    Some reports to ponder after one pulls their head out of the sand and tries to look about -http://207.44.245.159/article7545.htmhttp://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=162902&contrassID=2&subContrassID=5&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Yhttp://www.fpp.co.uk/online/04/05/MadCow_120504.htmlhttp://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/052204/geo_15672724.shtmlhttp://www.tompaine.com/articles/20050809/bigger_than_aipac.phphttp://ww1.sundayherald.com/37707http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/Artstudents.htmyour fellow Human ps for more links just google – Israeli movers or Urban moving systems.Peace.

  • Human

    oops forgot this one with new post on a Lou Dobbs (CNN) article -http://thelastchancecafe.blogspot.com/your fellow Human

  • James Waterton

    Peace. Pass the lithium, quick.

  • Human

    Must not read much. Just like Bush eh jw? So where are your facts? Don't have any? No surprise here or there. Peace. your fellow Human

  • Wombat

    I think your mother it calling you James. Time for your daily glass of puppy juice.

  • Pete's Blog

    And what is wrong with Mossad oh Human Failing?I hear its blondes can be very caring.

  • Glenn Condell

    Gawenda's piece runs thru the laundry list of crises besetting Dear Leader, with one notable exception. The AIPAC treason case, and it's links to Plame-Niger forgeries, is potentially the most explosive of all. Maybe Mr Gawenda forgot. And all this head scratching and sense of wonder at the voltes-face of formerly rusted-on wingnut generals in the media misses the obvious point that, once a ship lists as badly as this, the rats race each other, climb over each other to get off. Gawenda's piece is a modest version of the same phenomenon. Not even a skerrick remains of the triumphal pro-Bush spin he used to retail even on the news pages. People like Gawenda are chewing their fingernails right now, hoping the waking giant of American democracy and accountability, personified by the icily patient progress of prosecutor Fitzgerald, stays dozy enough not to expose the neocon cabal that has taken the controls on behalf of a foreign country.Kristol and Krauthammer and other prominent lackeys are furiously writing anti-Bush columns they hope will solder enough protection around their arses to enable them to continue their peddling punditry. Kristols trademark Cheshire Cat and Krauthammer's Blood and Thunder will be wounded, will be reduced, but they will be back, wiping vestigial egg off their faces and 'moving on'. It's going to be fun.

  • Wombat

    Interesting post Glenn,Krauthammer was so wuick off the mark with proclaiming the January elections as an emphatic demouncement of those who opposed he war. I wonder if he will have the same enthusiams to repeat that performance this time with the vote onthe constitution. Surely the Bush administration is ready to roll out the pre-scripted celebrations, and proclamantions of success, but one wonders hwo many will take the bait this time.Kristol has been vocla about the Harrie Miers nominatino to the Supreme Court, and has stated that he expects 3 edictments to be issued by Fitzgerald. If Rove is one fo them, there will surely be a carnival of celebrations.Should make for an intersting few weeks.Seems the only thing that willsave Bush's administration is another seriosu terror attack.

  • Shabadoo

    I never do posts like this, but you all ought to run over to Bunyip's place for a thorough dissection of factual innacuracies in the Gawenda disptach.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The ignoring of the AIPAC/Israel spy case is typical of the MSM. Indeed, it's been virtually ignored in Australia – and the US. It's huge and is only beginning. I'm hearing that MUCH more is going to be coming out…Israel and its blind supporter should be worried…

  • James Waterton

    addamo_01: Just waiting for your response re. Iran.Must hurt to be slapped around the place so badly by a mere pup, eh?

  • Human

    Well just starting off Bunyip's "facts" leave a lot to be desired. "So far, so good. Bush's polls aren't cheerful (although no worse than any and every other president, at one point or other, since Nixon, including Reagan and Clinton). Even Gawenda's observation that Bush is "overwhelmed" is fair enough. Gawenda is writing an opinion piece and that is, after all, his opinion." It seems Bunyip takes his false talking points from Republican stratergist Mary Matalin – http://mediamatters.org/items/200510140008. Bunylip, "persistent efforts have so far turned up nothing like yet another confession of his administration having been found wanting. If readers can supply a link, this error will be wiped off the Gawenda slate. (In the meantime, mistake #1)". The link (Crooks and Liars Sept. 13th post) <a href="http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Countdown-Bush-apologizes.wmvhttp://movies.crooksandliars.com/Countdown-Bush-a… />I would supply a link, but he does not allow comments on his blog. Bunylip is right about the questions from the 2 photo ops. As the Bush team is producing these at a fast clip I can see that one who watches a lot might get confused. I did see the Matt Lauer interview. Bush did grimace a lot. Mrs. Bush did again carry the interview. All in all I thought the Bush team did a pretty good interview. Especially the way Bush deflected the question on why the victims of Katrina should have to pay for reconstrution. Things being in the eye of the beholder I'll give Bunylip a mark for this one.Gawenda 2 Bunylip 1 shabadoo -2 -1"I never do posts like this" You just did. Don’t ever say never. -2 And no you should not do posts like this. You're not qualified.Is it incompetence? Is it indolence? Is it indifference to truth? Or is it all of the above, underwritten by an arrogant contempt for his poor, stupid readers? Or is that, when the facts don't mesh with Bunylip's wishes, he finds fiction just as useful and a good deal easier to work with?Okay just for giggles – <a href="http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Late%20Show-Top-Ten-Bush-Hammer.wmvhttp://movies.crooksandliars.com/Late%20Show-Top-… />quicktime <a href="http://-http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Late%20Show-Top-Ten-Bush-Hammer.mov-http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Late%20Show-Top-Ten-Bush-Hammer.mov<br />your fellow Human

  • James Waterton

    Antony, DBO, Addamo_01 – hell, Glenn Condell – I strongly suggest you take your pet Human out the back and put him out of his misery. He's the classic loose cannon; he's doing more damage to the credibility of your arguments than anything else. Okay, Human. Let's take a look at your muddleheaded ramblings. It seems Bunyip takes his false talking points from Republican stratergist Mary MatalinSo? Is he wrong in saying that past presidents have endured dips in their popularity that have been arrested at a later date? Of course he isn't. Who cares about the depth of the trough? The salient point that Bunyip is making is that a dip in popularity isn't necessarily a sign of a failing presidency, which Gawenda and others are asserting. It's called wishful thinking. So that's one point taken from Gawenda and awarded back to Bunyip.The link (Crooks and Liars Sept. 13th post)Sorry, did you say September 13th post? Oh. My. God. You really are as dumb as a box of hammers, eh? Go back and read what Bunyip said. He said that he couldn't find a reference to Bush apologising yet again on the trip he made down south this week. That's October. Not September. Gawenda (apparently) falsely claimed that Bush made further apologetic statements down there this week. That's what Bunyip was responding to. The link you provided above is footage from a visit in September. In fact, almost exactly one month earlier. Incidentally, whilst Bunyip doesn't have comments enabled on his blog, he does post his e-mail address in the top right hand corner. Feel free to e-mail him your link. I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it. Oh, and that's 1 more point taken off Gawenda and awarded to Bunyip. Guess what? That makes it 3-0 to Bunyip! You're not qualified.Human, you're living proof that ostensible prerequisites of basic comprehension and sanity aren't required to construct erroneous arguments and arrive at muddle headed conclusions.Is it incompetence? Is it indolence? Is it indifference to truth? Or is it all of the above, underwritten by an arrogant contempt for his poor, stupid readers? Or is that, when the facts don't mesh with Bunylip's wishes, he finds fiction just as useful and a good deal easier to work with?Stunning! The genius! Human's taken Bunyip's words and turned them against him! What a brilliant rhetorical flourish! I'm sure Bunyip's cowering in a dank corner somewhere after that stinging riposte. Okay just for giggles ……read Human's silly post again!Human, you'd be well advised to observe a period of silence whilst gathering what few strands of lucid thought you have left. Then perhaps attempt to post again.

  • Wombat

    James Waterton said… "So? Is he wrong in saying that past presidents have endured dips in their popularity that have been arrested at a later date? Of course he isn't. Who cares about the depth of the trough? The salient point that Bunyip is making is that a dip in popularity isn't necessarily a sign of a failing presidency, which Gawenda and others are asserting. "This is a unique situation. The Bush presidency started off very badly and would undoubtedly have tanked had it not been for 911. This gave the administration a n entire platform, ie. the ability to protect the people from the threat of terrorism, the ability to whack those they blamed for 911, and the patriotic fever that they whipped up as part of their invasion of Iraq. While this was all going swimmingly, this distracted the public from alarming domestic developments, such as sky rocketing debt, increasing unemployment, and record deficits.Since then, Iraq is gong to hell in a waste basket and the public know it, they are not buying the “fighting them in Iraq so we don’t have to fight them here line”. The response to Katrina has rattled their believe in the administrations capacity to deal with disasters man made or otherwise, and they are spooked by the exposure of Bush’s rampant cronyism. What’s more, the scandals that have hit the GOP are also starting to wreak. Most importantly, these failures have redirected their attention to domestic matters, and what they see looks extremely ugly.To top this off, rising fuel prices are hitting the public where it hurts the most.The Bush administration has used up all it’s get out of jail free tickets. They have no response to any of the above issues. Previous administrations actually had broad based policies, this one is policy challenged so there is little they have left up their sleeves.All this administration can rely on is the hope that more war or another attack on US foreign soil will swing support back their way.

  • James Waterton

    The Bush presidency started off very badly and would undoubtedly have tanked had it not been for 911.Actually, this is a furphy spread by Mike Moore and others. Certainly, 9/11 supercharged the Bush Administration, but it was hardly a "lame duck presidency" before that. Read down to deceit number 5 on this link: <a href="http://www.davekopel.org/Terror/Fiftysix-Deceits-in-Fahrenheit-911.htm#Bush_Presidency_before_September_11http://www.davekopel.org/Terror/Fiftysix-Deceits-… />As for your other rash predictions, they are just that at this stage. I think you're jumping the gun if you start writing off Bush now, but then his opponents have consistently underestimated the man since he popped up on their radar, and he in turn has consistently wrong-footed them. So he kinda has form.Perhaps his administration is in freefall. All I'm saying is it's way too soon to call.

  • Human

    Hey JW – Gawenda. "In New Orleans this week, where he again admitted to mistakes by the Federal Government in the wake of Hurricane Katrina…."Bunylip, " "persistent efforts have so far turned up NOTHING LIKE yet another confession of his administration having been found wanting. "http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/11/katrina/main931741.shtml – In response to the government's initially slow response to Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Bush said, "If I didn't respond well enough, I'm going to learn the lessons." The federal government's response to the second huge storm to slam the area, Rita, has gotten better reviews."The story will unfold. I mean, the facts of the story will come out over time, and the important thing is for federal, state and local governments to adjust and to respond," President Bush said.If there were no mistakes, why the need to "adjust"? Gawenda , "After two weeks(in referance to the RECENT past). of relentless attacks and unprecedented vitriol, and with opinion polls(CURRENT POLLS) showing support for him at the lowest level during his presidency, George Bush looks like a man overwhelmed by the burdens of office." What is important about the polls NOW is that it is 2nd term polling. At one time Bush had the highest rating ever(so far as my research goes) at 90%. Conversly no President has suffered such a fall. Bunylip changes the argument so that people like you would bite. Further, I must say I do not put much faith in most polls. My argument is that Bunylip is deceitful. As for who cares about the "depths of the trough', evidently Gawenda, you, Bunylip, Mary Matalin, and the White House, hence the daily multiple photo ops and staged events.I will not e-mail to Bunylip because he does have enough veracity in the bank. Unless he is as upfront as Antony I do not care to communicate with him. The reason Bunylip does not dare to have comments is so his crap won't be thrown back into his mouth in public. However I do see that you have no fear of that. Now, go rinse out your mouth kid. PS – I see by you rapid response to the Israeli/Mossad links that you did not watch, read or listen. Afraid that your stone of truth that you carry in your pocket just maybe a fossilised cow paddy?

  • Wombat

    "As for your other rash predictions, they are just that at this stage. I think you're jumping the gun if you start writing off Bush now, but then his opponents have consistently underestimated the man since he popped up on their radar, and he in turn has consistently wrong-footed them. So he kinda has form."Not rash James, informed. You only have to have watched this guy these past four years with scant attention to understand his MO. Ahemmm wrong footed? Oh my James, aren't we spending a lot of time watching FOX news these days.The lats time Bush wrong footed anyone was the 2004 elections and the bait and switch performance his minions perfomed in Iohio and Florida. Producing 9000 votes in counties that had less than a thousand registered voters for example. Miraculusly steering the count in the opposite direction of exit polls, the first time that has ever happened in US history. Having his lackey, Kenneth Blackwell reject posted balloots onthe grounds they were printed on the wrong grade of paper.Having counting offices shut down to observers on the grounds of fake terrorist threats. On the contrary, Bush has amazed supporters and opponents alike by the degree of his inneptitude.Even when he claimed to have politicla capital to spend, hid policies were being rebuffed. he spent a fortune trying to get his Social Security bill fo the ground and hit a brik wall. People are colectively rolling their eyes at Bush'd obsession with tax cuts for the rich, while government spending grows uncontrollably, borrowing is unstoppable and the refugees of New Orleans are being starved.Has any presindent ever had a 2% approval rating amongst balck voters? that has to be some kind of record.

  • James Waterton

    Firstly, it's Bunyip, not Bunylip. Since you're a non-Australian, I'm willing to cut you a little slack on that, however.Congratulations! You took my advice and gathered your few lucid thoughts and went Googling – great, you turned up something. The Prof said quite clearly that he didn't find anything – but he was open to correction if anyone else found anything. But…I will not e-mail to BunylipI'm sure he'd be terribly distraught if he realised the opportunity he's missed in not being able to converse with an intellectual heavyweight such as yourself.Thing is, everything else Bunyip condemned Gawenda for stands. It's wrong for Gawenda to make up GWB's responses to questions put to him. It's wrong for Gawenda to pretend that Laura Bush had to answer for her husband. It's wrong for Gawenda to import quotes from another interview and paste them in to make Bush look bad. My argument is that Bunylip is deceitful.I put it to you, sir, that you – and not Bunyip – are the deceitful party here; along with Gawenda. You know full well that most of Gawenda's recollections of events Bunyip highlighted are false, and yet you still defend Gawenda. You are a crank, plain and simple.so his crap won't be thrown back into his mouth in public. However I do see that you have no fear of that.No – not from you, anyway. You're about as intellectually intimidating as a dead goldfish. And it looks like you're projecting, to boot. I see by you rapid response to the Israeli/Mossad links that you did not watch, read or listen.Excellent deduction, Watson.Afraid that your stone of truth that you carry in your pocket just maybe a fossilised cow paddy?Er, not really. Also, was that your attempt at razor-sharp snark? Jeepers, you must have been storing that corker up for a while. Look, Human, me boy…try to see things from my perspective. Why would I look at a bunch of links posted by a deceitful loon such as yourself? I don't trust you as far as I could throw you. I certainly wouldn't look to you for a truth enlightenment – I don't think you know the meaning of the word "truth". I mean, let me show you how cognitively unhinged you are – you spend a hundred or so words explaining how the polls at a particular time and in a particular way show that Bush's presidency is dying in the arse, and then in the very next sentence you contradict yourself by saying you don't believe in polls anyway, thus demolishing the foundation for your entire argument! So basically, I have better things to do. I'm half annoyed with myself for wasting time rebutting another bunch of crap that is your trademark. I guess I'm nothing if not thorough!

  • James Waterton

    Not rash James, informed.Just like you were with the Iran issue you still haven't managed to respond to? Ahemmm wrong footed?That's right. I know you're being/you've been wrong footed by Bush when I hear the impotent screams. They constantly rattle the panes around these quarters. Oh my James, aren't we spending a lot of time watching FOX news these days.Not really, although I can see you've been tuning exclusively into Air America and reading Democratic Underground briefings daily to get your wad of "information".and the bait and switch performance his minions perfomed in Iohio and Florida.Don't know anything about that, but I wouldn't be surprised – although you tend to deal in hyperbole, so in my mind I'll be toning it down a few notches. Having said that, democracy in the USA is far from perfect, and grubbiness is a bipartisan trait in some areas. Please don't tell me you're naive enough to believe otherwise. What was that about dead guys voting Democrat in several seats?Social Security bill fo the ground and hit a brik wall. Yep, it happens in the American system. I know you socialists admire a strongman, but an American president is frequently constrained in his actions. Just ask Bill Clinton. Okay, you're also making several unsubstantiated, sweeping statements – ie. "people are rolling their eyes", "Bush has amazed his supporters with his ineptitude". That's right, Addamo, just because you say it, it must be true. Look, I'm no Bush fan. I personally don't like his big-government form of politics. But I cannot stand the deceit that swirls around the broad camp of his political opponents. You all say that Bush lies. Have a little self perspective. He's inspired the same trait in you, too.

  • Wombat

    “Just like you were with the Iran issue you still haven't managed to respond to?”What have you been smoking James? What issues have gone unanswered? You referring to that factually challenged diatribe you wrote about wanting to see Armageddon unleashed in the Middle East? About Iranian Scuds? I did respond at great length, but the thread appears to have disappeared from the page.“That's right. I know you're being/you've been wrong footed by Bush when I hear the impotent screams. They constantly rattle the panes around these quarters.”Way to go James. False bravado and no evidence or reality to show for it. You have a promising political career ahead of you.“Not really, although I can see you've been tuning exclusively into Air America and reading Democratic Underground briefings daily to get your wad of "information".”Well, seeing as information seems of little relevance to you, I thought I would oblige. You might actually learn something. It’s funny though how you are perfecting the standard right wing response to information that you are unable to counter; rather than question it’s veracity, you attack the information. Yes young James is coming along quite nicely.I had similar debates with others, who in spite of being provided copious links, would not accept it until it had been vetted by right wing media sources. Information doesn’t have to be right wing to be right.“Don't know anything about that, but I wouldn't be surprised – although you tend to deal in hyperbole, so in my mind I'll be toning it down a few notches.”Hyperbole? When the shit hit’s the fan, it is what it is my friend. But given your track record of testosterone injected ramblings, it’s a big rude to be lecturing yours truly on toning things down don’t you think?“”Please don't tell me you're naive enough to believe otherwise. What was that about dead guys voting Democrat in several seats?”Hardly, and I’m glad to see we agree on that much. Democracy in the US is a fucking joke. What possible outcome can be expected when presidential candidates are forced to raise funds of US$100 million of more just to be in the running? And in spite of ample evidence that would warrant frog marching Bush and company to the Hague, I agree it will never happen. “Yep, it happens in the American system. I know you socialists admire a strongman, but an American president is frequently constrained in his actions. Just ask Bill Clinton.” Strongman? You seem sot be hung up on strong men James. From what I can see, leaders of both leanings are prone to comparing themselves to demigods, particularly in times of conflict. Howard measures himself to Menzies, Bush to FDR, Blair to Churchill. Delusion is non partisan.I agree that sanctifying leaders is the road to ruin and I have never done so, though I do admit I have a fondness for those with a backbone to stand up to the US and put the interests of their people and country ahead of US interests. History shows these guys don’t stick around for long (thanks to intervention in one form or another), but they are great value.“Okay, you're also making several unsubstantiated, sweeping statements – ie. "people are rolling their eyes", "Bush has amazed his supporters with his ineptitude". That's right,”Even the mainstream news here in North America has carried these sentiments James, which is saying something, given the lame arse excuse that passes for news in this part of the world. You should have seen the fallout from Bush’s disastrous teleconference with US Marines in Tikrit this week. Scott McLellan was on the verge of a breakdown during his press conference, when he pretended nothing had been scripted, ins spite of the fact that the rehearsal had been broadcast live. This government would sooner chew off their collective right arms than admit to making a mistakeIn the immediate aftermath of Katrina, while people were stuffed like cattle inside the NO Superdome, Bush during an interview, stated that tax cuts would not be affected by the costs of the disaster. It revealed where his warped priorities lie, in spite of the ensuing mayhem around him. The fallout from that drew scathing criticism from both the left and right “Addamo, just because you say it, it must be true.”Hello? Aren’t we both playing at that game? Having said that, I strive to provide links whenever appropriate to support my position. In contrast, you seem to rely rather heavily on abrasive negation.“Look, I'm no Bush fan. I personally don't like his big-government form of politics. But I cannot stand the deceit that swirls around the broad camp of his political opponents.”Neither can I. His political opponents are as full of crap as he is. In fact, many don’t even disagree with him, so much as want to take his job. I am not a political opponent of his because I have no aspirations to political life. I simply believe that the Busheviks are an unmitigated disaster for the entire planet. “You all say that Bush lies. Have a little self perspective. He's inspired the same trait in you, too.”Cut the crap James and stop being a pussy. Lies are perpetrated by those who set out to deceive, when they know the opposite to be true James. If you suspect I have ulterior motives, that’s your paranoia. I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. And I would love to see you put your hyperbole to one side and provide a modicum of evidence to support your lame arguments for a change.

  • Glenn Condell

    James, get a mirror and check out your arse. That way you'll know when it's being handed tto you on a plate. Warning – it's not a pretty sight.Sterling work addamo, but is it worth it?

  • James Waterton

    Glenn: "get a mirror and check out your arse. "Thanks for the tip – I'm accepting your worldliness on that particular manouvre; seeing as though I've handed you yours on many an occasion.Addamo : don't have time to respond at length now. It's pending, however. Just a quick note – what do you mean what have I been smoking? What have you been smoking? The thread you believe has "disappeared from the page" is still there – I just checked it. It's right down the bottom of the main page, but I'll save you all the trouble if you want to view it. Just click here. I see addammo has realised his little cockup and has hurriedly gone down there to see my lengthy response (that I wrote out two days ago…keep up, Addamo!) to his lengthy post. Apparently he's composing a reply as we speak. Google is running hot, no doubt. I await with trepidation…

  • Wombat

    "Sterling work addamo, but is it worth it?"Of course it is. I have high hopes for James. Maybe one day he will turn that brain of his toewrds achieveing something constructive, rather than consume his energy creating monsters sleigh. James, I will reply ASAP. I'll try to be less verbose. Hope the thread stays open long enough.

  • James Waterton

    Andre: Response, as promised.Way to go James. False bravado and no evidence or reality to show for it. You have a promising political career ahead of you.Not false bravado. That's my honest assessment of a lot of what's said and done around these parts."rather than question it’s veracity, you attack the information." Isn't attacking the source of information attacking its veracity if you're deeply suspicious about the source? Seems as though you did exactly the same thing when you said aren't we spending a lot of time watching FOX news these days.So maybe the physician should heal thyself.spite of being provided copious linksLinks can be cheap. You seem sot be hung up on strong men James.A deceitful and wholly incorrect statement. See below re. my discussion on deceit.to stand up to the US and put the interests of their people and country ahead of US interests…they are great value.A most revealing statement. You are so anti the projection of American power that you gleefully accept any refusenik to Pax Americana as a bedfellow. Look at the number of leaders who struggle/d against the Americans. I'm pretty confident the vast majority of them are/were dictators of varying brutality who put neither their nation's nor their people's interests first – their first priority was staying in power. This government would sooner chew off their collective right arms than admit to making a mistakeThat's hardly exclusive to the Bush administration – although he did re. Katrina. Erroneously, IMO, but that's another issue. It's an essential prerequisite of any ruling political entity. Look, I'm sure Bush is copping flak about some cockups he's made recently. I just think the picture you painted was inaccurate – ie. the wheels are falling off his administration. That may be the case, however my point was it's way too soon to tell. Hello? Aren’t we both playing at that game?At some points, yes. But…. I strive to provide linksYou didn't at that occasion. Which is why I said something. A lot of the time, links aren't the kingmakers you seem to think they are, anyway. At the end of the day, we base our arguments around our perceptions. We could both get links that support our perceptions – so what does that prove? support your lame arguments for a change.Which arguments are you talking about? As I said above, I happen to think providing a bunch of sympathetic links often pretty poor evidence, so I don't waste my time unless the links are worth it. I could find a bunch of links to back me up, but then you'll start attacking the quality of the links. And I could do the same thing to yours. It's a long, tedious path to go down and I can't be bothered.Lies are perpetrated by those who set out to deceive, when they know the opposite to be true James. Note that I said "you all". I know that there are a great many liars amongst Bush's opponents – take a list of stupid quotes that GWB's supposed to have made I received in my e-mail. I got that same damn e-mail 8 years ago with the same quotes, though they were attributed to Dan Quayle at the time. You personally may not create lies, however your strong bias against GWB makes you more credulous of falsities that attack Bush, and thus you are, in my eyes, a likely source of misinformation. To use an example I quoted above, you rushed to declare that the wheels are falling off Bush's regime. I think you're jumping the gun, and I'm quite sure that if you were a neutral you wouldn't be so hasty in declaring his presidency doomed. If you were a supporter you would swear blind everything's going to plan even when Rome's burning, to mix a couple of metaphors. You may even make erroneous conclusions due to your convictions. For example, you did this above when you decided that I was a fan of strongmen-type rulers. This isn't surprising – we all are far happier to believe good things about entities we like and support, and bad things about those we don't. I'm certainly no exception. However, I am not emotionally for or against Bush (and, as I said earlier, I baulk at the suggestion that I am a supporter of his), so when I see a whole lot of what I consider to be an unbalanced view I tend to rile up; you've probably deduced that I reckon I see a whole lot of unbalanced view on this blog. The anti-Bush crowd I believe is deeply unbalanced, and frequently consciously deceitful. I believe you possess an unbalanced view in regards to GWB and his admin (and I'm sure you feel the same about me). I take you at your word when you say you do not set out to deceive. But that does not preclude you from spreading deceit unintentionally.provide a modicum of evidence to support your lame arguments for a change.Again, which arguments are you talking about? Why do you think you're so justified because you've provided a link? So someone else agrees with you. Fantastic. So, I'm off to the gym and I'll start on the Iran reply after dinner.

  • Wombat

    I thoroughly agree James.It's natural to fall for the trap of pulling out all stops to win an argument. We could go on indefinitely by referring to most extreme arguments of the diverse opposition by insisting this represents that opposition's viewpoint.Myopia is another thing that is non-partisan. My comment about strong men was obviously sarcastic. As I said, demigods are a natural consequence of nationalism -whether right or left leaning. Similarly, the suggestion that the wheels are falling off the administration should also be taken in jest. I would never suggest Clinton was above criticism (indeed he was guilty of far graver crimes than those he was reprimanded for) , I would just like to see the MSM grow a spine and hold a torch to the feet of these guys the way they did with Clinton.The right wing in America is obsessed with convincing the public that liberalism is dead and will remain that way. Plummeting popularity should not prevent the government from functioning, but one would hope this would lead to a reassessment of the policies and mistakes that have led to the demise. In my opinion, the filth that surrounds the Bush administration is not about any weakness in the ideology of the conservative movement. It is a perfect example of the very worst elements of American Imperialism, political corruption, and greed. It’s certainly not exclusive to the Republicans. It is something that effects both parties in the US and now appears to be rubbing off on the leaders of it’s allies. As a critical thinker I was surprised that the worst criticism you could raise about Bush is that he has betrayed the principals of limited government. If I wanted to stretch this debate out unecessarily, I could make a case that this is evidence you have a blind spot when it comes to Bush, but my post gym zen state of mind suggests otherwise.Anwway James, I welcome your Iran post. I trust you will forgive me if I do not continue that thread. I am probabyl nto as quick as you to formulate my argumetns, so with due repects, I cannot justify the time it would take to continue rebutting you.You may have noticed that I tend to react excessively to those who salivate at the prospect of war and violence, when in fact these cowards are more often than not, picnickers who watch the entertainment from a safe distance.I should not assume that you are such a person.

  • James Waterton

    Fair enough. I did post again – at great length – and if I were you I would run out of patience, too. I'm certainly not stupid enough to interpret your silence as acquiesence.For the record, my beefs with Bush are that 1) he isn't into limited government like he should be 2) he's a protectionist 3) he's a statist 4) he frequently won't sack people that should be sacked (eg. someone's head should have rolled over Abu Ghraib – arguably Rumsfeld's) 5) he gets things done, but he's not always strong on executionAs far as his foreign policy record is concerned – I feel a little conflicted. On one hand, America on the offensive is broadly a good thing. There's been too much foreign policy inertia since the decline of the cold war, and some states need their heads banged together – not necessarily militarily, although the unspoken threat can be useful. I concede that such a statement is liable to open a can of worms, and to really make my position understood on this I would have to qualify the above statement for several paragraphs. I will note that events are moving for the first time in a long time in many theatres. Not all in useful directions, but many are. Bush tackles problems, however he often has problems with execution. Clinton was good at deferring problems, and they would sometimes fester. There are pros and cons of both strategies.Anyway, it's late here. Enough.

  • Wombat

    James,As I've come to better understand your position, it occurs to me that what creates a seemingly large divide in our position is the opinion as to what the motivations of the US government are in respect to foreign policy.I would be the first to admit that many liberals are afflicted with the illusion that Clinton’s foreign policies were altruistic or even a success for that matter. Indeed the media have been complicit in perpetuating this fantasy.I am assuming that you view the stated aims of the Bush administration as being in accord with their true intentions. I, on the other hand, believe the opposite to be true.My belief stems from the understanding that the Administration’s foreign policy are been guided by the neoconservative faction, who have been indoctrinated by the ideologies of Leo Strauss. It’s ironic that these same people started out as Democrats in a previous life, but like all parasites, they move from one host to the next.Justin Raimondo, described these people best when he wrote this: “While "liberty" and "freedom" are the bywords of the neoconservative Right, the cult's philosophers – notably Leo Strauss – were and are advocates of rule by an elite. The ignorant masses, according to Strauss and his followers, are kept in thrall by various delusions – such as religion, ethics, and social conventions of one sort or another – that keep society together and that it is the duty of the philosophers to uphold. While they (the all-knowing, all-wise philosophers, that is) know the awful truth – which is that all values are relative, that good and evil are merely labels of convenience, and that brute force is what really rules the world – the general populace is better left in happy ignorance, while the philosopher-kings alone are fit to bear the burden of truth.”Strauss believed, as William Pfaff put it, "that the essential truths about society and history should be held by an elite, and withheld from others who lack the fortitude to deal with truth. Society, Strauss thought, needs consoling lies."”So if we are to extrapolate, it would seem that the Bush gang are sugar coating their actions for the sake of public consumption. I don’t think it requires a tin foil hat to see that foreign policy has been choreographed by the stated aims that this group outlines in paper by The Project for a New American Century, entitled, "Rebuilding America's Defenses".Of course, this foreign policy undoubtedly suits other convergent interests, such as big oil, big business, and the arms industry, and Israel’s security, so it is understandable why there is confusion among war critics who believe it’s about only one issue.I don’t see the problems as the results of poor execution, so much as the inevitable consequences of the results not always following the script the public are being fed.