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.

Starvation after "liberation"

Al-Jazeera, October 14:

“A United Nations human rights investigator has accused the US and British forces in Iraq of breaching international law by depriving civilians of food and water in besieged cities.

“But the US military denied the charge and said that while supplies were sometimes disrupted by combat, food was never deliberately withheld.

“Jean Ziegler, a former Swiss sociology professor who is UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said on Friday that the Geneva Conventions banned military forces from using ‘starvation of civilians as a method of warfare’.

“But he said that in Falluja, Tal Afar and Samarra, Iraqi and US-led forces had cut off or restricted food and water to encourage residents to flee before assaults on entrenched Sunni fighters over the past year.

“‘A drama is taking place in total silence in Iraq, where the coalition’s occupying forces are using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population,’ Ziegler told a news briefing in Geneva.”

There is no way to independently verify these claims, though US denials should be ignored. The lack of truly independent news from Iraq – and the UN’s disturbing acquiescence with occupation authorities – gives these accusations the air of authenticity.

In related news:

“A purported al-Qaida web posting has charged the US with fabricating a letter from the group’s overall second-in-command allegedly to its leader in Iraq asking for money and laying out the group’s plans for the Middle East.

‘We in al-Qaida declare that there is no truth to these claims, and they are baseless, except in the imagination of the politicians of the Black (White) House,’ according to the statement on a website known as a clearing house for al-Qaida material.

“The statement was signed by Abu Maysara, who claims to be spokesman for al-Qaida in Iraq. It could not be authenticated.”

Can we trust this? Impossible to know. The point remains, however: the American, British and Australian governments are spinning themselves to death defending the Iraqi quagmire.

19 comments ↪
  • Ibrahamav

    "There is no way to independently verify these claims, though US denials should be ignored."Let me repeat myself:"There is no way to independently verify these claims, though US denials should be ignored."You can't prove you are telling the truth, yet you demand we believe you anyway.LMAO

  • Wombat

    Ibrahamav,I woudln;t be so quick to lay down the law with respect to verified news accounts. Isn't it you who alwasy champions us reading between the lines when something implicating Israel is released?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Nothing the US says about this war can be believed, and likewise the UK and Australia.I simply don't know if these claims are true, but US denials should be ignored for the simple fact that they've lied before and nobody can independently check it out. The UN is maybe one body that can. Maybe.

  • Ibrahamav

    "Nothing the US says can be believed."LMAO. What a warning label.

  • Human

    At the time of the 2nd battle of Falluga there were many reports of food and medical convoys being turned away. This as far as argument goes is a moot point. All the slaughter in Iraq is based on a pack of lies.

  • Ian Westmore

    The CoW violations of the First Protocol to the 1949 Conventions on food are no surprise. The same Protocols also ban deliberately targeting 'objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population' (Article 54). During the 1991 Gulf War US and RAF planes deliberately targeted water and sewage plants and repeated the dose in 2003. They compounded the crime during the intervening 12 years by refusing to allow parts required to fix these facilities past the blockade. Most of the 500,000 kids that UNICEF estimate died during this period (and continue to die) succumbed to diseases attributable to contaminated water and exposed sewage. As one of the countries that supplied naval vessels to enforce the blockade, we are also guilty! These violation would be classified as 'Grave Breeches' as defined by Part IV, Article 147 of the 1949 Convention. Grave breeches are the ones that get you hung.BTW- I noticed that Rapporteur Ziegler also, rightly, condemned the use of civilian "human shields" by the insurgency. Has the UN ever commented on the Israeli Defense Force for doing the same thing?

  • Ibrahamav

    Ian, you have no proof regarding the deaths of 500,000 children. The only fact you can actually state is that they died being ignored by their great leader, Saddam Hitler, while he built palaces and bought weapons with the money earmark for those children's survival.The death of everyone of those 500,000 was cause by the actions of Saddam. He is directly responsible and your efforts to let him off the meat hook is deplorable.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Repeat after me: Western govts have no responsiblity for the world's problems. 'Evil' leaders – read Western supported – are the source of all evil and should be removed.But then, how would Western governments operate in the world?Re Iraq and sanctions, the figures are relatively undisputed and Western culpability, well, again, 'we're' clean, they're evil…

  • Ibrahamav

    No one is questioning the figures. But the money was there. Saddam spent it on Palaces, Bullets, and PR men like you to tell the world that the western democracies were killing his 500,000 children.And you fell for it. Shame.

  • Wombat

    "they died being ignored by their great leader, Saddam Hitler, while he built palaces and bought weapons with the money earmark for those children's survival."This borders on stupidity Ibrahamav. I am no fan of George Galloway, but he hit the nail on the head said thee Iraqi's died before they even knew they were Iraqis. And how naive to think that the West didn't know who they woud be huritng with these sanction? Certainly not Sadam. And Madelaine Albrigth didn;t seem to have a problem with the 500,000 sacrifice, She considered it a worthwhile investment.

  • Ibrahamav

    Poor Adamo – forced into inaction because every single course of action required to overthrow a murderous dictator will result in somebody dying who shouldn't, but at least no blood is on addamos hands.Who cares about the dead kurds and shi'ites and others. As long as no blood can be found on addamo's useless, worthless, meaningless hands.Did the US intend for 500,000 Iraqi children to die? Did the US think that Saddam would allow 500,000 Iraqi children to die for his glory? Did the US think that saddam would cause 500,000 children to die so he could thumb his nose?Addamo, you are a moron.

  • Wombat

    Ibrahamav,So you think the US gave a crap abou the Kurds and Shiites? They didn't seem to seeing as they kept arming Sadam at the time, while making public noises abotu how outrageous it was.You are so black and white at times.

  • Ian Westmore

    Ibrahamav said…No one is questioning the figures. But the money was there. Saddam spent it on Palaces, Bullets, and PR men like you to tell the world that the western democracies were killing his 500,000 children.It wasn't a question of money. The US/UK/Australia blocked shipments of the parts needed to rebuild the water and sewage infustrature. They also blocked delivery of X-Ray machines, incubators, heart/lung machines and many medicines, including antibiotics. Even morphine was denied.That the destruction was deliberate is a matter of rec ord, Pentagon documents detailing the policy and its anticipated effects were found on the US Dept of Defense website. Not sure if they still are but this site shows you how to find them <a href="http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0808-07.htmhttp://www.commondreams.org/views01/0808-07.htm<b… />You may also like to answer why the US destroyed electrical generating both in 1991 and 2003, but during the bombing of Belgrade it used carbon bombs to temporarily cut power by tripping circuit breakers. Could it be because Serbs are Europeans and there kids are more therefore of greater value?

  • Ibrahamav

    Addamo, do you think the US supplied Saddam so that he could make war on his own people and invade Kuwait?You are so transparent, shallow, and false.

  • Ibrahamav

    Ian, you are stating that the UN deliberately violated the Geneva Convention at the behest of the US while continuing to corrupt the oil for food project for theirs and Saddam's enrichment, and the US was powerless to stop it.So have been so hoodwinked it is laughable. Except that Saddam managed to kill 500,000 children and shift the blame to the US.

  • James Waterton

    The USA didn't arm Iraq much. The French and Russians supplied a great deal more arms. Saddam was never a close American ally, and he didn't spend much time as an ally. There is a left-wing myth that he was a long term American bosom buddy. This is patently false.

  • James Waterton

    The Chinese were major suppliers, too. http://www.thedissidentfrogman.com/bureau/000113.htmlBiased link, but graph taken from reliable stats.

  • Wombat

    I have no idea how much the US gave Sadam, but one suspects it was enough to be embarrassed about.When Sadam submitted his 11,800 page report on WMD to the UN prior to the invasion, the American's intercepted it and pulled 8000 pages. Germany certainly had a lot to answer for.As for relationships, Sadam fell into the "useful pawn" category.

  • James Waterton

    For a period of time, sure. Saddam used American support to his advantage, too.