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.

Stuffing ballots

Back in July, Seymour Hersh reported on Iraq’s January elections and claimed the Bush administration had covertly supported Iraqi candidates and parties with close ties to the White House.

Last weekend’s election on Iraq’s referendum was yet another attempt to bring “democracy and freedom” to the country. But what of the legitimacy of the election itself?

Juan Cole writes that large voting irregularities appear in one province.

The Asian Times suggests that, “in the January election, the Kurds dealt with the problem of being a relatively small minority in the [Nineveh] province by stuffing the ballot boxes.”

The New York Times, meanwhile, reports that despite nearly three years of propaganda suggesting the so-called democratic process will bring stability, “senior officials say the intelligence reports flowing over their desks in recent months argue that even if democratic institutions take hold, the insurgency may strengthen. And that possibility has created a quandary for an administration that desperately wants to equate democracy-building with winning the war, but so far has not been able to match the two.”

In Australia, our media offers little more than platitudes and “democracy on the march” stories.

  • Pete's Blog

    I agree AL.The optimism about democracy improving things in Iraq is simplistic. Analysis of election results is simplistic. And election rigging by the Iraqi's and/or Ameicans is quite likely in marginal provinces.The editorial from The Australian (your hotlink) looks very much like the wisdom of Chairman Rupert. "A parliament, and a security force, that more closely reflect the diversity of Iraq will gain the allegiance of many more Iraqi hearts and minds." Sounds like John Wayne in "The Green Berets". How a Sunni balanced security force can be associated with the elections is a desperate leap of logic.Watch Rupert's space – much straw clutching to follow.

  • Wombat

    You hit the nail on the head gigolo pete,I would be surprised if the celebratory columns weren't written weeks ago read to roll out on cue.

  • Human
  • Shabadoo

    Yeah, maybe News Ltd. even published a GUIDE to marginal seats!Correct me if I'm wrong but foreigners can support candidates in Australia, yes?

  • Human

    ABC News did comment(6:37pm EST) on suspected ballot stuffing and even showed a guy filling out multiple ballots. Peace. your fellow Human

  • Marcus

    It's starting to sicken me, witnessing how facile the Australia news media really is.Bet getting back to Iraq – what's to be done? What can be done? Is peace even possible over there?Damn this godawful war for oil.

  • Ian Westmore

    Marcus said…getting back to Iraq – what's to be done? What can be done? Is peace even possible over there?Well I don't think those who created the problem are going to be the solution.One thing that may work is to hand the problem to the UN and have it invite peacekeepers from Muslim states well outside the region to take over security with the US, UK, us, Italy picking up the tab.But I can't see Bush going for it. He's got too much at stake, pride, favours owing etc. Blair probably would, Howard I'm not sure. ATM the war seems to be a slight positive for him, though that may change if/when the body bags start coming home, or bombs go off here.Even just packing up and leaving may be a better option. Yes, everyone is predicting disaster, but often the reality isn't anywhere near as bad as is feared. It was already clear that we couldn't win in Vietnam when I first went there in the late 60s, but just as now we 'had to stay the course' to avert disaster. This was still the prevailing ethos when I returned a couple of years late and probably still the mantra in late 1974, early '75. While the early years after the Commie takeover were no picnic, it was nowhere near as bad as predicted. Indeed many times more misery was inflicted on the long suffering Vietnamese people in those intervening 8 or so years than came afterwards.