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.

Our strong man

“The perception that this is a US-backed court, a product of a US-led occupation, is only one of the challenges Iraq’s Special Tribunal faces. Saddam’s lawyer has already set one of his first actions will be to seek an adjournment to allow the defence to bring its preparation up to a standard closer to that of the American-assisted prosecution.”

ABC Lateline, October 19

Perceptions do matter and the “trial” of Saddam will proceed as predictably as the US-occupation forces dictate. A monster like Saddam should certainly face justice, but the US has no desire to understand the true relationship between Saddam and various Western governments over the years.

Why? As Robert Fisk explained in August 2004:

“Because if Saddam does a Milosevic, he’ll want to talk about the real intelligence and military connections of his regime – which were primarily with the United States.”

17 comments ↪
  • Human

    An June 13th 2004 article from http://www.sundayherald.com/42647 Sunday hearald Online."UNDER the successive presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, the USA sold nuclear, chemical and biological weapons technology to Saddam Hussein.In the early 1990s, UN inspectors told the US Senate committee on banking, housing and urban affairs – which oversees American export policy – that they had “identified many US-manufactured items exported pursuant of licences issued by the US department of commerce that were used to further Iraq’s chemical and nuclear weapons development and missile delivery system development programmes”.In 1992, the committee began investigating “US chemical and biological warfare-related dual-use exports to Iraq”. It found that 17 individual shipments totalling some 80 batches of biomaterial were sent to Iraq during the Reagan years.These included two batches of anthrax and two batches of botulism being sent to the Iraqi ministry of higher education on May 2, 1986; one batch each of salmonella and E.Coli sent to the Iraqi state company for drug industries on August 31, 1987.Other shipments from the US went to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission on July 11, 1988; the department of biology at the University of Basra in November 1989; the department of microbiology at Baghdad University in June 1985; the ministry of health in April 1985 and Officers’ City military complex in Baghdad in March and April 1986.As well as anthrax and botulism, the USA also sent West Nile fever, brucella melitensis, which damages major organs, and clostridium perfringens, which causes gas gangrene. The shipments even went on after Saddam ordered the gassing of the Kurdish town of Halabja, in which some 5000 people died, in March 1988.The chairman of the Senate committee, Don Riegle, said: “The executive branch of our government approved 771 different export licences for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq. I think it’s a devastating record.”Other items which were sent by the US to Iraq included chemical warfare agent precursors, chemical warfare agent production facility plans and technical drawings, chemical warfare filling equipment, biological warfare-related materials, missile fabrication equipment and missile system guidance equipment."SO when does daddy Bush and Rummy get halled into the Iraqi court? I'd just love to see them in the Dock with Saddam. The Bush crime family has a long list of arming tyrants and then profiting off the Death and Destruction. They are indeed, the Most Successful Fascists of all time.Peace. your fellow Human

  • Human

    Oh, on a side note,Daddy Bush's cocaine middle man Noriega, had a small rent-a-truck full of documents to be used in his defense. The trial was by and large secret, and he was not allowed to use even one document that he had for his own defense. Saddam's trial if televised in full, will not avail the U.S. the chance to cover that up. In addition if Saddam's defense has incriminating documents and they are suppressed you can bet your knickers that you'll see them on the web.Peace. Your fellow Human

  • Shabadoo

    But wait, how can all this be? I thought Saddam had no WMDs?In any case, if the United States had any role in making the monster, doesn't it make it that much more incumbent on them to undo the damage and get rid of him?

  • Human

    Well since you actually asked questions, and in furtherance of educating you on reality I will answer you. "But wait, how can all this be?" Sometimes realty bites. "I thought Saddam had no WMDs?" Yes at one time he did. He obviously got rid of them. I think he sold a lot of them in the mid 90's. Other "WMD" (a propaganda term, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical or NBC is the proper term) he again obviously destroyed because, since you have not heard, American and International inspectors could not find any. For, by the mid 90's it was no longer politically or militarily advantageous to possess them. For your last question – your reading comprehensive skills are not well developed. So I’ll try to draw you a FLOW CHART BUSH FAMILY WEOPONS MATERIAL + TYRANTS = $$$ + WAR + TYRANTS = $$$$$$ – NEXT VERSE SAME AS THE FIRST. Now I admit I don’t know much about Aussie Law, so your justification to let mass murderers off free if they help in the efforts to bring their cohorts to justice may be excused. Good thing Adolf Eichmann was not tried per your Judicial expertise. His prosecutor would have been Albert Speer. No, no need to thank me, it has been my pleasure.

  • Ian Westmore

    Shabadoo said…In any case, if the United States had any role in making the monster, doesn't it make it that much more incumbent on them to undo the damage and get rid of him?1) By wrecking a country and killing many thousands of innocent people? I'll be very surprised if the 'cure' doesn't end up killing and maiming far more than the 'disease'2) Shouldn't all those who supplied him with the weapons he used to commit his atrocities – knowing full well what he was doing – also face trial?

  • Shabadoo

    I seriously can't believe what you guys are on about…one of the worst dudes on the planet is getting his come-uppance, and you're essentially pissed off that there's not enough chance that he'll get off. Hussein wrecked the place plenty, Westmore. Go check your history of the past 15 years or so, and you'll see it's the French adn the Russians who sold them most of their stuff.

  • Pete's Blog

    HumanAn enlightening post. The US gets a finger in every pie.You're right about "NBC". I always it remember as a "safely" military concept until mass marketed by US politicians as WMD.It seems only "bad" developing countries have WMD – the heavy stockers in the West (and Israel) merely have "munitions".About Saddam – he was obviously kept alive so he could be the villain in an extended show trial. Main objectives to convince Iraqi Sunni's that he and other Baathists are not worth fighting the coalition for. More importantly the US wants to vindicate its invasion of Iraq by demonstrating that he's not nice – as if we didn't know.Better that the US should have knocked him off quickly (they were prepared to nail him with a specifically tasked B1 bomber during the invasion). Of course worse dictators like Suharto were neveer brought to trial, being anti-communist (they were "A OK").Can anyone think of other deserving (but untouched) dictators?

  • Human

    Gigolo Pete – Thanks for the kudos.BTW – You cracked me up with that, “Yes I'd just like to stand up and say that I'm not an individual" comment. :)Shabadoo – Your comebacks are getting weaker and weaker. Your attempts to put words into my mouth are futile, futile I say – "you're essentially pissed off that there's not enough chance that he'll get off." I'm starting to believe that the Aussie school system has sunk as low as America's. Maybe comprehension skills are no longer taught? With your comments on my suggestion to Addam_O I can see that you also have difficulty with an example of gentlemanly discourse when you see it. I'll give you another -Addam_O said, "If you have a high speed link, there are more than a few audio recordings of Chomsky you can find on the web. Just to a search with Google on "noam chomsky interview"This will certainly give you a good way of accessing his message."This was friendly suggestion, even though I know how to search on google I did not take it personal and assume that he was "whining" about my internet capabilities. I responded with this, "addamo-01 – thanks for the suggestion. I will." Your homework for today is to look up "comprehension", "gentlemanly" "discourse" in a dictionary. Write a fictional (your strong point) story using each word. Extra points for a happy ending.

  • Wombat

    Shab,No one is opposed to Hussein getting what he deserves. What infuriates most of us is that once he's sent to the gallows, those who helped or allowed him to do what he did will not be made to answer for their culpability.Once the show is over, we'll all be told by thge spin meisters that there is nothing further to be done.It is for this reason that Sadam is not being tried in international court, but in an Iraqi court, whose influence to call upon officals in the US, Germany, France and Russia, or draw attention to them is significantly less prevalent.

  • Ibrahamav

    Only those who help Iraq evade its responsibilities to 500,000 children will have to pay.The french, the russians, and possibly Kofi.The US is rather blameless. It gave Saddam weapons to kill Iranis. Anything else was on it's own.

  • Wombat

    Blameless? Hmm, I doubt even American's would use that description.What a reamarkable perception you have.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Saddam is on trial for the massacre in Dujail which took place more than twenty years ago. Many other crimes have occurred since. We can only speculate as to how much death and pain could have been avoided had Saddam been placed on trial for his crimes in 1982, instead of 2005.Pete, you make a sound point about Suharto. Donald Rumsfeld was infamously shaking Saddam's hand in 1983, soon after the massacre which Saddam is now on trial for. Just as Indonesia's annexation of Timur occurred with the sanction of the global hegemon, and the slaughter of thousands of "communists" was conducted with CIA support, Saddam's regime continued it's violent reign with the approval of the US. Why was Suharto never held to account? Or Pinochet? Similar questions can be asked about the various contemporary US allies throughout Eurasia. The standard rightist response to this is to say, "we can't invade everyone" or "they are our ally in the war against terror".Ian, Shabadoo is right. Saddam had already killed a lot of people in Iraq, so now it's ok for us to do the same. What's that phrase? Moral equivalence?Ibrahamav, the US supplied hardware and strategic advice to Saddam throughout the conflict with Iran. It is ridiculous to suggest, as you do, that the CIA had no idea that Saddam was using his arms for anything except the war with Iran. US (and other western) support for Iraq came in many forms, not the least of which was Cold War-induced political support for its actions. That is to say, Saddam knew he could get away with being a tyrant.

  • Wombat

    "The standard rightist response to this is to say, "we can't invade everyone" or "they are our ally in the war against terror"."Or as Donald Rumselfed would say, there are no good targets those countries.I'm sure Ibrahamav knows about US support and supplies to Saddam. Don't you just love that comment, "The US is rather blameless. It gave Saddam weapons to kill Iranis." What I would give to spend a day inside Ibrahamav's head.

  • Ian Westmore

    dirtbikeoption said…Ian, Shabadoo is right. Saddam had already killed a lot of people in Iraq, so now it's ok for us to do the same. What's that phrase? Moral equivalence?Hmmm. Lets see if I understand you right. Someone in another country kills some of his fellow citizens, so its okay for us to go there and kill some too? Perhaps even more than he did?The actions of our government has lead to the deaths of people in the concentratio… um..er.. detention centres. So by your definition of "Moral equivalence" it would be okay for, say bin Laden, to come and kill a few more! LOL!!

  • Ian Westmore

    "Because if Saddam does a Milosevic, he'll want to talk about the real intelligence and military connections of his regime – which were primarily with the United States."Of course he won't get a chance because he will never face trial for anything that involved the use of WMD, other illegal to use weapons/equipment or assistance supplied by the West.Its no coincidence that the first charge involves, what for him, is a very small number of murders, although, he could question what the difference is between Dujail, 1982 and Fallujah, 2004-5!PS: Anyone else notice that the Milosevic trial never get a mention anymore?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Ian, that was precisely my point.

  • Wombat

    We all know what the outcome of this show trial will be, so everything up to the GUILTY! verdict will be pure courtroom theater.The bald-faced giveaway, of course, is that Saddam is being tried for the mass murder of about 150 Shi'ites in Dujail in 1982, a year shy of his active partnership with the Reagan admin initiated by Donald Rumsfeld. I mean, any charges based on far worse crimes committed by Saddam between 1983 and 1990 might complicate matters, at least for those with decent memories.