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.

Democracy for all

Daniel Pipes, November 2005:

“When it comes to spreading democracy, the Bush administration breaks no conceptual ground. Since its own war of independence, the United States has inspired others by its example, and its government has consciously promoted democracy since World War I. What is novel today is the interventionist quality of this policy and its application to the Middle East.”

America has promoted democracy since World War I? Perhaps Pipes confuses American-friendly dictators with democracy. Perhaps he is incapable of distinguishing between American-backed coups and leaders elected by the people for the people. Actually, he is more than happy to accept America’s role as meddler, briber and dictator in the years since World War I. For a more honest appraisal of America’s real role, check out William Blum.

How does this information relate to promoting democracy?

“The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.

“The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small centre at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.

“The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA’s unconventional war on terrorism. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA’s covert actions.”

Or the news that Ahmad Chalabi, fraudster and liar, is shortly returning to Washington to reconnect with the Bush administration? Perhaps the Bushies could install him as Iraq’s new leader. That would send a perfect message to the Iraqi people that democracy had taken hold in their country.

Maybe we should listen to Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, who has told America’s leading Zionist propagandists, AIPAC, that “freedom” is prevailing in Iraq:

“If freedom prevails in Iraq, others in the region – including Syria and Iran – will be under greater pressure to open up their repressive political systems. And that is good news for Israel.”

America’s belief in spreading democracy is as convoluted as an addict looking for junk.

7 comments ↪
  • leftvegdrunk

    Thanks, Ant. Pipes is always worth reading, if only because we know who is listening to him.I dare say we won't see the usual suspects calling by to dispute William Blum's analysis of US foreign policy. (Well, not unless a quick search of LGF turns up some dirt on him.)

  • Antony Loewenstein

    And Pipes is given prominence in our media because of his supposed expertise on radical Islam. Surely a hatred of the religion should preclude him, but hey, he looks very serious.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Yep, he's serious alright. I have heard him interviewed many times – by both sympathetic and unsympathetic journalists. He believes what he says – probably because he's said it so bloody often – and is unapologetic about being a "realist", that is, a war-monger and a bigot.

  • J F

    Mr Loewenstein,It beats me how a journalist and soon-to-be-published author can misunderstand Hadley's use of the word prevail when its meaning is obvious within the context. If you can't understand what is, really, pretty basic English, how are you going to cope with the complex issues treated by your book?

  • leftvegdrunk

    JF, I have reread the post and am unsure what you are driving at. Can you extrapolate?

  • J F

    Lowy says that Hedley claims freedom is prevailing in Iraq. That isn't even close to what Hedley meant: he meant that, if freedom in Iraq gets the upper hand, or, is ultimately the normal state of affairs, then there will be pressure on the other regimes in the region. The two Hedley sentences quoted by Lowy do not refer to the current situation in Iraq. Lowy obviously doesn't do nuance.

  • Wombat

    Nothing to do with nuance. What good is nuance in the same breath as selective condemnation of Iran and Syria (two regimes in Israel's cross-hairs) while ignoring Egypt, Saudi Arabi and Jordan.Hadley is a scheeming and duplicitous cretin who's hands are in all the sleazy lies that led to the war.