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.

Creating another monster

The world has been shocked at the discovery of 173 prisoners in a squalid Baghdad jail, many of them malnourished and showing clear signs of torture.

But we shouldn’t be surprised. The raid by US troops may not have been accidental, as claimed, and could have been intended to woo Sunni Arabs before next month’s election. Claims of torture have existed for years around Iraq, especially at the hands of the Shiite-dominated Interior Ministry. And who has been training such forces? The US military.

There is a war in the shadows. Paramilitary groups roam the streets with impunity, kidnapping, torturing, maiming and killing. The Independent explains:

“The paramilitaries are not held responsible for all the deaths – some are the work of insurgents murdering supposed informers or government officials, or killing for purely sectarian motives.

“You very seldom see American soldiers on the streets of Baghdad now. The Iraqi police are in evidence outside, but so are increasing numbers of militias running their own checkpoints – men in balaclavas or wrap-around sunglasses and headbands, with leather mittens and an array of weapons. An American official acknowledged: ‘It is getting more and more like Mogadishu every day.'”

The US government has funded many activities and former intelligence officers with Saddam are in on the ride. Not unlike the dirty wars of Latin America – a time when Reagan funded paramilitary death squads to quash dissenters – the empire has learnt the lesson of history.

Unlike Latin America, however, the world is now watching Iraq and sees a superpower more than happy to kill by proxy.

Meanwhile, Australia may stay in Iraq for some time yet, according to Defence Minister Robert Hill.

…There will be plenty of important work in Iraq to help the new government, which will be put in place early next year after the December elections, to consolidate its support and provide the security it needs for its people”, he said.

Does consolidating its support mean turning a blind eye to death squads? What exactly does the Australian government know? It’s frightening to think that Hill believes the US and Australian position on Iraq is virtually identical.

As the Titatic starts to sink, and the rats are jumping for their lives, Australia remains an ally blinded by folly.

Remember how history views Australia’s involvement in Vietnam?

7 comments ↪
  • Human

    To woo the Sunnis? I don't think so Antony. It is designed to further inflame passions. Only by having the situation turn as ugly as possible will the Neocon/Fundigelicals get away with one of their main objectives; the destruction of the Al ASQA Complex and the building of the 3rd Temple. In addition more War = more profit.Peace.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    You may well be right, but a report in associated press suggested this as a theory.

  • Ibrahamav

    Claims of torture have existed for years around Iraq, especially at the hands of the Shiite-dominated Interior Ministry.Years??? Sunni's dominated everything in Iraq up until 2003. Including torture cells.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    We're talking post invasion. Clearly torture existed under Saddam, but since "liberation", how much has really changed?

  • Pete's Blog

    I think there'll be some sort of misguided Aussie presence in Iraq until the American public via US opposition politicians via Bush gives our sovereign nation permission to leave.We have kowtowed too long to bow out – yet.

  • Wombat

    Funny how we're stuck with a PM who is so beholden to foreign leaders, the Queen and George Bush.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    It's called little man syndrome.