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.

Dot joining

An article in the current edition of Rolling Stone restores my faith in investigative journalism.

It tells the story of “perception manager” John Rendon and his role in selling wars for imperial America. James Bamford discovers connections throughout the media and political elite in London, Washington and Australia. The New York Times’ Judith Miller, Ahmad Chalabi, WMD, bogus intelligence and media manipulation all play key roles.

The Iraq war was never about democracy or freedom. And an all-too-willing media and cynical cheerleaders contributed to the deception.

I dare anybody to read this long piece and not realise that unaccounted individuals are greasing the wheels in Washington. Lies become the “truth.” And war becomes a seeming necessity. Corporate media cannot be trusted:

“As the acknowledged general of such propaganda warfare, Rendon insists that the work he does is for the good of all Americans. “For us, it’s a question of patriotism,” he says. “It’s not a question of politics, and that’s an important distinction. I feel very strongly about that personally. If brave men and women are going to be put in harm’s way, they deserve support.” But in Iraq, American troops and Iraqi civilians were put in harm’s way, in large part, by the false information spread by Rendon and the men he trained in information warfare. And given the rapid growth of what is known as the “security-intelligence complex” in Washington, covert perception managers are likely to play an increasingly influential role in the wars of the future.”

8 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    Wait a second — a ways down the page, you say that Rendon is a crap operation that charges too much for piss-poor results. (At least piss-poor from the US government’s point of view, you’re happy to see the US taken down a peg…though beyond your airy-fairy dreams of a world of peace, love and understanding, you don’t really suggest an alternative…but I digress…)

    Anyhoo, now, you’re saying that it’s this incredible string-puller that’s making the rules and calling the shots.

    Which is it, boyo?

  • J F

    This is really weird; with access to the US’s bottomless pockets the Rendon group can sell the invasion of Iraq but can’t sell the occupation?

    The Rolling Stone article contains lots of vague hype and snippets from supposedly secret US government documents but offers precious little substantiation.

    Oh yeah, would you please tell us what the war in Iraq is all about?

    And one more thing, Rolling Stone’s music reviews aren’t trustworthy either.

  • Wombat

    “vague hype”? How dare they?

    We can at least rest easily that none of this was used to sell the war in the first place.

  • Wombat

    jf,

    Selling the war was the easy part. Scaring the crap out of Americans in the wake of 911 was pretty straightforward.

    The occupation is a hard sell becasue it’s failing do miserably.

    It’s incredibly weird that Paul Moran was involved both with the Rendon groups and the INC, and that head of the Rendon Group attended his funeral in Australia. How ironic, that Moran was the first reporter to fall vicitim to a war he helped create?

    if oyu want more clarification of the missing pieces, this interview (mp3) with Bamford is fascinating:
    http://www.archive.org/download/dn2005-1121/dn2005-1121-1_64kb.mp3

    And Shab, Rendon has obviosuly served it’s paymasters well in the past. The fact that things are not going swimmingly has as more to do with the deluded sociopaths signing the cheques.

  • Human

    Antony – The second time I heard about the Rendon group was just last night, when I watched this interview with Gen. Odom –
    http://dailydissent.org/video/mclaughlin112005.wmv

    If the above does not work go to –
    http://dailydissent.org/ and scroll down to General William Odom: Nine Reasons for Withdrawal. He mentions the Rendon group and states his desire to look into them more. After watching it I did a search on Rendon and read just a few surface articles. Then I awoke to this article you posted. Thanks!

    Addam_o Hitting the nail on the head rapidly and true – “The occupation is a hard sell becasue it’s failing do miserably.”

    “The fact that things are not going swimmingly has as more to do with the deluded sociopaths signing the cheques.”

    Now to check out your links – thanks
    Peace.

  • kei & yuri

    Which is it, boyo?

    We see no contradiction: who believed the German official story that its invasion of Poland was a counterattack for a Polish invasion of Germany? Who in a suit and tie and a societally respectable position looked at the Gulf of Tonkin story when it was hours old and blurted in a public forum, oh come on, why the hell would Vietnamese forces ever do that?
    Since when does propaganda have to be as absolutely convincing as a legal case, as opposed to close enough for an audience eager to believe in Arab supervillains and heroic American last stands?
    Let’s not give such credit to the people in the governmewnt, the media and industry who presumably would’ve called Rendon on his less credible work.
    It is undeniable that such supposed critics as the Democrats who still suport the occupation (and in the odious case of one, her husband when he was president) were as willing to believe as a UFO convention.

  • Glenn Condell

    The Stone has been rolling downhill for years.. perhaps it’s on it’s way back up.

    ‘I dare anybody to read this long piece and not realise that unaccounted individuals are greasing the wheels in Washington’

    People like Jack Abramoff and the AIPAC spies too. The disaster of Iraq may have a silver lining in the glimpse we are afforded of the netherworld of American decisionmaking, the normally hidden dirty laundry that is exposed as shit hits fan and blame begins to be apportioned. The place is a sink of corruption and if this mini-window into it can help clean it up, it’s all good.

  • Wombat

    James Bamford has been reporting on the Iraq was for years. I don’t thbink he has any ties to RS other than being sindicated by them.

    I thnk the story speaks for itself. Even Fox news gets things right once in a while.