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.

Torturers take note

Chile’s Augusto Pinochet always thought he was above the law so his arrest in London in 1998 surprised the world.

International law is developing to the point where administrators and advocates for unacceptable norms will soon face justice. And this includes those in the West.

How about individuals who advised the Bush administration to avoid the Geneva Convention and advocate torture? John Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor, is one such man.

Philippe Sands is professor of law at University College London and practicing barrister and he recently debated Yoo:

“Yoo was well aware of the torture convention. However, when I raised the Pinochet precedent in our debate, he seemed slightly taken aback.

“It seems he may not have turned his mind to the possibility that a legal adviser associated with a policy that permits torture contrary to international legal obligations could be subject to international investigation.”

Nobody should be immune.

16 comments ↪
  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thought crimes? Actually, these provisions were directly related to US forces torturing detainees. It happened and it still happens and you can defend torture all you like. I notice you seem incapable of condemning torture. They’re only Arabs, right? Yep, your hilarious war on terror will be won through torture.

  • Shabadoo

    Jesus, Anty, you cannot make an argument without resorting to calling your opponents bigots, can you? Weak mind, mate.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks, will do.
    I remember him recently on Lateline. Western leaders and their little minions should be fearful of international law. If people like Saddam are culpable – and they are – so should people like Bush, Blair and Howard.
    That rather scares those who believe in Western exceptionalism.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The ‘other side’? Whatever.
    Arafat should have been charged with many crimes. Along with every Israeli leader since ’48.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squire

    “Would you all have supported bringing Yasser Arafat before an international court?”

    Yes.

    George W. Bush? Yes.
    Slobodan Milosevic? Yes.
    Haji Soeharto? Yes.
    Henry Kissinger? Yes.
    Omar el-Beshir? Yes.
    Nuon Chea? Yes.
    Radovan Karadzic? Yes.
    Saddam Hussein? Yes.
    Bill Clinton? Yes.

    That’s just an arbitrary sample, of course.

    The list of “respected” leaders for whom there is sufficient evidence to bring charges [not necessarily convictions – a different thing entirely] goes on and on and on.

    Yes, applying international law impartially would certainly thin the ranks of the world’s political “elite” (at least temporarily) … but that’s probably not a bad thing after all.

  • Shabadoo

    Wait a second wait a second wait a second…you do realise that you are proposing thought crimes, don't you? I mean, under your regime anyone who writes a memo that explores something extra-legal that later gets put into action could be put under the gun. And you complain about sedition laws? Get real – and get a clue.

  • brokenleg

    Shabadoo,
    You may not have noticed this but Antony clearly argues that international laws apply to everyone equally. The neo-con’s absurd exceptionalism is just as offensive as Mugabe thumbing his nose at the international community.
    The fact the neo-cons won’t sign up to the ICC is stunningly hypocritical and diametrically opposite to their rhetoric.
    Given that administration penchant for torture and their love of personal freedom (“their” being the key word) it comes as no suprise Bush and his cohorts do not want to be held accountable by an ICC.
    This arrogance will cause others to justify torture and will have serious legal consequences for decades.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squire

    brokenleg said…
    “This arrogance will cause others to justify torture and will have serious legal consequences for decades.”

    Exactly. And as the next quarter century rolls on, we can look forward to China pointing to today’s US as a precedent-setter for “international standards” of human rights protection. Who then will argue against such standards? The US?

  • Wombat

    With due respects Shab,I can't help but feel you would be this first to express outrage if it were whites people on the receiving end.

  • brokenleg

    Antony,I strongly recommend you read Sands' latest book on international law. "The USA and The making and Breaking of international law" (or something like that). it is a ripping read and it explores the legal consequences of Bush's actions, International trade law, the laughabole legal opinions about the "legal war" in Iraq, and the abandonmenet of the geneva convention.

  • Woodge

    This is a smal step for all mankind, even the Shabadoo's of the world. I hope to live to see the day all criminals – regardless of who they are and which party they belong to – are accountable for their actions. Especially those crimes involving women, children and any form of torture.

  • Shabadoo

    Alrighty, simple yes or no question – no hedging, no "sure, when such-and-such also happens"-ing, etc:Would you all have supported bringing Yasser Arafat before an international court of some sort for his crimes?Show me you guys aren't totally in the tank for the other side…

  • Wombat

    We are already seeing this take place in Iraq on a micro level. With the discoverty of the Sunnis being totured by the Shiites, one has to ask, how can th eUS police this? How do they lay down any guidelines, when the Abu Graib man standing on a box with a sheet over is head has become the poster boy for this war?

  • Shabadoo

    Interesting, interesting…now here's a question: would you bring Golda Meir up charges for having auth'd targeted assassinations of the Munich Olympics killers, and not having taken them to court?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Shabadoo, you're getting worse, "mate". Don't you ever get bored with this? Antony's post was clear, and his follow up comments are equally unambiguous. What exactly are you looking for?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    "would you bring Golda Meir up on charges for having auth'd targeted assassinations of the Munich Olympics killers, and not having taken them to court?"Murderers and attempted murderers should be tried for the crimes they commit, be they no-name terrorists or world leaders.