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.

Definitions

“‘Terrorism’ is what we call violence of the weak, and we condemn it; ‘war’ is what we call violence of the strong, and we glorify it.”

Sydney Harris, “Nations should submit to the rule of the law”, Clearing the Ground (1986)

216 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    BTW Comical. I have not heard one peep out of you condemming any crime committed by the US, not even with reference to Abu Graib lor Fallujah. Shoud I take that as as sign of your approval?Pot meet Kettle.

  • Comical_Ali

    "Your refusal to aknowledge the obvious is evidence of how biased you are."What evidence?Or is this the evidence:"Shortly before the launch of Phantom Fury, Colonel Gary Brandl of the US Marines told reporters: “The enemy has a face. It is Satan’s. He is in Falluja and we are going to destroy him.”'So how does this prove the operaton in Fallujah was "part fo a systematic drive to terrorise and collectively punish a whole city" – including innocent civilians? How does it prove that the US engages in indiscriminate genocide?? Is that seriously the best proof that you can come up with?

  • uphillsprinter

    I dont think anyone is suggesting it is evidence to the genocide that occurred. But that little quote is definitely insight to the mindset of these soldiers before they went in. Nothing like demonising the enemy. I would be interested in your thoughts to the quote.

  • Wombat

    "Dr Hafid al-Dulaimi, head of the city’s compensation commission, reported that 36,000 homes and 8,400 shops were destroyed in the US onslaught."From this carnage, the US only managed to kill 1000 insurgents and arrest 500. Pretty crappy for a military that prides itself on it's surgical prescision."Sixty nurseries and schools and 65 mosques and other religious establishments were wrecked. Falluja’s mayor, Dhari abdel Hadi al-Irssan, claims that only 20% of the compensation promised has reached the city."Wasn't it you that said that it was the insurgents that were blowing up mosques and hospitals? Oooops.Incidently you didn't answer my question. I have not heard one peep out of you condemming any crime committed by the US, not even with reference to Abu Graib or the disproportionate force used in Fallujah.I take it by your silence that you approve of these activities? Or could it be that Bush was right, and all you really care about is the security of Isarael, Arab's be damned?http://www.forward.com/main/printer-friendly.php?id=7020

  • neoleftychick

    addamo"Disproportionate" force in Falluja? Hun, you really are very tragic and deluded. Do you have ANY idea what these Islamic fascist nutters are like?They do not value human life in the same way we do! We can NOT afford to treat them as we are used to treating each other. The only thing they respect is the sword and the bomb.I say give them what they want and TONNES of it. Till they glow if necessary. Wouldn't you agree?

  • orang

    neo – you're hilarious. Love the "The only thing they respect is the sword and the bomb."Israelis have been practising this for a long time-knocking down homes at their whim (well actually to steal the land) for "security".These "Middle East Experts" have been advising the Coalition on this for a few years. The results? They REALLY hate us now, and they're pretty mad.

  • uphillsprinter

    orang she is seriously a circus act.. only waiting her turn to 'rant' at people. i would not even dignify her posts with a response.

  • Wombat

    "Hun, you really are very tragic and deluded. Do you have ANY idea what these Islamic fascist nutters are like?"Certainyl not like, say for example, an occupying power than in the first 1 months of occupation dropped 2 million ordinates over Iraq – or 100 per hour – every hour fo every day for 16 months.Maybe you're right. They could have saved themselves as lot fo trouble, dropped a nuke and be done with it.Serisously Neo, you are way out f your depth on this topic. Your obe solution for all approach is letting you down badly.

  • leftvegdrunk

    I concur with the "circus act" remark.

  • Theo

    Orang, you said in referring to my comment WRT "maximising (i)": the destruction of Islamic fundamentalism or the destruction of the US?"You apparently think this is the choice we are confronted with? Therefore when lefties say, "Well, the West is shooting up Iraqis, so they have a legitimate right to protect themselves.." (it's everyone's right to protect themselves)- you see this as evidence that lefties choose Islamic Fundamentalism over the US.?? I don't think that's the choice we are faced with, and I never said it is the choice we are faced with. It's called a "thought experiment". Hey, what do you know? Another simple question I pose is left unanswered! I guess it's not as simple as I thought, or is it that you don't like the answer? But essentially you do have to choose which side you are on. These people's stated objective is the destruction of the west… do we let them? That is not to say you can't be critical about the West's approach, but most of you seem to want us to fight with one arm tied behind our back. It is a war, and people will die in wars. Unfortunately innocent bystanders are killed in wars too. But the difference, you seem to be wilfully ignoring with consistent simple-minded certitude – eg your statement about "protecting themselves", is that by far, civilian deaths caused by the coalition are accidental. (And then they are investigated – yes benefit of the doubt is given to soldiers – but at least they have rules of engagement etc. They have an onus placed upon them to be as circumspect as possible in the heat of battle – remember they are walking around with big targets on their chests. Easy for you to sit at the safety of your computer telling them how they should fight!) Whereas attacks by insurgents are now consistently aimed at unarmed Iraqis, lining up for elections, worshipping in Mosques, shopping at market etc. Is this defending oneself? I think it's fairly reasonable to suggest this is "inappropriate" and lacking even the semblance of a justification – oh unless you still claim this is self-defence or a repelling of invaders (assuming you count Iraqis as collaborating with "the enemy" – in which case you give credence to Islamo-fascism and possibly suffer from damage to your temporal lobes (in particular point 5 – and probably 8 as well – I just hope you don't have a seizure). I'll leave you with yet another citation of the irrationality with which we are faced from Yesterday's Australian: BALI bombings commander Mukhlas has written a fanatical call-to-arms from his death-row prison cell, exhorting Muslims to kill Westerners… Published on a website on the orders of notorious terror chief Noordin Mohammed Top, the polemic demonstrates the undiminished fervour of Mukhlas…"You who still have a shred of faith in your hearts, have you forgotten that to kill infidels and the enemies of Islam is a deed that has a reward above no other," says the 60-page polemic written in Indonesian by "Sheikh Mukhlas", posted on the anshar.net website, which has since been shut down by Indonesian police."Aren't you aware that the model for us all, the Prophet Mohammed and the four rightful caliphs, undertook to murder infidels as one of their primary activities, and that the Prophet waged jihad operations 77 times in the first 10 years as head of the Muslim community in Medina?" …Before the website was shut down, it carried instructions on how to kill Westerners in Jakarta by using sniper tactics with guns and grenades.BTW addamo – thanks, I am an intellectual – OED – noun: a person possessing a highly developed intellect. Too high for some I guess…

  • Wombat

    Theo,Like other academics I have encountered, you display an impressive grasp of theoretical concepts from the confines of your gated reality, while struggling with how these concepts apply to the real world. There are by and large, two types of intellectuals; those recognized for exercising independent thought and the faux intellectuals, hampered by their inability to question the status quo. One thing I learned after spending 5 years completing an honors degree in engineering (investing largely in technical concepts) was that real world demands primarily came down to the application of common sense.You seem to have bypassed this process.“I don't think that's the choice we are faced with, and I never said it is the choice we are faced with. It's called a "thought experiment".”Thought experiments are all fine and dandy so long as they are recognized as such. It was an ideological <a href="http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf” target=”_blank”> thought experiment that led to what has been describes as the greatest strategic blunder in US history .This undue faith places in the conclusions of the thought experiment led to the sidelining of competent individuals like dissenting views . General Shinseki who was <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,925140,00.html” target=”_blank”> right on the money about the <a href="http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/02/26/1046064103887.html” target=”_blank”> number of troops needed, yet he was forced to resign when his conclusion contradicted those drawn by the “intellectuals”.“Hey, what do you know? Another simple question I pose is left unanswered! I guess it's not as simple as I thought, or is it that you don't like the answer? But essentially you do have to choose which side you are on. These people's stated objective is the destruction of the west… do we let them?”The problem with this argument is that the possibility of the new Eurasia-wide Caliphate you refer to, presumably under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, is too remote to even be considered. Zarqawi is a murderous thug who only has status due to the propaganda of the US government (and their refusal to take him out on at least 2 occasions), and Zawahiri was, at last count, hiding in exile off in the mountains of Pakistan, where the Bush government let him escape, and Bin Laden is also in hiding, living out his last days, while his kidneys continue to give up.The foreign jihadist types make up less than seven percent of the resistance, which is primarily run by ex-Ba’athists and blessed by local Sunni Imams. The Imams may not mind the mujahedeen helping out in the short term, but the likelihood that they could ever take over the Sunni triangle, much less all of Iraq, is incredibly low. Even if they did, the Badr and Wolf Brigade, along with the Kurdish peshmergas that the US has nurtured, can surely keep them in their place.There are no 2 sides involved, but many. Only those who regard the occupation as legitimate and benevolent subscribe to the juvenile scheme of picking sides.You continue to place great significance on inflammatory statements made by the radical islamists (who represent less that 7% of the insurgency) and, I presume, from the highly <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4339912.stm” target=”_blank”> dubious correspondence between Muhammad Al Zarqawi and Zahwriri, whose authenticity is highly questionable. If inflammatory language is as significant as you paint it to be, then perhaps you would care to comment on the language employed by General Boykin or John Ashcroft.General Boykin has become notorious for his repeated referrals to Satan and alluding to how his God was <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/16/attack/main578471.shtml” target=”_blank”> bigger than Saddams Pat Robertson prove to the world that crazed moon bats are revered in the US, twice calling for the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/08/24/robertson.chavez/” target=”_blank”> assassination of Hugo Chavez. None of these men were reprimanded by Washington. In fact, they were defended in spite their inflammatory language.“That is not to say you can't be critical about the West's approach, but most of you seem to want us to fight with one arm tied behind our back. It is a war, and people will die in wars.”Critical of the West’s approach? Try critical of the West’s entire policy!!The fundamental issue that you seem completely unable to grasp, is that this was an unnecessary war. It was a war of choice, not a defensive one. The authors of the war decided before executing it, that it was acceptable for people, both their own and Iraqi’s, to die. This is was fundamentally makes the coalition just as much, if not more accountable than the radical arms of the insurgency..For much of 2004, the argument for maintaining the occupation was the pottery barn rule. From the minute it was undertaken, all the followed became the responsibility of the US. You and your fellow apologists wish to wipe the slate clean at this point, insisting that we’re there now, and we should just make the most of a bad situation. Well sir, death and destruction have a habit of lingering in people’s minds. To use a tennis analogy, the US is 2 sets to 0 down. The first set lost buy countless double faults and the second by 24 successive penalties for bad sportsmanship. Now that the score is 5-0 against the US in the third, we can’t stop the game, clear the score sheet and propose that the entire match be decided with a tie breaker.“Unfortunately innocent bystanders are killed in wars too.”So you would agree an effective way to avoid killing innocent bystanders, is to avoid war entirely, if you are in a position to do so? The US was unquestionably in such a position. Incidentally you have never stated whether you supported the war to begin with.“But the difference, you seem to be wilfully ignoring with consistent simple-minded certitude – eg your statement about "protecting themselves", is that by far, civilian deaths caused by the coalition are accidental.”How Sir, does issuing orders to shoot anything that moves or applying collective punishment to a city (with 50,000 remaining inhabitants) result in deaths that can be considered accidental? Simple-minded certitude a it’s very best.http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/media/2005/0428shoot.htm The deaths that result from collective retribution will be indiscriminant and intentioned by default. “And then they are investigated – yes benefit of the doubt is given to soldiers – but at least they have rules of engagement etc.”Rules of engagement are meaningless when they are ignored. They were demonstrably set aside during the assault of Fallujah, where soldiers were instructed to shoot anything that moves.Since when do rules of engagement include handing out collective punishment to an entire city for the acts of a hanful? Please remind me what paragraph of the Rules of Engagement addresses destroying towns in order to save them? Especially, when the attacker knows that the high value targets have left the city and move to unprotected ones?You keep asking us for evidence from the opposing argument. How about you provide us with examples of when the US military has prosecuted a war crime that hasn’t first been reported to the media or brought to the public’s attention in some way? You’re argument is so tenuous that your only way to defend it is by asking for more evidence, providing indulgent definitions or demanding further answers to your own questions.Now let’s move onto examples of the counts of how the US are in breach of the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg Principals.Firstly, the US launched an unprovoked assault on Iraq in defiance of the UN Security Council. According to one of the group's founders, Professor Michael Mandel of Canada's Osgoode Hall Law School, the Nuremberg International War Tribunal, which prosecuted Nazis leaders after World War II, said that "to initiate a war of aggression is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."Article 14 of the second protocol of the Geneva Conventions, reads as follows: "Starvation of civilians as a method of combat is prohibited. It is therefore prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless for that purpose, objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population such as food-stuffs, agricultural areas for the production of food-stuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works."In it’s attacks on Tall Afar, Samarra and Fallujah, the US systematically <a href="http://www.casi.org.uk/” target=”_blank”> cut water supplies , cut electricity and prevented food and denied medical supplies from reaching the towns, acts which are explicitly forbidden under Article 14According to this article the US destroyed 36,000 houses, 60 schools, and 65 mosques in Fallujah during the first 8 weeks of the campaign. That’s 36 houses for every insurgent they officially managed to kill. How does this equate to the occupying forces fighting with one hand tied behind their back good Sir?That’s akin to using a shot gun to kill a fly on the back of a horse. And there you are, arguing that killing the horse is not to be condemned as inhumane because it was not as serious as targeting the horse itself. The Americans destroyed the Nazzal Emergency Hospital in the center of town. They stormed and occupied the Fallujah General Hospital, and did not to allow doctors and ambulances go inside the main part of the city to help the wounded, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions. They then cut off all food supplies, and power to the entire city. The Defense Department’s claim that all the civilians were out at the time of the attack, was contradicted by reports that 30,000 to 50,000 civilians remained in the city. The U.S. blocked the Red Crescent from entering. All males between 15 and 55 weren’t allowed to leave. This is why in Iraq, Falujah has become iconic of American war crimes and brutality.The same recipe was used in Samarra and Tal Afar, where electricity, medical supplies and food were also cut off. There were already shortages of water and other supplies, so the Red Cross attempted to deliver water to Fallujah, however the US has refused to allow shipments of water into Fallujah until it has taken control of the city. Medical supplies were prevented from being brought into the city.All unintended consequences right? “They have an onus placed upon them to be as circumspect as possible in the heat of battle – remember they are walking around with big targets on their chests. Easy for you to sit at the safety of your computer telling them how they should fight!”Says he who likes to conduct thought experiments. Who is making suggestions about how to fight? In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re advocating the cessation of fighting and withdrawal of troops. You are not even entertaining the possibility. What an impressive capacity you have for thought experiments.I have just provided ample evidence of when the obligation to be circumspect was completely abdicated. What is the likelihood that these numerous and flagrant violations of the Geneva Conventions are going to be prosecuted?“Whereas attacks by insurgents are now consistently aimed at unarmed Iraqis, lining up for elections, worshipping in Mosques, shopping at market etc. Is this defending oneself?”No it is not defending ones self, but yet again, you exhibit a superficial understanding of what is fuelling this violence. The coalition has incited divisions in the Iraqi populace. The article AL points to from the Murdoch UK times cites examples of Iraqi forces, supported by coalition troops, behaving like a rogue element in their own right. There is ample evidence of how the Shia are using the presence of the US forces to suppress the Sunni and how this is motivating the Sunni to exact revenge on the Shia. http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/13278134.htmIt’s a text book case of divide and conquer. I’m sure you have a book on the subject gathering dust in your impressive library.“I think it's fairly reasonable to suggest this is "inappropriate" and lacking even the semblance of a justification – oh unless you still claim this is self-defence or a repelling of invaders (assuming you count Iraqis as collaborating with "the enemy" – in which case you give credence to Islamo-fascism.And once again you are putting forward a completely flawed and superficial argument. I trust that the ample justification has now been provided . You are swallowing this Islamo-fascism slogan hook, line and sinker, which has become the new “explanation” of the collective 9-11 / Iraq / Afghanistan international mess. I suspect one of the reasons the islamofascist explanation is so attractive to automatons, is because it makes a search and replace of the word ‘communist’ with ‘islamofascist’ and/or ‘militant islam’ from an existing script possible to recycle the old cold war arguments.“BTW addamo – thanks, I am an intellectual – OED – noun: a person possessing a highly developed intellect.”Intellectualism should not be confused with common sense, but seeing as you so revere intellectual pretentiousness, perhaps you might want to listen to the real thing. Maybe Professor Chomsky can provide the answers in a language you can appreciate.“possibly suffer from damage to your temporal lobes (in particular point 5 – and probably 8 as well – I just hope you don't have a seizure).”It is also possible that one who exhibits the characteristics of an overly dominant R Complex should steer clear of lecturing others on the concepts of morality. “Too high for some I guess…”Obviously.

  • orang

    Holy shit addamo_01, that's overkill. I would have just said he's full of shit. As someone once told me "it's amazing how many well educated people can be so stupid".

  • Theo

    Addamo– consistently you ignore my main point, which from the start has been what the coalition do it not terrorism, what the insurgents do is.This is not to say that one cannot find incidences from both sides which resemble one or the other (but you seem to only focus on the coalition – a bit of observational selection). My point is that overall, on average, the coalition fought and is fighting a war, attacking armed people who are doing their best to kill them and destroy a fledgling democracy.Whether you think the war was just in the first place is irrelevant to the war = terrorism debate – it only bemires the issue. Overall, on average, the insurgents attack and kill unarmed civilians, without warning. That is terrorism.Further to this, if the insurgents gave up and left, the situation is Iraq would improve, literally, overnight. If the coalition left, almost certainly, the opposite would happen.Overall, one side (US) has the stated aim of forming a stable democracy in the Middle East, and the other proclaims democracy to be evil. You can impugn the motives of the West if you like, but a stable democracy in Iraq, undoubtably, is a good thing.Of course the thought experiment is not realistic – that's the point of it – to try to make matters a little clearer in order to nail your actual position down. Yet again it is ignored.A part of the problem with debating is a lack of clarity and deliberate or unintentional obfuscation. Claiming that terrorism and war are one and the same destroys the usefulness of these terms. My whole reason for posting and continuing to post in the first place. To make matters clearer by using undisputed acts of terror – the attacks on NY, Wash, London, Madrid and Bali – the modus operandi of Islamo-fascism – are terrorism, pure and simple. For the sake of argument, if I grant all your examples the status of "terrorist acts", overall the modus operandi of the US in Iraq is still war. Hence they are not equivalent.Absolutely one can, and should, question how the war is fought, and that I have no problem with. I have a problem with saying overall, one side is as bad as the other. They can both be bad if you like, but I think you need to be practical about these things. I think you fail to take into account the evil that is Islamo-fascism – unless you believe it does indeed have a place in this world. Like other academics I have encountered, you display an impressive grasp of theoretical concepts from the confines of your gated reality, while struggling with how these concepts apply to the real world…hampered by their inability to question the status quo. Dude – I'm questioning the status quo of the Left WRT Iraq… A Left that is at complete odds with much of its history – you know, opposing brutal dictatorships. In saying this, I don't align myself to any political ideology – besides democracy. Which is why I take issue with Howard rushing legislation through the Senate without the debate it is due (even if it is merely perfunctory) for example. I'm also a Union Rep and an environmentalist – pretty left wing… When I vote I vote for my local member and what they have to say – cause that's, technically, what we're doing. I take each issue as it comes. And also – Yes, I do intend to do a PhD (maybe I'll so it in Political Science thanks to these entertaining conversations – I'll dedicate it to you!) at some stage. But at the moment I'm a teacher at a secondary school, and also do some sessional lecturing. I've lived in a couple of different countries (The UK and the Seychelles) so have a reasonable experience of different cultures (the UK's not really that different except they can't throw or catch, or speak or write English very well – lol). Whilst going through Uni I worked on the Loading Dock of a Myer store (5 Years), moving boxes off trucks – about a blue collar as you can get. (Not to mention the couple of days I spent drilling holes in rubber at a factory that makes conveyer belt parts – to earn extra cash). Hardly a "gated reality", but nice of you to presume to know me again. Left and Right have become increasingly meaningless terms – my view on this is here.BTW – Chomsky says some of the most offensive things going around – except perhaps with the exception of Pilger. His reputation as a scientist is in great decline as most of his work is considered, after consideration by the broader scientific community, trifling and lacking in any empirical foundation – more a product of self-promotion than a leap in science and our understanding of the development of language – almost certainly a product of genetic expression. (Some used to compare him to Einstein – clearly a joke.) His other "work" is the product of a mind that believes in (US) conspiracies – he is simply a conspiracy theorist who knows how to use big words. Given the White House couldn't cover up Clinton's blowjob and non-conventional use of cigars, I'm not really a fan of most conspiracies. One final note – this time I'm out for good as this is taking up far too much of my time (and given all your links – lol – even more of your time). And also,touche with the R-complex put down – lol.All the best…

  • Theo

    One more point (to prove I ain't all academic like) and please excuse the language – Team America got right (sub My name and the Coalition for "we're", you lot for "Film Actor's Guild" and Terrorists for "Kim Jong Il":We're d**ks! We're reckless, arrogant, stupid d**ks. And the Film Actors Guild are p*$$ies. And Kim Jong Il is an a**hole. P*$$ies don't like d**ks, because p*$$ies get f**ked by d**ks. But d**ks also f**k a**holes: a**holes that just want to sh*t on everything. P*$$ies may think they can deal with a**holes their way. But the only thing that can f**k an a**hole is a d**k, with some balls. The problem with d**ks is: they f**k too much or f**k when it isn't appropriate – and it takes a p*$$y to show them that. But sometimes, p*$$ies can be so full of sh*t that they become a**holes themselves… because p*$$ies are an inch and half away from a**holes. I don't know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don't let us f**k this a**hole, we're going to have our d**ks and p*$$ies all covered in sh*t!

  • Wombat

    Theo I am not ignoring your point at all. You are determined to frame the debate outside of the inciting incident, which has been the invasion. How you can clam that the violence is not ultimately connected to this event is beyond me. Like I pointed out, the Nuremberg principals dictate that an unprovoked act of aggression, such as the invasion of Iraq, is the supreme war crimes under which all else fall.You have this naïve notion in your head that acts of terrorism are narrowly defined within the limited scope of car bombs and suicide vests. Similarly, you erroneously view the use of large scale, state of the art weaponry, and the adornment of military uniforms as some legitimizing factor that redefines brazen acts of aggression as warfare. You insist that the modus operandi of dropping bombs from a great height lessens the extent of the crime as opposed to placing a car bomb in a public place. The finding against the US with regards to it’s actions in Nicaragua completely undermine your premise.Incidentally, the US has made ample use of planting bombs and targeting civilians, all be it via proxies. Perhaps you feel that outsourcing such activities also dilutes accountability. the history of Latin America in the 20th century provides plenty of examples.Your assertion that the US is on average, fighting within accordance of some guidelines does nothing to dispel the fact that they are an occupying power who’s legitimacy was forsaken the minute they moved into Iraqi sovereign territory. Your argument is also based on the assumption that the reporting of events inside Iraq are comprehensive, uncensored and provided by impartial sources. What more evidence do we need to prove this a falacy? While Al Jazeera’s reports are often vindicated by hindsight, the general consensus is that anything that prublished by Al Jazeera must be blatant anti-western propaghanda.Your equally simplistic assertion that peace would befall Iraq if the insurgents stopped what they are doing is equally flawed. Firstyl, it is a prediction, not a foregone cnclusion. Even if this brought a temporary cessation of hostilities, it would only prolong them. The US is not in Iraq to install a democracy. The last thing they want is an independent, democratic and sovereign Iraq. What would an independent, democratic and sovereign Iraq lead to? What relations would an independent, democratic and sovereign Iraq have with Russia, India, Iran and China? What would an independent, democratic and sovereign Iraq do with it’s oil? What influence would an independent, democratic and sovereign Iraq have in the region?The US has stated in policy papers, that the security of the US cannot tolerate such an outcome.The Iraqi’s are very aware of why the US is there. They know that if their main produce were wheat, Saddam would still be in the driver’s seat. They would not accept the US dictating terms indefinitely and sooner or later, they would challenge the US occupation peacefully or otherwise.How you can refer to US statements of intent relfecting reality and keep a straight face is a wonder to behold. The US stated it wanted to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq, yet needed to be dragged kicking and screaming to allow free and open elections. The US states repeatedlyt that it does not torture (a statement of aim if you will) while the elephant in the room called evidence, walks all over that claim. The US has stated that the war was not about Oil, while endeavoring to privatize Iraq’s natural resources and allowing Paul Wolfowitz to let slip that the US would not be there if Iraq was not sitting on top of “a sea of oil”.Yes a democratic Iraq would be a good thing, but for god’s sake Theo, pull your head out of the sand, even for a few hours and read about the history of US foreign policy with regard to dictators and democratically elected foreign leaders. You will find that Iraq is following a well rehearsed script, all be it more hands on than past efforts. Do a comparison between the numbers of dictators the US has overthrown versus the number of democratically elected leaders it has brought down. The US loves dictators because they are easily corrupted and predictable (Pinochet, Suharto, Saddam, Karimov, House of Saud, Mubarak etc). Islamo-fascism only continues to have a pulse in the world while being fuelled by the commonly held sense of injustice shared in the Arab Muslim world. Prior to Iraq, Bin Laden was regarded as a radical in the ME. The invasion of Iraq, was proof in the minds of Arab Muslims that Bin Laden was right all along about the Imperial aspirations of the US. Overnight, he suddenly becomes mainstream and enjoys mass recruitments. As for your Chomsky, I am not familiar with his works with regard to language. With regard to his political writings, your charges are typical of someone who has never read him. Chomsky’s sources are by and large, mainstream. Understandably, they are not often wildely reported, but they are verifiable. With regard to the US bombing of Cambodia, Chomsky wrote that the death toll was 250 thousand in spite of the mainstream accepted number 500-6000 thousand. No one bothers to mention it when he makes a case that appear to side with the US government. If you find his accusations offensive, it’s probably because he addresses offensive issues. The fact is that Chomsky openly invites people not to take his word at face value, but to actively check his sources. What an idiot. Self promotion indeed.I agree that these posts are time consuming, Believe me, I am not participating to win a prize. I feel very strongly about this matter, and if anything, researching this topic in order to rebut you has revealed to me that the incriminations against the US are even more damning than I realised.All the best

  • orang

    addamo_01 said… "The last thing they want is an independent, democratic and sovereign Iraq. "You got that right boy.