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.

Fighting shadows

Juan Cole, December 15:

“The Iraqi ‘government’ is a failed state. Virtually no order it gives has any likelihood of being implemented. It has no army to speak of and cannot control the country. Its parliamentarians are attacked and sometimes killed with impunity. Its oil pipelines are routinely bombed, depriving it of desperately needed income. It faces a powerful guerrilla movement that is wholly uninterested in the results of elections and just wants to overthrow the new order. Elections are unlikely to change any of this.

“The only way in which these elections may lead to a US withdrawal is that they will ensconce parliamentarians who want the US out on a short timetable. Virtually all the Sunnis who come in will push for that result (which is why the US Right is silly to be all agog about Fallujans voting), and so with the members of the Sadr Movement, now a key component of the Shiite religious United Iraqi Alliance. That is, these elections lead to a US withdrawal on terms unfavourable to the Bush administration. Nor is there much hope that a parliament that kicked the US out could turn around and restore order in the country.”

With news that Iraqi security forces caught, then released, alleged terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi last year, Cole explains the issue:

“What I take away from this report is that if the Iraqis cannot recognize a Jordanian master terrorist, the American military has zero chance of fighting the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement in Iraq, because most of them don’t even know enough Arabic to distinguish an Iraqi from a Jordanian accent. And if all it takes is putting on weight and growing a beard to disguise oneself, then we’re in deep trouble.”

5 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    I wouldn't be too hard on the Iraqi's releasing Zarqawi. After all, the Bush adminstration had 3 opportunities to take Zarqawi out befor ehe Iraq invasion, and chose not to so that they could use his presence inthe country to bolster the case for war.

  • Theo

    Hi AL, glad to see you acquiesced to my comment on another of your posts (Lol): I look forward to your post on this momentous event for the Middle East Antony!Q (to anyone with a name starting with the letter "A"): (1) What do you hope for the future of Iraq, and (2) how would you suggest it be brought about?Don't go O to the T on me. This is not about the past, but the present. (And I hope the answer to the first question is, "A peaceful democratic nation", and assuming it is, are the current policies and actions of Bush, Blair and Howard helping or hindering?)

  • Wombat

    The noticeable lack of enthusiam and interst being shared by the public speaks volumes. We've been here before, and apart from the Bush flag wavers, the majority has learned that there is no point in counting your chikens before they're hatched.The universal desire would be to see these elections be fruitfull, but gibven the variables and the mountain of issues still to be unresolved, they may prove to be as insignificant as teh first two.Democracy and freedom are far from assured.One news item carried this quote:"Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s influential former president, on Friday called Iraq’s parliamentary elections a “victory” for Iran and said the vote had shattered any US expansionist ambitions in the Middle East."and this"Mr Rafsanjani is known as a pragmatic conservative who favours strategic co-operation with the US in the region. “It could be to the US’s benefit not to ignore Iran’s role; instead, they were hostile wherever they could be,” Mr Rafsanjani said."

  • Theo

    Hit the first one but struck out on the 2nd (why am I not surprised?): Question 2 – answer forthcoming? (Feel free to include the supplemental question, "…are the current policies and actions of Bush, Blair and Howard helping or hindering?" in your response.

  • Wombat

    Yes Sir Mr Umpire Theo Sir. Would you care to elaborate on how and why I struck out?In odder to answer the supplemental question, one would have to be certain of what the actual policies of the Bush and Blair (Howard is insignificant) were, versus their stated aims. Apart from the few that still believe in intelligent design and the existence of the tooth fairy, few believe that the two are one and the same.According to Seymour Hersh, the January elections were certainly cooked, and the fact that Allwai failed to be elected was not through lack of trying on the part of the occupation. <a href="http://(http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/19/1353243)(http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/19/1353243)<br />One thing reamins beyond dispute. The viability of Aany future Iraqi government will rest on their control of their oil. It was recently discovered that the control of Iraq's future oil wealth is being handed to multinational oil companies through long-term contracts that will cost Iraq hundreds of billions of dollars.http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/oil/2005/crudedesigns.htmThese contracts will be remain in place regardless of which government holds power, which pretty much confirms the suspicions that the US will never relinquish control of Iraq or respect Iraqi sovereignty.