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.

A clueless journey

While the situation in Iraq descends into chaos, possible civil war and an Iranian-backed government, many in the Murdoch press still live in fantasy land. Take the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt. He recently travelled to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East with Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. This should have been enough to stop any legitimate journalist from expecting anything other than sanctioned propaganda, but Bolt seemed not to care. His two reports (here and here) are textbook examples of embedded “reporting”. At least he adds this at the beginning:

I was largely kept behind concrete blocks of tightly guarded security zones and met few Iraqis.”

So what exactly was the point? He receives largely positive accounts from foreign troops, speaks to a couple of Iraqis clearly praising the “Coalition” invasion and salutes the bravery of Australian men and women in the field.

He sees and hears nothing the occupation forces don’t want him to experience. His association with Downer leaves the trip almost meaningless as it seems he wants to enter the vulgarity of Saddam’s palaces and experience the taste of Western occupation. He touches on some problems, but largely ignores them. After all, he isn’t shown anything that may contradict the view that the Iraq war is going swimmingly. Furthermore, I wonder who paid for the trip, the Howard government or his employer? I’ll try and found out.

Bolt either doesn’t realise he’s being used as a useful propagandist or he simply doesn’t care.

8 comments ↪
  • violet

    AntonyYour diatribe appears meaningless unless you have been to Iraq yourself and can report on the reality of it there. You look a little silly otherwise.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Not at all.Reporting on Iraq requires more than following a "Coalition" minister into the zone. Truly, that's not called journalism. How the hell can he have any idea what's going on if he even admits to barely speaking to Iraqis?

  • Wombat

    Agreed Anthony,Downer, you wil lrecall was the one who arrogantly parroted the crap abotu mobile weapons laboratories in Iraq, in Parliament. Has he retracted that BS? Has he retracted any of the BS he has been peddling?Almost everything this goevrnmet has told us about the Iraq war hs been proven to be false. Who in their right mind still believes what they have to say?Are you honestly that naive Violet, to believe that Downer would have the spine to contradict the party line?

  • violet

    Bolt spoke to the Australian soldiers deployed in Iraq. They, more than you Antony would know what was going on. I didn't mention Downer, you bought him into it. And you didn't respond to my statement that you look silly commenting on Iraq if you have never been there. Of course, being a Jewboy, Iraq would be a dangerous place for you. I imagine the insurgents would love to saw your head off with a rusty bayonet. And then the United States Army might have to save your arse. Now that would be interesting wouldn't it? There are plenty of Iraqi blogs out there telling you that they are grateful to be rid of Saddam. You need to get around a bit more — and get some accurate info — instead of all this armchair analysing. It's amusing, but inaccurate.

  • Wombat

    Violet,You naiveté is amusing and almost adorable, but you haven't a clue. If Australian soldiers were to make comments that were embarrassing to the Australian government, do you honestly think they would be covered?You are completely avoiding the fact that AL is simply relaying the messages reported by on the ground reporters – the few unimpeded ones like Robert Fisk, Dahr Jamail and Patrick Cockburn.You really do need to do some reading and open your eyes just a tad.

  • Wombat

    Further to this, Violet might want to explain this.If the soldiers on the ground in Iraq are so full of glowing comments about the situation in Iraq, why does the US government feel the necessity to not only pay for good news to be written in Iraq, but also to shut down U.S. soldiers' blogshttp://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-e4572547jan02,0,959146,print.story?coll=ny-linews-headlinesMaybe too much good news is a bad thing?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Violet, your first comment – "don't criticise Bolt for not being in Iraq when you are not there either" – is a fallacy. Now you are looking a little bit silly. You might want to think before you let your bored little hands clamber across the keyboard again.

  • orang

    Bolta went with Downer? He was brave.Seriously, how relavant is this to anything which could be described as journalism? Rides with a minister-(dangerous? – No) Hangs out with the boys in the coalition, he could be Downer's press secretary.