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.

Casualties hit home

The US military is starting to realise the folly of the Iraq war:

“Support for President George W. Bush’s Iraq policy has fallen among the US armed forces to just 54 percent from 63 percent a year ago, according to a poll by the magazine group Military Times.

“In its annual survey of the views of military personnel, the group reported on its website that support for Bush’s overall policies dropped over the past year to 60 percent from 71 percent.”

The results are unsurprising. Bit by bit, imperial follies in the Middle East are being exposed for what they really are. Read Simon Jenkins in the Guardian talking about Britain’s upcoming deployment to Afghanistan (questions that are equally relevant to Australian troops in the country):

“In the next few weeks, an army of 3,400 British troops expects to be deployed to Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. This is nearly half the number deployed in Iraq. Everything I have heard and read about this expedition suggests that it makes no sense. British soldiers are being sent to a poor and dangerous place whose sole economic resource is opium. They will sit there as targets for probably the most intractable concentration of insurgents, Taliban, drug traffickers and suicide bombers in the world – until some minister has the guts to withdraw them.”

Despite the failure of the “war on terror”, the Guardian today channels propaganda about Iran’s supposed threat:

“The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country’s weapons programmes.”

Does anybody believe Western intelligence assessments to not be tainted by political interference? The reports may well be accurate, but after the WMD debacle every intelligence claim should be treated with the upmost scepticism.

We should resist every attempt at forcing a military confrontation with the Islamic state.

UPDATE: Speaking of intelligence failures:

“In a clumsy effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, the CIA in 2004 intentionally handed Tehran some top-secret bomb designs laced with a hidden flaw that U.S. officials hoped would doom any weapon made from them, according to a new book about the U.S. intelligence agency.

“But the Iranians were tipped to the scheme by the Russian defector hired by the CIA to deliver the plans and may have gleaned scientific information useful for designing a bomb, writes New York Times reporter James Risen in ‘State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.'”

14 comments ↪
  • Ibrahamav

    As no government comes clean, and Iran certainly isn’t saying anything other than that it will do as it pleases and Israel should be destroyed, there is little else the news organizations can do but report substantiated rumor.

  • Ibrahamav

    Great news!!!

    Jeff Blankfort admits that the International (Palestinian) Solidarity Movement is a failure!!!

    In a message dated 01/01/06 00:04:06 GMT Standard Time, jblankfort@earthlink.net writes:
    Dear Mary,

    … it is clear that the Palestine solidarity movement as a whole has been an utter failure in the US, not only because of the economic, political power and sophistication of the Zionists who have infiltrated it, but because (1) it has tended to line up with US-based ideological groups whose own record is one of failure and allowed those groups to dictate their equally failed political line (e.g., to place the entire blame for Israel’s actions on US imperialism …; (2) it has from time to time been immobilized by political differences among contending groups in the occupied territories or, in some instances, Syria, …

    Why has there never been a campaign launched to stop aid to Israel by the movement? Why no opposition to the $19 billion in loan guarantees? Why have small protests against AIPAC just started taking place in the last two years? Why did the diaspora movement collapse when the first intifada began? Why has there been no diaspora campaign to free Marwan Barghouti?

    You want to know why, Jeff? Because the majority of Americans find your stance to be morally repugnant.

  • orang

    ib, it is a shame really that the Palestinians do not have any real support. It's a shame also that the Israeli's get no questions asked support from the "Great Satan". It's a shame because they are encouraged then to go down the road of darkness using lawyerspeak to justify it to themselves. The Pali's are used to deprivation, the Israelis are making them suffer more and more to "pacify" them. – They will eventually regret this.

  • Ibrahamav

    I guess you're living in la-la land to think the way you do and to make statements so unsupported by reality.

  • Rich Bowden

    Things are looking bad for the Bushies when the lockstep military start questioning his policies. Maybe another invasion of an defenceless country before the Congressional elections mid-year to boost the standing of the GOP? Just a thought!On another topic folks, how will the latest Sharon health news affect the stalled peace process in the Middle East? http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200601/s1542…?

  • Pete's Blog

    Two passing thoughts. 1. Would the cessation (by air attack) of Iran's ability to wage nuclear war really be a bad thing?2. Alternatively. Nuclear weapons are usually very popular in countries that have them as a symbol of defense. Should the US airforce deny the Iranian people this warm, fuzzy feeling?

  • Wombat

    "1. Would the cessation (by air attack) of Iran's ability to wage nuclear war really be a bad thing?"It would be a disaster in any sense. Any attack on Iran will be perceived as an act of war. An attack would untie all of Iran behind their leadership (ann 60 million of them). The scenarios haev been pretty well documented in terms ofhte straight of Hrmuz, oil prices etc."2. Alternatively. Nuclear weapons are usually very popular in countries that have them as a symbol of defense. Should the US airforce deny the Iranian people this warm, fuzzy feeling?"It's ironic that while we keep talking about keeping nukes out of the hands of crazies that might use them, it is Washington that has been leaking rumours about using nukes in a strike against Iran and even worse, using nukes against non nuclear capable countries.

  • Pete's Blog

    1981 – Israeli jets destroy Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osiraq being contructed in an oil rich country. The reactor was designed to produce plutonium for atomic bombs. Iraqi scientists insisted that this increased Saddam's resolve to build a Bomb but Israel's surgical strike effectively stopped Iraq's nuclear program in its tracks.Appeasement of Iran's nuclear visions may not be the best option.

  • Wombat

    That was a long time ago Spy and a completely different scenario. Iran has no operatinal reactors yet on-line and the charge from Israel/Washingotn is that the fissule materail is being created through uranium enrichment, which requries gas centrifuges, not reactors. The alledged clandestine enrichment facilites are supopsed to be deep underground in a number of locations – some very close to populated areas. The atatck woudl involve bunker buster bombs and maybe even nuclear bunker buster bombs. If what Isearl/Washington says is true abotu enrichment plants (for bombs) being here, the operation could lead to major contamintion in the vicinity.

  • Ibrahamav

    An attack would untie all of Iran behind their leadership They are already fairly united behind their leadership, after all, he was elected by the people.

  • Pete's Blog

    Thanks AddThis might gives airstrikes a bad name!If Bush wants to minimise "collateral damage" (innocent victims) and thats a big "if", the US would be developing/adjusting bunker busting nuclear weapons to have an especially low yield…Yes, it may be that we'll have to see Iran's nuclear vision come to fruition. Wonder what Israel might do.

  • Wombat

    "bunker busting nuclear weapons to have an especially low yield…"Low yield weapons still produce deadly fallout and there seems to a dearth of information about how successful the Us have been is developing these. Last yar, teh Bush administration puched for such weapins to be developed, but such plans seem to have run aground. Either way, there is nothing one can do about wind patterns or knowing for cerain how much debris will be displaced.I read somewhere that a leaked Pentagon document put the potential damage from a nuclear bunker busting attack as as high as a million deaths. Even worse is that Russia has declared itself the defender of the Islamic world. They are already selling Iran stae of the art anti aricraft weapons. Though reading between the lines, it is highly likely that Russia has deployed other scarier weapoins in Iran which remain under it's control.Ibrahamav said…"An attack would untie all of Iran behind their leadership"The same people, like Michael "creative destruction" Ledeen, said the same thing about the US being greeted as liberators in Iraq. I woudn't be placing any money on it if I were you.

  • Ibrahamav

    No, addamo said it:Addamo_01 said… "1. Would the cessation (by air attack) of Iran's ability to wage nuclear war really be a bad thing?"…An attack would untie all of Iran behind their leadership (ann 60 million of them). ***************************I stated that they were already united behind him. He was elected.

  • Wombat

    Sorry, I misread your typo "untie".