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.

More sniper schools needed

Once-powerful US lobbyist Jack Abramoff is likely to spill the beans on the inherent corruption within the Washington power elite. The Republicans, and some Democrats, are in for a rough year. What kind of man is Abramoff? Washington Post journalist Susan Schmidt has a few ideas:

“We do know he spent millions of dollars on his two restaurants, that he bankrolled a religious academy that educated his children, that he was sending money to settlers on the West Bank for a sniper school. He also lived extravagantly, flying by private jet and buying expensive cars.”

UPDATE: Juan Cole has much more on Abramoff’s funding and support of Jewish extremism.

18 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    You gotta love Juan Cole. The guy really knows his stuff.Here's a few quotes I couldnt resist. interesting quote:"Although some of my readers are under the impression that in the civilized world it is all right to take your neighbor's land by winning it in warfare, actually the United Nations Charter (to which Israel is a signatory) and the whole body of post-1945 international law frowns on that sort of thing. Likewise both the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 forbid occupying powers to settle their citizens in militarily occupied territories, or, indeed, to make any major alteration in the structure of the conquered societies. Basically, the idea was that as of the late 1940s your nation is stuck with the land it has and you can't take anyone else's by force. And if you try, the United Nations Security Council has an obligation to stop you. The Geneva Conventions were framed to prevent further atrocities of a sort committed by the Nazis. It is not only the Nazis who were capable of atrocities; everyone is, which is why we need a rule of law, including international law."And he sums up teh hypucrisy and double standards ebautifully with these:"Now here's the thing. If a Palestinian-American had diverted $140,000 from a Muslim charity to "security equipment" and "sniper lessons" for Palestinians on the West Bank, that individual would be in Gitmo so fast that the sonic boom would rattle your windows.""But here's a prediction. None of the Jewish extremists, some of them violent, who are invading the West Bank and making the lives of the local Palestinians miserable will ever be branded "terrorists" by the US Government, and Abramoff's foray into providing sniper lessons will be quietly buried."Finally, here's one that could be used to describe AIPAC:"Terror isn't terror and aggression is not aggression when it has lobbyists in Congress who can provide luxury vacations and illegal campaign funding."

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Let me make a prediction:This scandal will get bigger and bigger, BUT his connections to zionist extremists will be largely ignored.

  • Wombat

    Hey AL,Did you hear abtou this? Hardball's Chris Matthews, FOX's Tony Snow and Britt Hume helped raise money for shady Abramoff charity http://americablog.blogspot.com/2006/01/hardballs-chris-matthews-foxs-tony.htmlYesterday, Crhis Matthews was interviewed and did everything he coudl to suggest the Abramoff affair was an isoltaed non-partisan incident and called him Satan. Now we know why.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Nope, didn't know that.Yet more are brought into the circle and many in the media, a little unsure of their role, clearly, are exposed.

  • Ibrahamav

    Was it a sniper school, or training in self defence? Are not Jews allowed to defend themselves? Are they to be shot for the crime of being jewish on Islamic land and not fight back? Are they only allowed to shoot back if they can't aim?

  • Wombat

    Read the article Ibraham before being so reactive. Juan Cole is not an anti-Semite prome to conspiracy theories. There are extremists on both sides of the conflict. Not all extremists are Arab muslims.

  • Ibrahamav

    Using Juan cole as a source is just asking for trouble:Juan Cole and His Bad Weekby CharlesThe reason I seldom read Gloom Juan Cole and his weblog Malformed Informed Comment is because he subscribes to the Immutable Laws of Gilliard, described below the fold. His problem, though a smart and knowledgeable fellow, is that he's so blindered and shackled to his ideology that he's prone to whopping mistakes and misjudgments. His downtalking the Iraqi election last January was one example, and his entries this past week are the latest outbreak.So obvious and glaring were his recent errors that even a dKos diarist took Cole to task. Martin Kramer busted Cole on both his wrong interpretation of history and his duplicitousness, both here and in a follow-up here. It's one thing for a semi-anonymous sweatpant-wearing blogger to be so blatantly wrong and pettyminded, but it's another thing altogether for a prominent professor of Middle East studies and Chairman of the Middle East Studies Association to be so. Dare I say that Cole was being McCarthyesque by getting personal and calling for oppo research against Kramer?Tony Badran of Across the Bay starts here and follows up here, here, here, here and here. Ouch. All in all, a bad week for the academic.So what are these Immutable Laws of Gilliard? In the days before he had his own blog and when he was a prolific dKos commenter, Steve Gilliard employed certain tactics when discussing the pre-war and war efforts. Inspired by the Immutable Laws of Dowd, I thought that Gilliard and the like (including Cole) deserved their own Immutable Laws:If there's bad news, report it. Add little snippets on how awful things are. Liberally toss in words like "quagmire", "ignorance", "hegemony", "hubris", "incompetence", "lies" and the like. If there's neutral news, cherry-pick the worst parts and write things like "this can't be good" or "things are going from bad to worse" or "this has been another bad week for Bush". Ignore positive developments by downplaying or sidestepping them, or trying to discredit them. If there's good news and no bad news can be plucked, deny that it's actually good news. Write something like "this looks like good news but it's really not". Or, "this can't be right, these reports can't be trusted" or "it may sound good but this will surely backfire on us" or "oh, sure, this may be a positive development but look at all these other areas where things are falling apart". Add no constructive suggestions or solutions. Always take the obligatory dig at the Bush administration. Make sure to add an ominous forecast or two. Ignore all past predictions that were proved wrong, don't admit you were wrong, don't re-visit past wrong posts to see where they went wrong, soldier on and make more Chicken Little predictions. When confronted with past wrong predictions, ignore them or change the subject, then default back to telling everyone how awful things are going.The problem is that these commenters are so locked into a certain worldview that they refuse to process information that contradicts their doctrine. That is why I only read them occasionally.

  • Ibrahamav

    Juan Cole, Media — and MESA — Darlingby Jonathan Calt HarrisFrontPage MagazineDecember 7, 2004http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=16241 Professional organizations choose their leaders as much for their symbolism as for organizational ability. The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is the foremost professional organization representing academics working on this region. Once a bastion of respectable scholars, the organization has fallen on hard times, becoming today a hive of academic opposition of America, Israel, and, in the larger sense, rationalism itself.It was Stanford University's Joel Beinin, president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) in 2002, who famously articulated the group's post-9/11 osterich mentality by praising "great wisdom" of his colleagues for avoiding the study of terrorism. Coupled with entire panels of anti-Israel "scholars" and special sessions on "American imperialism," and the three-day event can look more like an Arab political rally than a conference of specialists.But the organization out-did itself when, in November 2004, it elected Juan Cole as its next president. Cole has a string of impressive titles, being a professor of modern Middle East and South Asian history at the University of Michigan, editor of the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and author of a weblog focusing on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. He emerged in 2003 as a Middle East expert for the media (The New York Times,[1] Washington Post,[2] National Public Radio)[3] and for influential leftist bloggers such as Josh Marshall, Brad Delong, or Mark A. R. Kleinman.[4]But what the academics validated – and the major media are drawing on – is one strange professor. Cole's view is shaped by his fundamental belief in a conspiracy of Jewish "neo-conservatives" that largely runs U.S. policy toward the Middle East. His recurrent theme is that a nebulous ‘pro-Likud' cabal controls the U.S. government from a small number of key positions in the Executive Branch. He never names the leaders or organizations behind this fabulously clever and utterly secret conspiracy but vaguely associates it with AIPAC, MEMRI, and any prominent Jew in the Bush administration.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Conspiracy theories are usually pretty nutty. They are sometimes true however. Here's one: the Liberal Party's 'free-market' policies are largely driven by the 'peak business bodies' that pay for its election campaigns.What were these bodies saying in October last year:‘It is imperative that proceeds raised from any further privatisation of Telstra should be used to fund long-term initiatives, such as comprehensive tax reform.’- Hugh Morgan, President, Business Council of Australia‘With the genuine possibility of a working majority in the Senate, we will be looking forward to the government implementing its industrial relations policy.’- Peter Hendy, CEO, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry‘The competitive pressures on the Australian economy are intensifying … we need very flexible labour markets if we are to sustain employment growth.’- Heather Ridout, CEO, Australian Industry Group‘There are a lot of industrial relations measures that could be passed … that would help small business employers.’- Tim Steven, CEO, Council of Small Business OrganisationsHmmm. Does anyone have any doubt at all about what these people talk to Howard about over din-dins? (And they do talk over din-dins.)

  • Wombat

    Wow I'm impressed Ibraham. This is the first titme ever I can reacalll you provided a source or a link. Look forward to readng them.Now can you provide a link that proves what Juan Cole cites in reference to the Abramoff is false?

  • Ibrahamav

    I am citing that Cole is a suspect source. I am questioning the identification of a 'sniper' school as opposed to a school for armed self defense including rifle training.

  • Wombat

    That's a valid point. It would be difficult to prove that there are people training themselves to actively target Paelsitinians as opposed to resorting to self defense.Having said that, the article does allude to such groups being used by the IDF to carry out less noble acts. We have seen evidence of this with the US emplying provate security contractors for some operations in order to maintain plausible deniability.

  • Ibrahamav

    Again, a tiny kernal layered in addamo.

  • Wombat

    Why avoid the argument and trash me for pointing out what was mentioned in the article. Is it beyond the pale to consider that there are extremists Israeli Jewsih vigilantes taking matters into their own hands?You would have no problem accepting this possibility if we were talking about Arab Muslims woudl you.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Addamo_01 said… "Why avoid the argument and trash me"He's not. He's building a written monument to Ibrahamic autism.

  • Ibrahamav

    Just more addamo out of our resident antisemite.

  • Wombat

    Yo mean there's only one anti-Semite? What happened to all the others you've identified?

  • Ibrahamav

    You are identifying residents?