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.

Praying for hope

Robert Fisk on Osama Bin Laden’s latest political statement:

“So why only on audio? Why no video tape? Is he sick? Yes, say the usual American ‘intelligence sources’. It’s the same old story: Osama bin Laden talks to us from the mouth of a cave, from within a cave, from a basement perhaps, from a tape almost certainly recorded down a telephone line from far away. Yesterday’s message, broadcast as ever by al-Jazeera television, was a reminder that security – not sickness – decides his method of communication.

“We invaded Afghanistan to find Bin Laden and we fight and die in Iraq to kill his supporters – yet still he eludes us, still he threatens us, still he taunts us.

“How much longer can this nonsense go on? President Jacques Chirac warns that France – of all countries – might use nuclear weapons, if attacked. On whom, I wonder? America blows Pakistani children to pieces and claims it has killed five wanted men, including a bomb-maker. But there’s absolutely no evidence. Bin Laden says that America will be attacked again unless it accepts a truce in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Weren’t we supposed to be winning the ‘war on terror’? Oh no, the ‘experts’ tell us, Bin Laden and al-Qa’ida are losing, that’s why they want a truce. Some hope.”

Muslim scholars, meanwhile, offer interpretations of the latest message from the West’s “enemy number one.”

UPDATE: Conservative US commentators are increasingly isolated from reality and the American people. Soon after the airing of Bin Laden’s tape, they compared the statements by the al-Qaeda leader to critics of the Bush administration. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said that terrorists “take a great deal of comfort when they see” politicians and other critics like Mike Moore “attacking United States policies.” “Open debate” is important, he stressed, as long as one supports and the war and the President.

22 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    Maybe the Bushies are taking to writeiing Bin Laden's speaches for him. It has been said after all, he Bush is Bin Ladens most indespensible ally.

  • Glenn Condell

    That's my feeling. Who benefits from this latest missive? Republicans under the most intense pressure since Watergate, on several fronts. Why should we believe anything they toss at us, given their record in the last 5 years? The default position for anyone with half a brain is scepticism at the very least. Just because large numbers of Americans are prepared to believe whatever Rove and Cheney dream up, no need for us to do the same.

  • RHRoss

    Given that Al Qaeda, which means data-base, was a group originally set up by the CIA and Osama Bin Laden was trained by the CIA in a bid to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan and the CIA was instrumental in constructing Bora Bora, the Afghan hideout and given that the 'war on terror' has played neatly into neo-con hands and given all sorts of anomalies involved with 9/11, one could almost come to believe that Osama and Al Qaeda are something the neo-cons needs.Perhaps Osama is dead, perhaps the Al Qaeda everyone is told to fear is run, not by Muslim extremists, but by those who need a 'war on terror.'There are too many unanswered questions to take at face value anything we are told.Not finding Osama has been very, very convenient.

  • violet

    Given that Al Qaeda, which means data-base, was a group originally set up by the CIA and Osama Bin Laden was trained by the CIA,I've already proved your dishonesty rhoss on another thread. These new claims of yours are also balderdash. Where do you find these delusions?How about you post some evidence to suport your stupid, erroneous and dishonest claims?Some links to your sources would be an excellent start …

  • violet

    Sigh, so now we have Robert Fisk. I notice The Age, don't even publish him anymore. What a nut!For god's sake Antony post something worth discussing!

  • Wombat

    Yeah, Ant, stop posting the Pulitzer prize winning investigate reporters and stick with right wing political hacks like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. Isn't it abotu time we had move venom, hatred, propaghanda and lies on this forum?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    You could, of course, start your own site. A shocking concept, I know.Actually, that's far too much trouble for you. Fisk is the most highly decorated foreign correspondent in the world. But you're right, he's just a hack.

  • Wombat

    Violet,Bin Laden was a CIA posnsored agent for much of the duration of the Siviet presence in Fghanistan. If oyhu don;t knwo that then you relaly have been MIA for the last 5 years.Al Qaeda is a term used for describing what used to be known as the Mujahadeen when they were fighting hte Savirts in Afghanista. They were backed by the US, and supplied weapons which played a significatnt part of their success.It is believed the term was in fact, coined by Richard Clarke, which was head of counterterrorims during Bush Seniors years.What is there to dispute?

  • violet

    addamomore Leftie mythology. Yes, during the 1980s, the CIA provided weapons and training to Afghan groups that were fighting against the USSR. It was a policy that certainly made good geostrategic sense at the time, as well as being sweet payback for when the shoe was on the other foot in Vietnam. But bin Laden was never one of the CIA's trainees because he never took up arms himself. Instead, ol' Osama served as a rear echelon financier and recruiter for the Afghan Mujahadeen, spending most of his time safely ensconced in Pakistan.And so what if the US helped Afghan mujahadin fight against the Sovs during the 1980s, and some of those same people subsequently formed the Taliban and/or signed on to al-Qaeda? In the real world, circumstances change, and policies change with it. It's easy for non-entities like AL to pontificate from the sidelines about pristine morality because they have responsibility for nothing, and thus don't have to make any of the hard decisions that confront real world policy makers. But that real world things are rarely black and white, and sometimes you have to dance with a smaller devil in order to defeat a larger one. By your reasoning Australia shouldn't have joined the fight against Italy in WWII, because the Italians were on the allied side in WWI. Rubbish.

  • Ibrahamav

    You're right Violet, Here even AL does the doubletalk with placing his words in Newt's mouth, hoping to stifle debate since it isn't bashing Bush."Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said that terrorists "take a great deal of comfort when they see" politicians and other critics like Mike Moore "attacking United States policies." "Open debate" is important, he stressed, as long as one supports and the war and the President."What a joke! Isn't stating that the Moores of the world are aiding abetting and giving comfort to terrorists with their words a part of free speech and a part of the debate?

  • violet

    AntonyYou could, of course, start your own site…Actually, that's far too much trouble for you.You're dead right Antony. I don't have the time or the commitment. And since you provide the venue why would I? You ought to be grateful to me for providing validity and legitimacy to your blog. Just take a look at the distortions I've cleaned up for you today. Rhoss, Edward and Addamo all needed to be alerted to the historical errors of their arguments and while you're happy to let them ramble on in an historical inaccurate manner, I steered the debate back to a factual basis by inserting some truth into your narrative. Don't bother thanking me — I'm happy to do it for the kiddies watching.Fisk is the most highly decorated foreign correspondent in the world.What he joined the military? Now that's hysterical.

  • Wombat

    Violet,“But bin Laden was never one of the CIA's trainees because he never took up arms himself. Instead, ol' Osama served as a rear echelon financier and recruiter for the Afghan Mujahadeen, spending most of his time safely ensconced in Pakistan.”True but irrelevant. A great many CIA operatives never get to carry weapons. I doubt Valerie Plame carried too many guns while on duty.“And so what if the US helped Afghan mujahadin fight against the Sovs during the 1980s, and some of those same people subsequently formed the Taliban and/or signed on to al-Qaeda?”The US has a habit of backing psychos, and then living to regret it. Saddam, Noriega, Pinochet….“In the real world, circumstances change, and policies change with it. "It's easy for non-entities like AL to pontificate from the sidelines about pristine morality because they have responsibility for nothing, and thus don't have to make any of the hard decisions that confront real world policy makers. But that real world things are rarely black and white, and sometimes you have to dance with a smaller devil in order to defeat a larger one. “Actually you have the completely back to front. The US are the ones who pretend to bring freedom, democracy and blah blah blah to the world, while in fact, they are really just raping them with a smile. In case you hadn’t noticed, the ones who are black and white and the US politicos. You know, good vs evil, you’re with us or against us, if you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists blah blah blah.In fact, aren't the right wingers accusing the left of siding with terrorists for trying to see both sides of the conflict, or if you like, considering the grey areas?Like the rest of us, AL is sick to death of the hypocrisy and sanctimonious BS about how the they give a crap about anyone but themselves.“By your reasoning Australia shouldn't have joined the fight against Italy in WWII, because the Italians were on the allied side in WWI. Rubbish.” No connection whatsoever Violet. Want to try again?

  • Ibrahamav

    Tremendous connection. Violet hit the nail with the hammer. She doesn't need to try again. It was a perfect analogy.Which is _01's problem.Hey Violet, do it again. Kissing ass is fun!

  • Wombat

    violet said…"I steered the debate back to a factual basis by inserting some truth into your narrative."I'll give you this. You right wing chicks cerainly don;t lack for confidence, all be it delusional. You have yet to offer a shred of evidence that throughout the world, Jewish people are facing an impeding repeat of 1940's Germany.Rest easy dear. I'm sure Ros will put you in your place when he gets back on line."Fisk is the most highly decorated foreign correspondent in the world.What he joined the military? Now that's hysterical."Yeah, damn those credible journalists who still believe in investigating their news rather than plagerising what everone else is saying or behaing like stenographers for government leaders who are proven liars.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav, you are OBVIOUSLY an anti-Semite hell-bent on making Zionists look like religiously bigoted, racist, fascistic sociopaths. You are possibly Israel's worst enemy.

  • Ibrahamav

    Eddie you know what you obviously are.As for ross, he has already been caught in a couple of lies. He won't be putting anyone anywhare.

  • Wombat

    Yes Ibraham, Eddie knows he is obviosuly far more informed and astute and mentally balanced than you. Obvious for sure.No go ahead and make your inevitable and imbecilic remark that involved arses and excrement.Ros has nto made any lies. Best wait till he rebuts the accusations no?

  • violet

    I found one of the awards Antony was talking about..oh WOW… highly decorated indeed, this medal must be heavy… The Robert Fisk Award for : Idiotarian of the Year

  • orang

    aah violet, Little Green Footballs. You go away and get all informed on what the RWDB rags are quoting then come back here and harass the citizens with the crap you find.

  • Wombat

    Violet, Seems that picture brings a smilt to your face. Is this part of the Zionist initiation or something? Learing to enjoy the sight of blood spilled of Israel's crititics?It seems it has completely missed you that this is what investigate journalism can lead to. And there you are, defensing Michelle Malkin, for whom humuliation means having to catch public trasnport or fro whom danger is having her bikini line waxed.

  • RHRoss

    violet <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/o,12780,1523838,00.htmlwww.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/o,12780,152383… />The late British MP, former Secretary of State, Robin Cook is quoted in a story where he refers to Al Qaida, literally, the database, which was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahadeens recruited and trained by the CIA to fight the Russians. Not that this is news. It is and was common knowledge for anyone doing any research on the subject.The data-base is the most literal translation of Al Qaida, despite its many spellings.

  • RHRoss

    Robert Fisk is a highly respected journalist. Like many commentators he takes a position and leans toward what those on the right would call the left, but, he has decades of experience in the region and a broad knowledge base.Bearing in mind his subjectivity, something all commentators display, he still brings a balanced and sound view of events in the region to his reports.Let's just say he knows a hell of a lot more about it all than any of us.