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.

Missing the message

Michael Scheuer, the former top CIA official who once led the US hunt for bin Laden, explains the ways in which the Bush administration and its client states fail to understand the latest Bin Laden message:

“‘You ought to take the measure of your enemy and we’re not doing that,’ he said, adding the truce call would resonate positively in the Muslim world.

“‘U.S. officials continue to describe these people (al Qaeda) as a small bunch of gangsters and crazy people. They have no apparent conception that so much of the Islamic world is angry with America, not because of our freedoms or liberties but because of our foreign policies,’ he said.”

It serves the political cause of leaders like Bush, Blair and Howard to maintain the illusion of a diminished and irrational terror leader. Robert Fisk rightly explained the West’s (deliberate?) failure to understand al-Qaeda:

“The irony, of course, is that Bin Laden is now partly irrelevant. He has created al-Qa’ida. His achievement – that word should be seen in context – is complete. Why bother hunting for him now? It’s a bit like arresting the world’s nuclear scientists after the invention of the atom bomb. The monster has been born. It’s al-Qa’ida we have to deal with.”

10 comments ↪
  • David Heidelberg

    I’ve just written about this very subject. I think that it is more than likely Bin laden is dead, and his ghost appears with the sole purpose of galvanising public support.

    In fact his latest appearance is so fraudulent, it even makes mention of a Bill Blum’s book as a means to smear it. Very convenient indeed.

  • Ibrahamav

    Operating on an understanding that you insist is accurate means the the US must destroy the Islamic world. And that would be wrong. Wouldn't it?

  • Wombat

    Isnt't it so damn convenient how Bin Laden manages to make a speacial appearance evry time Bush is facing political problems at home?Someone once said, that if Bin Laden hadn't existsed, the US woudl have created him anyway.

  • Shabadoo

    Hudna treaty, anyone?

  • Shabadoo

    I agree, DH, "knowledgeable Shab sources" suggest the same thing to me.Of course, Blum has been smeared all the way to the bank; he's up to something like 30 on Amazon!

  • psydoc

    Yes those pesky foreign policies that demand freedom and the right of Jews to live in the Middle East. Dictators should be allowed to kill whomever they want without American interference. They should have full co-operation of our academia and should be supported without the need for any annoying UN intervention. Democracy and freedom can engender so much anger when you are just trying to be a peaceful despot.If only America would listen to BinLiner and cherish the words of wisdom of a mass murderer we would all be a lot safer. Better still, lets open the prisons and listen to the wisdom of all of the domestic murderers, as that surely is the way to end domestic violence.

  • Shabadoo

    Whoops, sorry DH…just read your post. Yes, Osama's most likely dead, but your Roveian conspiracy theory is hysterical.Either way, Curly Pajama must be in tears today.

  • Wombat

    psydoc said…"Yes those pesky foreign policies that demand freedom and the right of Jews to live in the Middle East."There are no foreing policies that achieve either of these. How many times are people like yourself going to defend governments who repeatedly lie?"Dictators should be allowed to kill whomever they want without American interference."How about if they weren't helped or protected by Americans to begine with?"They should have full co-operation of our academia and should be supported without the need for any annoying UN intervention."What Un intervention? Iraq and Bosnia were both coducted without UN approval."Democracy and freedom can engender so much anger when you are just trying to be a peaceful despot."You got that half right. In 2003/2004, the US attempted 2 coup to overthrow democratically elected leaders. One succeeded (Aritistide) and the other failed (Chavez). That's not to mentino the countless democracies that the US has subverted.So yes, the US seems to have a particular disdain for democracy and freedom.

  • Wombat

    Shab,I don't think DH's conspiracy is that outlandish. Just this week, Rove gave a specch outlining the GOP campain for the mi-term elections being based on the Dems being soft on terror – yes, very novel. Then we have Chris Matthews on Hardball describing Osama's speech as being like an over the top Michael Moore, and other's describing Osama's speech as a compendium of Dem talking points.Tucker Carlson aired the speech with a split screen, showing Howard Dean on the other sreen.That's not a conspiracy theory – that's called a political campaign.

  • Wombat

    Here's somthing I just came across:When Seeing and Hearing Isn't Believinghttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/dotmil/arkin020199.htm