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.

Buying face time

George W. Bush has denied any friendship or relationship with Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist – and supporter of Zionist extremists – currently embroiled in a corruption scandal. It now appears that the president is lying. Time reports:

“Time has seen five photographs of Abramoff and the President that suggest a level of contact between them that Bush’s aides have downplayed. While Time’s source refused to provide the pictures for publication, they are likely to see the light of day eventually because celebrity tabloids are on the prowl for them. And that has been a fear of the Bush team’s for the past several months: that a picture of the President with the admitted felon could become the iconic image of direct presidential involvement in a burgeoning corruption scandal like the shots of President Bill Clinton at White House coffees for campaign contributors in the mid-1990s.”

It is virtually inconceivable that the US President had no contact with Abramoff, considering his influence in Washington. A report from USA Today in May 2005 stretches credibility even further:

“In President Bush’s first 10 months, GOP fundraiser Jack Abramoff and his lobbying team logged nearly 200 contacts with the new administration as they pressed for friendly hires at federal agencies and sought to keep the Northern Mariana Islands exempt from the minimum wage and other laws, records show.”

These continuing revelations should sink Bush and his corrupt Republican party – if the quagmire in Iraq does not – but it all depends if the mainstream media accepts the likely calls of plausible deniability.

28 comments ↪
  • Mike Jericho

    “Perhaps “suspension of disbelief” would be more appropriate. US Presidencies are, after all, essentially poor rip-offs of Macbeth.”

    As opposed to Castro, Stalin and Hitler, all good socialist despots. But to whom do I smugly compare them?

    Tricky.

  • Stev

    These continuing revelations should sink Bush and his corrupt Republican party'Should' and 'is' are poles apart these days. No matter when side of the political fence you find yourself on, it doesn't take a great imagination to visualise how the Republicans would have treated these numerous scandals if the shoe was on the other foot.

  • Mike Jericho

    George W. Bush has denied any friendship or relationship with Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist – and supporter of Zionist extremists – currently embroiled in a corruption scandal. It now appears that the president is lying.Interesting interpretation, based as it is upon no information.You've not seen the photographs, nor do you know the context in which the meeting took place.Let me make it simple for you, as you are, evidently, a man enamoured of simplicity.People standing in a bar where you once publicly debated could have snapped pictures of you shaking hands and sharing conversation with James Morrow, editor of Investigate Magazine, and well-known baby-eating conservative.If those pictures are then deprived of all context, does it necessarily mean that you are lying if you claim that you have no friendship or relationship with him?It is also worth noting, I think (although you, it seems do not) that Mr Abramoff, when not "supporting Zionist extremists" and Republicans, was, like most lobbyists, supporting the other side – US Democrats.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Mike, I think the "information" you chose not to notice came in the following paragraph, a quote from that fiercely leftwing rag, Time magazine.While Time concedes that thousands of photos are taken daily at the Whitehouse, its suspicions arise from the government's refusal to release the shots of Shrub meeting with Abramoff. Perhaps they've been stashed away with the photographic evidence of WMD in Iraq.Who knows? Meantime, I am with you – I believe everything Scott McLellan says. And I condemn those damn rabid commies in the press gallery. After all, given the stench of corruption (perhaps a sweet scent in your view) swirling about the present administration, who wants an inquisitive fourth estate?

  • violet

    Of course, if you are a President it is possibleto be photographed with many, many people and not know them or their first names. But, hey don't let me inject logic into your hatefest.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    "if the mainstream media accepts the likely calls of plausible deniability."Perhaps "suspension of disbelief" would be more appropriate. US Presidencies are, after all, essentially poor rip-offs of Macbeth.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Yes, Violet. Hate hate hate. Spot on.PS Did you actually read the article? Don't tell me you are enamoured of simplicity…

  • Progressive Atheist

    Mr Abramoff, when not "supporting Zionist extremists" and Republicans, was, like most lobbyists, supporting the other side – US Democrats.This is a bald-faced lie perpetuated by the Reich-wing media in America, e.g. CNN. Abramoff gave all his contributions to Republicans, and none to Democrats. Wolf Blitzer put this allegation squarely to Howard Dean and Dean countered it. They have even admitted that this is totally a Republican scandal on Fox News. In any case, when Abramoff's case goes to court, this will all come out.PS George Clooney got into some strife for querying why someone with a name ending with -off would call his son Jack. LOL.

  • Melanie

    I haven't been following for some days or maybe Antony mentioned before but I missed it, but his book I read is delayed a few months. How come?

  • Wombat

    Mike,Sesmy ou have taken a leaf otu of Ibraham's book of denial. Remember when the Enron scnadal broke out, Bush ws asked how wel lhe knew Ken Lay and his answer was that all he knoew about Lay was that he had given money to one fo his democratic opponents once. What a croc.Yes he had given some money to the Dems at one stage, but he'd given ten times as much to Bush adn the GOP and Bush knew him so well he referrefd to him as Kenny Boy.Abramoff didn't give any money to the Dems but his clients did. Eitehr way, the Repugs control both Houses in Washington and if you want to pass legislation, your money goes to the controlling party – simple.This doesn;t even touch on the whole K Street Project he and Delay were involved with. stackign Lobby groups to be Republican only.Here's another morsel for you. Mohammad Attah was a guest on one fo Abramoff's floating casino's. How's that? 2 degrees of seperation between Bush and the guy who headed the 911 attack.

  • Progressive Atheist

    Mohammad Atta was a guest on one of Abramoff's floating casinos.That is really juicy! Do you have a source for that?

  • Wombat

    The Atta thing? Lemme do a seach and get back to you.

  • Wombat

    Progressive Atheist,Here are some links I found. Do a seach on Google for "mohammad atta on abramoff casino" or variants of to find more kinks. I got 15000 hits but some are less reputable.http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/10/1/1955/10277http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Abramoffand a third of he way down the page here:http://forum.truthout.org/blog/?op=displaystory;sid=2006/1/3/968/75193

  • Melanie

    addamo: the concept of 6 degrees of separation means that I will know someone that knows someone…eventually through six people will know anyone in the world. In addamo that means if anyone in the world commits a murder, I am also directly responsible. Now this site all starts to make sense.

  • Wombat

    Melanie,You really should read what I write before pre-emptively responding. I said 2 degrees. Just seems a little ironic that Dubya is authorising wiretaps on US citizens and yet here is with someone who played host to Atta.

  • Melanie

    addamo, you really should read what i wrote. I explained the concept of 6 degrees because it is all about trivial association not about direct involvment.

  • Wombat

    Melanie,I did read what you wrote. And with all due repstects, it was inrrelevant.Are you telling me that anyone who had a direct involvement with any of the 19 highjackers would not be under some investigation – unless of course, they were friends with Dubya?Either way, I doubt this link will get any air time with the liberal media in the US. They're too busy cmoareing Bin Laden's "timely" speech with Howard Dean's talking points.

  • Wombat

    Mike Jericho said…"As opposed to Castro, Stalin and Hitler, all good socialist despots. But to whom do I smugly compare them?"How about US flavoured despots like Pinochet, Soeharto, Karimov, the House of Saud, Saddam Hussein, Pahlavi, Mubarak….Educate yourself and study the number of demcracies the US has overthrown vs the number of tyranical regimes. You'll find that the US loves tyrants.

  • Melanie

    addamo:"How about US flavoured despots like Pinochet, Soeharto, Karimov, the House of Saud, Saddam Hussein, Pahlavi, Mubarak"It's not a good record but I think it was more like supporting the best of 2 evils. The Left have always supported the biggest mass-mudering regimes in history – the ones Mike mentioned. For once a US president goes for regime change to over throw a tyrant and the left are outraged. Even when it is clear at the polls that the Iraqis are embracing their new found freedoms, the left are calling for us to declare defeat. When the insurgents blow up Iraqis in cafes, the Left is outraged at deaths by the occupation – liars. The left pretends to support the oppressed, but they do the opposite – what is their real agenda? – pretty transparent.

  • Wombat

    Melanie said…"It's not a good record but I think it was more like supporting the best of 2 evils. "Do you want me to then list the democracies that the US has helped to overthrow? That's evil Melanie. Pure and simple.Has it completely gone over your head that had it not been for the US overthrow of Mossadegh, Iran would likely be a thriving and progressive, and dare I say, Israeli-friendly democracy?"The Left have always supported the biggest mass-mudering regimes in history – the ones Mike mentioned."The left? I seem to remember the US supporting Stalin, Pol Pot, Soeharto, and Apartheid South Africa. I also remember something about US companies being in bed with Hitler. On the contrary Melanie, I think you’ll find that the right takes the honors on this count."For once a US president goes for regime change to over throw a tyrant and the left are outraged."They are outraged not because the US pretends they are librating a tyrant (actually a former ally) but because this adventure was inevitably going to lead to the deaths o thousands of Iraqis – which it has. Unlike right wing blood drinkers, most on the left so not agree that tens of thousands of Iraqi lives are worth one Sadddam Hussein.We are outraged because Saddam would never have been there had the CIA not sponsored a 1960's coup which put Saddam in power the first place. We would not be outraged if the Us had not backed Saddam in his aggression against Iran, a war that he started. We are outraged because the US continues to support deposts around the world that continue to say yes to them. Guys like Karimov who boiled his enemies alive."Even when it is clear at the polls that the Iraqis are embracing their new found freedoms, the left are calling for us to declare defeat."Melanie, you disappoint me. I never took you for a simpleton. You are such a hypocrite. You and Violet are banging on about women’s rights and yet you call the introduction of theocratic Islamic rule in Iraq a victory? Will you be celebrating when honor killings become common place in Baghdad square?"When the insurgents blow up Iraqis in cafes, the Left is outraged at deaths by the occupation – liars."You ad hominems are a dog’s breakfast Melanie. In case you hadn’t noticed, cafe's were not being bomber prior to 2003. Picky picky I know. And what we are about to see is Saddam's strong armed rule being replaced by another form of strong armed rule, which will be just as oppressive, and you and your fellow travelers are daft enough to call that progress.Have you gone collectively mad?I never heard any outrage from the right about 14 innocent people being bombed to death in their Iraqi home or 18 being bombed to death in Pakistan. All of which lead to the deaths of innocents."The left pretends to support the oppressed, but they do the opposite – what is their real agenda? – pretty transparent."Bless your heart Melanie, but your are clueless. What a pathetic straw man argument. What garbage. You see unlike the right, the left oppose all oppression. We don't turn a blind eye to those who serve US or Israeli interests by sugar coating such oppression under banners of "war on terror".

  • RHRoss

    Yes Violet it is possible for the President of the United States to be photographed with people he does not know …. but, and yes, there is a Santa Claus…. it is not possible for the President of the United States to be photographed with ANYONE that the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, his department staff and ALL of his advisers do not know EVERYTHING about.there are no off-the-cuff photo-ops. George does not move from point a. to point b. without there being a reason and he certainly does not enter a room or shake a hand without the whole thing being carefully investigated and set up.It isn't that easy to get to meet George W. Nothing happens by chance. There is a reason for absolutely every encounter …. it serves a purpose, either financially, politically or spinwise.

  • Wombat

    Amen to that RHRoss,i remember working at a banquet a the Adelaide Hyatt (a long time ago) when Helmut Cole made an appearance. For those who were born, that as a pretty calm period internationally. Unbeknownst to us, his security service had done background checks on all of us.Given the lockdown that takes place when any of Bush's people comes to town, it is absolutely inconceivable that Abrahmoff was there by accident. And given how vigilant Rove and his other image makers are, there is no way in hell the guy would have been within a mile of Bush were it not carefully coreographed for a reason.And that's only for one occasion. Five or more and you are definitely doing busines with the guy.

  • RHRoss

    I agree addamoOnce you could maybe, if you really wanted to, sort of get away with being a fluke….but two would be impossible, and five is a clear indication of a relationship.

  • Mike Jericho

    "How about US flavoured despots like Pinochet, Soeharto, Karimov, the House of Saud, Saddam Hussein, Pahlavi, Mubarak…."You missed my point entirely. Thankfully, Melanie did not. Comparing those lukewarm bullies to Hitler is like comparing Antony to someone really insane, like John Pilger.Oh, and it is a little crass of you to use Saddam as an example. Conservative western leaders may have aided his ascendency within the Baathist movement, but it was also conservative western leaders who prevented his conquest of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and then went on to remove him from the presidency. Had the choice been left with your side of politics, would he still be in business? Yes, is the answer you're looking for. Try to avoid looking hypocritical.You see, the evil leader comparison game only works one way. "[Insert name here] is like Hitler/Stalin". Why bother comparing someone you want to smear with someone who is, by comparison, little more than an evil council president? Which is what the American proxy leaders were. Amateur despots at worst. Not real genocidal professionals, Like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Ho Chi Minh… who, as it happens, were all varying shades of leftists."Educate yourself and study the number of demcracies the US has overthrown vs the number of tyranical regimes. You'll find that the US loves tyrants."You do recall that in the Cold War, both sides attempted to gain control of regions by supporting puppet states. In each and every case, the Americans set up functioning proto-democracies (yes, even in the case of the Shah's Iran, which was a constitutional monarchy much like Britain) which were far and away more humane than the puppets of Moscow.But perhaps the Americans should have abstained from opposing the USSR at all, and allowed them to sieze control of the Middle East, South America and so on. That does seem to be the rational course you advocate. Do nothing to oppose those who oppose your way of life. What genius.Now go educate yourself as to what life was like in the USSR. Go find out what the evil Americans saved you from.

  • Progressive Atheist

    Addamo,I checked out several sites regarding the Abramoff-Atta connection. While it is true that Atta and a few other Al Qaeda operatives were on one of Abramoff's gambling boats on Sept 5th 2001, it can't be proven that they met Abramoff, though it can't be discounted either. What seems to be the case is that Atta was laundering drug money, but for what purpose we don't know. Atta and three other Al Qaeda operatives went to Las Vegas for the same purpose.I still find it hard to believe that Atta and his 19 cadres flew those planes into the towers and Pentagon, but that's another story.Perhaps more intriguing is the fact that shortly after 9/11, Abramoff, a traditional Jew, signed up as a lobbyist for the General Council for Islamic Banks that operates according to sharia, or Islamic law. Not that I disagree with Islamic financing principles, but rather the consortium is suspected of sheltering Al Qaeda money. It was created after the 9/11 attacks as President Bush began cracking down on terrorist financing. Abramoff's job was to spread the word about Islamic banking practices and to refute claims that Islamic banks sheltered money used for terrorist networks. http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/8/16/233950/633

  • Wombat

    Mike Jericho said… “Comparing those lukewarm bullies to Hitler is like comparing Antony to someone really insane, like John Pilger.Stupid comment. It’s completely lost on you that one of the main reason the US went after Saddam was because Bus 41 compared him to Hitler, and instantly created a problem for himself. The US public would never accept that the Us would tolerate the existence of a Hitler. Next…”Oh, and it is a little crass of you to use Saddam as an example. Conservative western leaders may have aided his ascendency within the Baathist movement, but it was also conservative western leaders who prevented his conquest of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and then went on to remove him from the presidency. Had the choice been left with your side of politics, would he still be in business? “Who knows? Depends of your interested in facts or fiction.Western leaders aided Saddam long after his ascendancy. Reagan took Iraq off the list of terrorist nations so that they could underwrote loans that Saddam used to buy arms. He was supported throughout the war with Iran by the US government. Prior to the invasion of Kuwait, US ambassador to Iraq, April Gatsby told Saddam that the US had no interest in his conflict with Kuwait and that it was between he and the Amir of Kuwait. James baker instructed her to pass on this message.The Us congress was reticent about military intervention. It was only when this piece of propaganda:http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3589/us-iraq-lie.htmlwas used that they voted to emotive him from Kuwait,Saddam could very easily have remained a US ally (as he was when Rumsfeld flew to Baghdad to shake hands with him and declared him a friend of the US). His mistake was that he refused to become a puppet of the US. Read John Perkins book, Confessions of An Economic Hit man, where he explains much of this.”Yes, is the answer you're looking for. Try to avoid looking hypocritical.”You’re out of your depth buddy. Hypocritical is anyone who buys the crap about the Us standing for freedom and democracy. Lemmings like yourself, buy this myth hook, line and sinker.”You see, the evil leader comparison game only works one way.”It doesn’t work at all. Evil is the language of people who red comic books. People like Saddam, Bin Laden and Zarqawi can go from being US allies/assets to US enemies overnight depending on the agenda. One day they are noble freedom fighter fighting evil, the next they are evil itself. You really do need to do some research. Wish I had the time to enlighten you.” Which is what the American proxy leaders were. Amateur despots at worst. Not real genocidal professionals, Like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Ho Chi Minh… who, as it happens, were all varying shades of leftists.”Irrelevant. You’re arguing that degrees of wickedness is what counts. If these nutters were alive today, they would all fall into one of two categories, US ally or US enemy. And it goes without saying that the Us would have no problem making friends with any of these guys if there was a buck to be made.”You do recall that in the Cold War, both sides attempted to gain control of regions by supporting puppet states. In each and every case, the Americans set up functioning proto-democracies (yes, even in the case of the Shah's Iran, which was a constitutional monarchy much like Britain) which were far and away more humane than the puppets of Moscow.”Rubbish. The US turned Latin America into a genocidal playing field in the name of fighting Communism. In fact, the great thing about Islamo-Fascism its that it allows former cold warriors to recycle their old screeds by ding a word replace of Communism with Islamo- Fascism Iran was not about the Cold War so much as oil. Mossadegh made the stupid assumption that he could keep most of Iran’s oil profits to benefit the people if Iran. In US foreign policy, putting your country’s interest first is a big no-no.”But perhaps the Americans should have abstained from opposing the USSR at all, and allowed them to sieze control of the Middle East, South America and so on.”As Afghanistan (and now Iraq) have proved, this would never have worked or been viable. The Middle East were nothing like the weakened and impoverished Eastern European countries after WWII.“That does seem to be the rational course you advocate. Do nothing to oppose those who oppose your way of life. What genius.”Way of life? Do you still believe that BS? No wars have ever been fought for anyone’s way of life. They are fought for Corporate interests, for geopolitical advantage, for natural resources. Get with reality dude.You are so misguided. No surprise given how you have swallow the “Iran has nukes” cap hook line and sinker.”Now go educate yourself as to what life was like in the USSR. Go find out what the evil Americans saved you from.”Now pass me that bucket do I can puke. America has saved no one from anyone. Don’t delude yourself. The US has never and will never fight any war for anything but self interest. And by that, I mean big money interests.The US military is nothing more that one large security firm.

  • Wombat

    Intersting Progressive Atheist,Wil lread that link. not that's Im surprised. Most of these lobbyists have their fingers in lot's of pies.

  • Ibrahamav

    "I still find it hard to believe that Atta and his 19 cadres flew those planes into the towers and Pentagon, but that's another story."I wonder what else _01 finds interesting.