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.

Our good friend and ally

Yet more evidence that Guantanamo Bay is the “gulag of our times“:

“More than half of the terror suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay have not been accused of committing hostile acts against the United States or its allies, two of the detainees’ lawyers said in a report released Tuesday.

“Compiled from declassified Defense Department evaluations of the more than 500 detainees at the Cuba facility, the report says just 8 percent are listed as fighters for a terrorist group, while 30 percent are considered members of a terrorist group and the remaining 60 percent were just ‘associated with’ terrorists.

“The evaluations were completed as part of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals conducted during 2004 to determine if the prisoners were being correctly held as enemy combatants. So far just 10 of the detainees have been formally charged with crimes and are headed for military tribunals.

“According to the report, 55 percent of the detainees are informally accused of committing a hostile act. But the descriptions of their actions ranged from a high-ranking Taliban member who tortured and killed Afghan natives to people who possessed rifles, used a guest house or wore olive drab clothing.”

Remind me to watch people in “olive drab clothing.” One wonders where Australian captive David Hicks fits into the picture. His father, Terry, yesterday accused the US of holding his son as the “token white fella.”

In further Guantanamo revelations, a recent article in the National Journal provides “powerful evidence confirming what many of us have suspected for years”:

– A high percentage, perhaps the majority, of the 500-odd men now held at Guantanamo were not captured on any battlefield, let alone on ‘the battlefield in Afghanistan’ (as Bush asserted) while ‘trying to kill American forces’ (as McClellan claimed).

– Fewer than 20% of the Guantanamo detainees, the best available evidence suggests, have ever been al-Qaeda members.

– Many scores, and perhaps hundreds, of the detainees were not even Taliban foot soldiers, let alone al-Qaeda terrorists. They were innocent, wrongly seized noncombatants with no intention of joining the al-Qaeda campaign to murder Americans.

– The majority were not captured by U.S. forces but rather handed over by reward-seeking Pakistanis and Afghan warlords and by villagers of highly doubtful reliability. These locals had strong incentives to tar as terrorists any and all Arabs they could get their hands on as the Arabs fled war-torn Afghanistan in late 2001 and 2002 – including noncombatant teachers and humanitarian workers.

– And the Bush administration has apparently made very little effort to corroborate the plausible claims of innocence detailed by many of the men who were handed over.

The military trials are a sham, based largely on guilt-by-association claims. Writer Stuart Taylor explains:

“The administration’s unspoken logic appears to be: Better to ruin the lives of 10 innocent men than to let one who might be a terrorist go free. This logic would be understandable if the end of protecting American lives justified any and all means, including the wrecking of many more innocent non-American lives…”

Such realities perfectly explain the cynicism towards the US in certain parts of the world. Some of us prefer to simply regard the US as a rogue state.

11 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    It's absrub that the US goes to such extreme lengths to detain these people, most of whom are innocent, while allowing one fo the perpeptrators of he USS Cole to escape. Talk about screwed up priorities.What are the US actaully trying to achieve by incarcerating these people?

  • HisHineness

    "…most of whom are innocent…"I'd be interested to see your proof of such a statement, addamo.

  • Wombat

    Rty reading th article.At Abu Graib, it was estimated that 80% of detainees are innocent. Why should Guantanamo be any different?What's extremely disturbing is that the US forces are offering rewards of up to US$25000 for the captue of Taliban or Al Qaeda suspects. In a country like Afghanistan, that is a fortune. Is it not obvious that this has fuelled an epeidenmic of kinappings of innocent people, who are incarcertated on the say so of people thjemselves wealthy?Furthermore, teh US has designated tehm enemy combatants or terrororists so that they can be denied legal repersntation or their day in a criminal court. As with the Padilla case, The Pentagon has admitted that if these peope were to be given due process in a criminal court, the evidence against them would lead to their acquital.As this article stipulates:A high percentage, perhaps the majority, of the 500-odd men now held at Guantanamo were not captured on any battlefield, let alone on 'the battlefield in Afghanistan' (as Bush asserted) while 'trying to kill American forces' (as McClellan claimed).- Fewer than 20% of the Guantanamo detainees, the best available evidence suggests, have ever been al-Qaeda members.- Many scores, and perhaps hundreds, of the detainees were not even Taliban foot soldiers, let alone al-Qaeda terrorists. They were innocent, wrongly seized noncombatants with no intention of joining the al-Qaeda campaign to murder Americans.- The majority were not captured by U.S. forces but rather handed over by reward-seeking Pakistanis and Afghan warlords and by villagers of highly doubtful reliability. These locals had strong incentives to tar as terrorists any and all Arabs they could get their hands on as the Arabs fled war-torn Afghanistan in late 2001 and 2002 – including noncombatant teachers and humanitarian workers.- And the Bush administration has apparently made very little effort to corroborate the plausible claims of innocence detailed by many of the men who were handed over.

  • orang

    In our war on terror we need warm bodies.But good news from big W, the tallest building in the West Coast was saved when a shoebombalqaidaplottohijack was thwarted. I feel safe.

  • orang

    And further on the topic(Cole bombers escaped from jail in Yemen);"…escape has drawn anger and astonishment in Washington, with a top White House aide criticising Yemen for housing them too close together and without enough restrictions.But Mr Rumsfeld defended the administration's policy of releasing suspects in the US "war on terrorism" into the custody of their home, or other, countries."The policy is the correct policy," he said."Rummy is like the stand up comic who gets up on stage and has no idea what is going to come out his own mouth.-Which may work for a comedian.

  • HisHineness

    I still wouldn't draw the conclusion that most of them are innocent. The article states 60 percent were associated with terrorists. A clearer definition of this would be nice.

  • Wombat

    Yes a clear definition would not go astray, especially when this determination – as to what constitutes association with terrorism – is being decided by the Bush administration or their appointees.Going back to the Padilla case, he has been held incommunicado for 3 years for alledgedly conspiring to blow up a dirty bomb. That allegation has been dropped entirely and changed to plans to blow up an apartment building using a gas bomb.What is the truth, when you have a government that plays so hard and fast with it?

  • orang

    Hey what happened to that terrorist, graduate of the school of the americas who was convicted of blowing up a Cuban airline in Venezuela, and was arrested in Florida? Is he in Guantanamo?

  • HisHineness

    I agree, Addamo. "Associating" could mean financing terrorist organisations or supplying weaponry, or could also simply mean being in the same building as the real terrorists when they were arrested.I should point out that I do disagree with the Guantanamo Bay prison. Although I disagree with much of what's posted on this site, I can't agree with locking up people without charge for years. Either charge them, or get them the hell out of there. Why the long delays? No one, including the US, benefits from this.

  • Wombat

    I disagree on one point you made Hishineness. There must be something gained by locking these people up in Gunatanamo, as wel as the operation of Black sites and extraordinary rendition. The DOD would not be investing so many resources into maintainign such oeratins if ther ewas not at least a perceived benefit.Like you, I fail to see what that benefit might be.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    But Mr Rumsfeld defended the administration's policy of releasing suspects in the US "war on terrorism" into the custody of their home, or other, countries."The policy is the correct policy," he said."So why is it the 'wrong' policy for Hicks?