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.

Some kind of friends

On the one year anniversary of the assassination of Lebanese figure Rafiq Hariri, Robert Fisk asks some questions and finds uncomfortable answers:

“The Americans, deep in distress in their occupation of Iraq, have hatched a deal with the Syrians. In response to a request that the Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada Sadr keep his distance from the Iraqi Sunni insurgents and play by the ball in the elections, Syria has promised to use its ‘influence’.

“In response to an American appeal, Syria has arrested up to 8,000 Iraqi insurgents inside its borders. In response to a plea by Washington, it is cutting back on the assistance that the Iraqi rebels receive from inside Syria.”

While the US talks tough over Syria, it seems, as ever, the official line is rather different to reality.

5 comments ↪
  • Andre

    Great new look to the site Ant.

    Anyway, in spite of the tough rhetoric, it is refreshing that the US has been forced to reconsider diplomacy of sorts. Even though this will likely lead to sleazy back room deals, it is still far better than armed conflict.

  • Glenn Condell

    Who knows. Some places I visit are utterly sure the Iran talk is just talk and that Syria is the real target. There are so many good reasons, even for profit crazed warmongers or mad neocons, NOT to attack Iran. Syria was first in Clean Break and the Yinon statelet theory, so I'd look out if I were them.

  • rhross

    Glenn,

    Syria does not have oil. Iran does. It's all about oil. The US is building permanent bases in Iraq. They may of course not be able to hold them but they are building them all the same.

    You have to wonder which chapter this is in the Occupiers Winning Hearts and Minds Manual but no doubt they have the Tel Aviv version.

    The Americans, insanely, seem to think they can leave the Iraqis in bloody misery and hunker down in their state of the art 'bases' and control the oil of the region.

    Conflict with Iran, one suspects it may be argued, would allow the US, not to invade and occupy Iran but to invade and occupy the oil region along the Iraqi border.

  • Glenn Condell

    rhoss

    it seems counterintuitive to me too, but this is what xymphora says:

    'Scott Ritter thinks that war on Iran is inevitable because John Bolton's speechwriter told him that the speech setting it up has already been written. Think about it. If this is true, would Bolton's speechwriter have told Ritter about it? Isn't it just an obvious trick to fool Ritter into thinking that the target is Iran? The United States isn't going to attack Israel's only possible friend in the Middle East. Besides hiding real American intentions, and keeping the Iranian leadership as radical as possible (moderate Iranian leaders would be a disaster for Israel), the Iran talk helps maintain a high world oil price (gotta keep those Exxon profits up near forty billion a year!).'

    http://xymphora.blogspot.com/

    He has a few posts on this topic and is always good for an alternative view.

  • Glenn Condell

    clearer exposition of rationale from a later post from same place:

    'The Kurdistan pipeline thesis is powerful as it is based on geography. We know the Kurds are trying to include the Kirkuk oil fields in Kurdistan. We know that Kurdistan is landlocked. We know that the oilfields are useless without a way of moving the oil to a port. We know that the north is blocked by Turkey, the east by Iran, and the south by the rest of Iraq (which won't be a friend if the Kurds abscond with the Kirkuk oil fields). The only way out is west, through two possible routes. The southern one is through Jordan to Israel, but moving oil through Israel isn't politically possible now. That leaves the route through Syria to Lebanon. For that route to work, the Kurds need regime change in Syria. This will have the added advantage of breaking off the east part of Syria to form part of Greater Kurdistan. The Kurds are being manipulated by Israel and the United States through the use of the carrot of Greater Kurdistan. This isn't going to end well for the Kurds.'