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.

Zaki Chehab

Zaki Chehab is a London-based journalist and author – his latest is Iraq Ablaze – and one of the finest Arab reporters in the Middle East. A Lebanese Palestinian born in a refugee camp, he is now political editor of al-Hayat and of the Arabic TV channel LBC. He has worked for the BBC, Guardian and UK’s Channel 4. He is also the first journalist to broadcast interviews with the Iraqi resistance in 2003. He is currently in Australia on a speaking tour. He has received little mainstream media coverage (the broadsheets have ignored him) though ABC have provided a platform to his views (Lateline, Late Night Live and The World Today.)

Speaking last night in Sydney – in the wake of the bombing of the gold-domed Shia mosque in Samarra – Chehab painted a picture of modern Iraq far removed from the Western media’s gaze. He is a war correspondent, and although he has reported on conflicts in Palestine and Lebanon, he said Iraq is unlike any other battlefield he has experienced.

The country is in turmoil and a majority of citizens want the Americans to leave. But, he said, they are also fearful of what will follow. Infrastructure is a shambles and basic services are at levels below what Saddam offered. The insurgency is constantly shifting, a combination of foreign fighters, Iraqi nationalists, former Baathists, Saddam loyalists and al-Qaeda. He believed civil war was unlikely because of the high levels of intermarriage between Shia and Sunni, although he acknowledged the US – every other country was irrelevant in the struggle, he said – had grossly mismanaged the occupation.

Chehab has spent much time with the insurgents and said they laughed at the suggestion that the capture of Saddam in late 2003 would end the fight. In fact, it only strengthened their resolve. The security situation was so dangerous now, he reminded the audience, that even Arab journalists are struggling to move around freely. Iraqi journalists are being routinely murdered, but the Western media ignores it. He was damning of Western media reports on the conflict, saying most are little more than mere ciphers for the US authorities. It is this reason that Western readers have little understanding of the situation or the daily hardship of average Iraqis. Iraqis with enough money had all left, he said, because the security was so bad. During question time, Chehab was hassled by a few people because he didn’t unequivocally advocate an American withdrawal immediately. I support “Coalition” withdrawal but Chehab underscored the necessity for a plan once Western troops have gone.

If there have been any positives in the last years, the rise of Arab media in the Western consciousness is one of them. Embedded reporting, the mainstay of hacks in Washington, Canberra, London or Baghdad, is increasingly regarded as inaccurate and dishonest. Alternatives are being sourced. Chehab represents the kind of brave reporting all too often left to stringers.

8 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    Thansk for th esource Ant,

    It's wonderful to get the perspective of a good hard core reliable source from an Iraqi onteh ground. His damnning indictment of the western media is very poignant.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks.
    Listening to him and reading his work reminds one, yet again, how ignorant Westerners are about the Middle East, the US role in the region and the Iraqi chaos.

  • Addamo

    And indeed what an immense crime the whole Iraq invasion really was.

  • Addamo

    There is also an outstading interview with Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Mansur and his cameraman Laith Mushtaq, who were inside Fallujah. The US sated that the conditinos for a ceasefire in Fallujah at the time were that Ahmed Mansur would have to leave Iraq.

    What he had to say about Fallujah is sickening.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1

  • smiths

    any info on the speaking tour, places, date?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Melbourne, Friday 24th February
    RMIT

    Public Lecture, 7:00pm. Storey Hall, RMIT, Swanston Street.
    Tickets from NIBS 9662 3744 or Readings

  • smiths

    doesnt anyone ever bother coming to perth, its not that far you lazy sods

  • Pingback: Holding the line | Antony Loewenstein()