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.

The wheels turn slowly

As the leading US Zionist lobby gears up for its annual conference, the State Department, despite claims by Condoleezza Rice, were fully aware of the strength of Hamas in the occupied territories:

A State Department-commissioned poll taken days before January’s Palestinian elections warned U.S. policymakers that the militant Islamic group Hamas was in a position to win.

The Jewish state is currently operating on many fronts. Israeli special forces are allegedly already operating within Iran searching for “secret uranium enrichment facilities.” The Sunday Times reports: “They are operating from a base in northern Iraq, guarded by Israeli soldiers with the approval of the Americans, according to Israeli sources.”

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also wants international cover for further unilateral moves in the West Bank. The details remain sketchy, but setting future borders and “maintaining a Jewish majority” are key objectives. Keeping an occupation and apartheid-like policies in the territories is no way to ensure future prosperity.

22 comments ↪
  • JohD

    It is amazing that Muslims are being accused of seeking world domination, yet it is only non-Muslim armies on foreign soil. The Jews only State seems to want a hot war, to prevent a Cold one.

  • Addamo

    That is indeed the paradox isn’t it? The US and Israel are the countries with track record of foreign occupation and pre-emptive aggression (under the raison du jour), yet Iran is the state we are told has expansive ambitions.

    Israel knows very well that Iran is in no state to ever challenge it militarily, nor would it be any time in the foreseeable future, but the irony is that Iran (by virtue of it’s size) has a far greater capacity to absorb a military attack.

    I often wonder what shape Israel would take were it not involved in any conflict, either direct or pending. From it’s very inception, it seems that the states identity has been tightly woven around the notion of ongoing military activity. If it is true that war is the health of the state, I wonder how much that applies to Israel.

  • Chris

    Jordan and Egypt have a history of foreign occupation. Iraq has a history of foreign occupation. China has a history of foreign occupation. Russia has a history of foreign occupation. Turkey has a history of foreign occupation.

    How are you so unfamiliar with these facts?

  • Addamo

    There is no contradiction here whatsoever, in fact it very much proves my point.

    None of those countries are being singled out as a threat to internatioanl peace of security, and thsie that are making the loudest noises about Iran are at the top of the list when it comes to intervention and occupation.

    It just goes to show how hypocritical US foreng policy is that is makes appologies for countries like Egypt, Jordan and Turkey.

  • Chris

    Iraq has a history of aggression, no pre-emption about it.

  • Addamo

    That is true, though it is a slightly superficial observation. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was based on a littan yof lies and misleading arguements.

    Iraq’s agression against Kuwait occurred after US ambassador to Iraq, April Glasby, told Saddam that the US had no interest in it’s regional quarrel with Kuwait. This was echoed by James Baker, US Secretary of State, at the time. Iraq’s disputes with Kuwait at the time were justified, and Saddam was goaded into invading.

    There occupation of Kuwait was very short lived.

  • Chris

    So most nations do not act on their desires to conquer and absorb the resources of other nations because they fear the US will grind them into dust for doing so?

    An interesting observation.

    It seems that the US is right to threaten those nations which appear bent on attacking their neighbors.

  • Addamo

    Chris, you are not too good with this stuff are you?

    You are evidently confusing dispute with invasion. A quick English lesson. Dispute and invasion are two different things. One may often lead to the other, but they have difference meanings.

    Disputes themselves don’t need to justified or else. You and I for example, have disputes, and we are entitled to those disputes without justification.

    Iraq and Kuwait has disputes about a number of issues, loans, oil rights, birder disputes.

    Make sense?

  • Chris

    The dispute does not seem to be justified. Nor was he goaded into a justifiable invasion. Unless you consider justifiable the invasion of Iraq because of Saddam’s goading. Which I do not.

  • Addamo

    I don’t regard the invasion of Kuwait or Iraq as justified.

    In regards to the dispute, are you stating an opinion here or basing this on something you read?

    One of the disputes involved the allegation that Kuwait was stealing oil from Iraq via slant drilling. If this was true. then that’s a justified dispute.

    During the Iraq/ran war, Kuwati and Saudi Arabia provided loans to Iraq to help finance the war. Both countries stood to gain by an Iraq victory, since neither wanted to see an empowered Iran.

    Saudi Arabia recognised that Iraq had done them a favour by blunting Iran, and forgave the debt as a sign of gratitude. Kuwait demanded repayment with interest regardless. One could say that this was a justifiable dispute.

  • Chris

    Demand of repayment makes Iraq’s dispute justifiable? One would not say that.

  • Addamo

    That’s the big one yes, but who gives a damn what those Arabs think anyway. That was then and this is now.

  • Chris

    It appears that the native Kuwaitis objected to being forced to be a part of the totalitarian nation of Iraq. It seems to be their right to refuse absorbtion.

    Do you not give a damn what those Arabs think? And are you being racist when you say that? Are not some of their citizens non-arabs?

  • rhross

    This is one positive amongst the negatives.

    http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4525.shtm

  • Addamo

    Isn't it a shame that there is no another nation in a position to hold the US to account by the same standards or rules?

    Nothing has stopped the US from perpetrating these very crimes under the rubric of democracy, the war on terror, or fighting communism.

    Are you seriously that naive?

  • Chris

    Iraq's dispute with Kuwait was justified? Are you that naive? Surely you're just posting a 'fact' that you vaguely remember reading about.

  • orang

    The other thing is that Kuwait is practically all Iraq. ie it was created out of Iraq by Britain.

  • Addamo

    Oh boy, ever heard of sarcasm Chris?

    While it is understandable how Saddam was able to appeal to nationalist fanatics in Iraq by using the Birstish aneexation to invade, it does not make it justified. You are right and Kuwait has a right to independence.

    Kuwait BTW is a monarchy, as is Saudi Arabia. Like Saudi Arabia, there is a ruling class that enjoys an afluent life at the expense of the rest. No oppositon political parties, much less elections. Not that far from totalitarianism in fact.

  • Chris

    It appears that Kuwait's citizens are not oppressed for the sake of the ruling class, as Iraq's citizens were oppressed.

    It appears that the citizens of Saudi Arabia are not oppressed for the sake of the ruling class as the Shi'ites and kurds of Iraq were.

    It appears you are making up things, again, regarding election in Kuwait. I'm sure you remember reading about your version and can not be accused of lying. You just stand guilty of being ignorant. Again.

    Kuwait has universal adult suffrage for Kuwaiti citizens who are 21 or older, with the exception of (1) those who currently serve in the armed forces and, (2) citizens who have been naturalized for fewer than 30 years. The franchise was expanded to include women on May 16, 2005, in a 35-23 vote with one abstention. Under pressure from Islamists, the right of women to run as candidates and to vote was made subject to Islamic Law: the practical effect of this is not clear, but will likely involve, for example, separate polling places for women. Kuwaiti women have not yet voted in an election. In 1996 naturalized citizens were given the right to vote, but only after they had been naturalized for at least 30 years.

    I don't love the fact that you are ignorant, I just stand by the accusation.

  • Addamo

    While you may be right about Kuwait, I would entirely disagree with you about Saudi Arabia.

    The ruling class in Saudi Arabia live in fear of the majority. In fact, following the oil embargo that led to the oil crisis in the early 70’s, the US made a deal with the Saudis to essentially keep them in power and protect them from their own people. This agreement included the Saudi family investing all the profits from the sale so foil in the US and using the interest to pay US companies to modernize Ryad.

    What this means is that Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth has been kept off shore and in US banks where the population of Saudi Arabia never get to see it.

    One of the reasons the Saudis have also been financers of Al Qaeda was to appease them, in essence to buy their protection.

  • Addamo

    I would add it appears that the oppression in Iraq has also been misrepresented. Yes Saddam was a tyrant, and a murderous thug, but the majority of people who did not challenge his rule remained unafected by him.

    There are numbers being thrown around about the people he killed while in power, but I personally remain very skeptical as to the accuracy of those. Let's be reminded that before the US intervention in the Balkans, these were reports of mass graves containing hunderds of thousands of corpses waiting to be discovered. It turned out that the number was approximately 5000, which included those killed in combat.

  • orang

    Lets not get into the Balkans – whoo boy that was Clinton.

    I'm curious as to chris comments; "Kuwait has universal adult suffrage for Kuwaiti citizens who are 21 or older, .."

    Meaning they can vote right?

    Vote for what exactly?

    Vote to change who rules perhaps?

    One thing about Saddam's rule, there was no bullshit. I am the boss and fuck youse, you're either with me or against me..

    Here we ghave the champion of the only democracy in the Middle East telling us Kuwaitis have the vote.

    Make up your mind – is it the only democracy or not?