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.

Pressing for war

The US Jewish community allegedly speaks with one voice on Hamas and Iran – though even they acknowledge the futility of such a move – but the opening of AIPAC’s conference presents the US ambassador to the UN and his war-talk:

“The longer we wait to confront the threat Iran poses, the harder and more intractable it will become to solve…we must be prepared to rely on comprehensive solutions and use all the tools at our disposal to stop the threat that the Iranian regime poses.”

The Jerusalem Post reports that AIPAC members were pleased with his comments (as is Haaretz’s smitten US reporter.) Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the assembled crowd that, “We always thought that this was a mistake to allow a terrorist organization to participate in what was pretended to be democratic elections.”

Interesting thought from a supposedly democratic leader. He clearly would have preferred the Palestinians didn’t carry out elections, but if they did, only the corrupt and malleable Fateh should have won.

41 comments ↪
  • Chris

    Here’s something to ouch about:

    PA Sermon: Jews are a cancer, the cause of the
    entire world’s problems, need to be destroyed
    In a televised sermon May 13, 2005, Ibrahim Mudayris reiterated many of the oft-repeated PA justifications for the anticipated genocide of Jews, including the following hate messages:

    Jews have inherently evil character traits that Muhammad warned Muslims about in the Koran
    The Jews have been the source of conflict throughout all of history: “The Jews are a virus similar to AIDS, from which the entire world is suffering”
    The persecution of Jews throughout history is presented as natural responses of self-defense by numerous countries against the evil of the Jews. Britain, France, Portugal, Czarist Russia, Nazi Germany, all persecuted and/or expelled Jews – as acts of self-defense and revenge
    Zionism was created by Britain in order solve its Jewish problem by sending them to Israel
    Allah has predetermined that the Jewish problem will be solved with the extermination of the Jews
    Allah has predetermined that the Christian-Islam interactions will end with today’s Christian countries under Islam
    Israel has no right to exist and will be destroyed

    I am quite prepared for you to prove this to be false.

  • orang

    Well, I’m not sure if Mudayris said that or not. But here’s another similar example;

    “It is not a mistake that the Koran warns us of the hatred of the Jews and put them at the top of the list of the enemies of Islam. Today the Jews recruit the world against the Muslims and use all kinds of weapons. They are plundering the dearest place to the Muslims, after Mecca and Medina and threaten the place the Muslims have faced at first when they prayed and the third holiest city after Mecca and Medina. They want to erect their temple on that place….The Muslims are ready to sacrifice their lives and blood to protect the Islamic nature of Jerusalem and al-Aksa!”

    — Sheikh Hian Al-Adrisi,
    Excerpt of address in the al-Aksa mosque, September 29, 2000.

    You know there’s something familiar about the style, let me think…It’ll come to me.

    But there are crazies talking everywhere. -Some deny it.

  • Chris

    Seeing as the Palewstinian people allegedly speaks with one voice on Hamas and Iran, it is clear that rather than establishing a nation, they would rather destroy a nation.

    Hopefully, there are a few brave educated souls among them who acknowledge the futility of such a thought.

    The acting Prime Minister probably wanted to say that “We always thought that this was a mistake to allow what could pass as the Palestinian nazi party to participate in what was pretended to be democratic elections.”

    Though I don't know why he thought that it pretended to be democratic. I believe the Palestinian people deliberately voted for the genocide party in the highest tradition of direct representation.

  • edward squire

    Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the assembled crowd that, “We always thought that this was a mistake to allow a terrorist organization to participate in what was pretended to be democratic elections.”

    Huh? Now the elections were faked? What the hell is he talking about?

  • Addamo

    Oooooooooooooooooooops

  • Chris

    Yes, I also question his use of the word. I believe the choice of Hamas was the democratic decision of the Palestinian people.

  • orang

    This is absolutely amazing;

    "… I believe the Palestinian people deliberately voted for the genocide party in the highest tradition of direct representation. "

    The genocide party eh? Do I hear the shrieking of orchestrated hysteria?

    .-how about some ethnic cleansing;
    "We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." Israel Koenig, "The Koenig Memorandum"

    "Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population." Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, April 4, 1969.

    Now you must remember, these were not Islamofascists, these were the creme de la creme of your adoration.

    How about this one, I know you shouldn't speak ill of the near dead.. Ha Ha, ;
    (please don't die yet you evil fat c&nt)

    "Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours… Everything we don't grab will go to them." Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

  • Chris

    You don't hear any shrieking. I don't know why you're whining. I have not seen the Koenig before, but the Dayan is totally out of context and therefore meaningless in this exchange.

    As for Sharon's remarks in 1998, unverified at the moment, so what?

  • Addamo

    Ehud Olmert should have added to his speech that the Palestinians should have followed Israerl's example and elected a war criminal.

    Then again, given the accolades Sharon has received, maybe we should expect to hear peopel refer to Hamas as the party of peace?

  • orang

    "…. the genocide party"
    Really?
    http://www.jerusalem.indymedia.org/news/2002/04/1
    "… the Israelis shoot to kill anything that moves.. we got more food.. being pulled by other Palestinians to go in with them.. begging us to help pull out buried people.. tanks moving about.. we we're about to get to the people under the rubble, because the tanks were in the way.. with my own eyes I saw at least a hundred homes are gone.. Dennis: how many people died?.. Sofia: why aren't they letting rescue squads come in and pull these people out of the rubble?.. civilians are dying as we speak.. Dennis: mass graves?.. Sofia: the Palestinians that I interveiwed, said the Israelis were putting bodies.. the Israelis have even said that they have taken corpses and buried them in the Jordan Valley"

  • John Ryan

    What would you expect from Chris and a country that protects it own war crimmals,while decrying everyone elses.
    Just for the record was Begin a Terrorist in the era leading up to the stealing of some one elses land. and the handover to the Israelis,no wonder the Brits would have arrested him and shot him,you opress people long enoug they will fight back as ye sow so shall ye reap.
    Maybe the Israeli Govt can paint a familar sign on the entrance into the occuppied territorys,Work makes you free as from what I can see theres not a lot of difference between them and there former oppressers in Germany

  • Chris

    If all you can come with are unsupported rumors based on people fabricating on their feet, then stay home.

    You think the Palestinians should have elected a war criminal? But they already elected Arafat, who stole their money and led them to new lows.

    Voting their souls, they have elected the Palestinian political party that advocates genocide. What better label than "The Genocide Party" – TGP? It certainly doesn't carry the stigmata of death as the name hamas does, at least not yet.

  • Addamo

    Fabricating on their feet? You are descending into one of your incohenrent defensive rants. Orang provides links and you sau they are unsupported. JohD provides quotes and you sy they are links.

    What does unsupported mean? That you don't agree or that you don't regard other people's links as valid?

  • Chris

    The last reference left by orang was a report of people fabricating on their feet. It was more polite that calling them outright liars. The links provided no support of the veracity of the report. In fact, the link proved that it was unsupported by factual information.

  • orang

    How can a grown man person-I assume you are "grown" , stunted or really short , no matter as long as you're over 21, how can a grown person dribble out this garbage like "the genocide party"?

    There is some level of cognisance on this site, your goo goo, ga ga level of opinion is not really appreciated. Not to say there is no desire for some cut and thrust of opinion and arguement – but this faux hysteria gets tiresome.

  • Addamo

    Good pooint Orang,

    Chris appears to reserve the right to inflamatory languiage and gratuitous platitudes for him and Captain only. When their opponents indulge in anythign remotely similar, he deems it as unsupported or baseless.

  • Chris

    I guess the same way a supposedly grown person can attempt to pass the garbage on http://www.jerusalem.indymedia.org/news/2002/04/1… as fact when, it is clearly fiction.

    Tired? Go away. No one is forcing you to stay and whine.

  • Addamo

    It's not for you to decide who goes away and stays Chris. I remember you saying the same thing to me only recently.

  • Nadia

    One of the observers to the election in Palestine was the former PM in Sweden Carl B. His view was that the election went on as in any Swedish city under election, he fully approved of it all.

  • Chris

    I have not decided. No one is forcing you to stay and whine, either.

    Orang clearly indicated that he was tired. I suggested a solution. It is up to him to make any choice he so desires.

  • JohD

    This level of Zionist discourse gets tiresome and is designed to prevent intelligent discussion about the issues. It is simply a poisoning of the well exercise. I seriously suggest that Chris should be booted since it is a forlorn hope that significant counter opinion will appear anytime soon. I move that Orang's complaint be upheld, and Chris be dismissed forthwith as an Idiotarian (not that there's anything wrong with that). Let him find some other ghetto to babble on in.

  • Addamo

    I disagree Joh,

    While Chris does often resort to absurd arguments, he does have make a worthwhile contribution to the forum. Compared to the recently departed Ibraham, he is a breath of fresh air.

  • JohD

    The election of Hamas introduces an interesting dimension to the situation. No longer will the Jews only State be able to pretend that they do not continuously kill Palestinians so they intend to drop the pretense on grounds that they can now openly justify their slaughter.

    I expect Hamas will demonstrate a degree of political sophistication that will suprise many. They are obviously learning fast and so far have stayed on message and focussed.

    Expect provocative non-violent, Hamas led, peaceful protests directed against occupation forces in the West Bank and Gaza. The Jews only State have not learnt to deal with the mass rallies organized by Hamas, and will be provoked into disastrous reactions, such as confronting unarmed protestors with tank missiles.

    I expect Hamas to also target the many military checkpoints in the Occupied territories until they become unworkable. I have witnessed the dynamics of relative power when people confront an oppressive security regime. Those with the guns always lose.

    Everything that happens after Hamas assumes control will be seen to be the result of Israeli actions, so long as Hamas maintains discipline. Things are going to get tough, but Hamas has four years, and four years is a long time in politics.

  • Addamo

    Let's hope your right JohD and that Hamas does indeed maintain discipline and focus in this regard. I do agree that they will surprise many, and that Israel realise they are no longer daling witha toothless tiger in the political arena.

    Let's hoep that the media remain vigilant in reporting the occurences on the ground when Israel do resort to extreme measures.

    it's abotu time that Israel's false pretensions are exposed and condemned ona wider scale.

  • Chris

    I'm sure Israel realizes it is dealing with an organization bent on genocide. I'm sure Israel also realizes that this organization freely represents the will of the Palestinian people.

    Now that the Palestinian's false pretentions have been stripped away by their choice in leadership, Israel is free to act in accordance with the best interests of its citizens and no longer concern themselves with any worry about world backlash.

    Hopefully, the media will remain vigilant in reporting the occurences on the ground when Hamas resorts to extreme measures. They have proven somewhat lacksidasical in reporting on the inner Hamas meetings.

    I also expect that as soon as Hamas targets a military checkpoint, Israel will consider it a declaration of war and act accordingly.

  • Chris

    It appears that Fatah and Hamas will kill off each other, allowing Israel to sit back and watch the mayhem:

    RAMALLAH, West Bank – The Hamas-controlled Palestinian parliament Monday canceled all decisions made during the last session of the outgoing legislature, signaling a confrontational approach to dealing with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' party.

    The last parliament, dominated by the Fatah Party, gave additional powers to Abbas. Those included empowering Abbas to appoint a new, nine-judge constitutional court that would have the authority to resolve any dispute between him and the Hamas-dominated parliament or Cabinet.

    The court also could veto legislation deemed to violate the Palestinians' Basic Law, a forerunner to the Palestinian constitution.

    The previous parliament also approved last-minute appointments of five Fatah members to key government positions, including head of the Palestinian Authority's personnel department.

    Fatah legislators walked out in protest before Monday's vote. Fatah lawmakers argued that Hamas was breaking the rules by holding the vote and that the last session of the Fatah-controlled parliament was legal.

    During the voting, a dozen Fatah gunmen walked near the parliament building in Gaza City, firing into the air. The gunmen eventually headed to a nearby meeting of Fatah leaders, demanding that their party not join a Hamas government, with one masked gunman saying any Fatah politician joining would be killed.

  • Addamo

    More hysterical and alarmist hyperbole Chris. Always a sure sign you are lost for any rhetorical substance. You really need to change your tactics once in a while, because you are becoming very predictable.

    By your reasoning therefore, Israel has admitted to being a supporter of terror and an endorser of war crimes, having voted one as their elected leader. If Hamas resorts to extreme measures, i.e. violence, then yes, the media should definitely report it. Similarly, if Hamas avois violence and resorts to peaceful means, that too should be reported. If Israel resorts to violence in the face of non-violent denotations, then that too should be reported.

    If Hamas demonstrates military checkpoints (peacefully) and Israel use that as a precedent for war, then perhaps the veneer of Israel wanting peace will be removed once and for all.

  • Chris

    Not by my reasoning, but by your prejudicial thought. Congratulate yourself on coming to your own conclutions based on your own manufactured 'facts', no doubt misremembered from the distant past.

    If Hamas demonstrates military checkpoints (peacefully), it will be a sight to behold.

  • Addamo

    Yes, it would be a sight to behold, but a good thing you must agree.

    Or could it be that part of you really does want to see Hamas fail to rehabilitate itself and it's image?

  • orang

    Mr Dershowitz must be proud of his proginy we have infecting this blog. Similar style in fact to the current right wing loonies running the US and Israel. There are laws – but they don't apply to us, because we are special. We are more than special, we are exceptional. So when we want to slaughter civilians, torture, steal, murder, all we need to say is – they are really, really, bad and then we are blessed in our eyes.
    Sure torture is bad, but believe us, we need to do it.

    "Our sufferings have granted us immunity papers, as it were . . . After what all those dirty goyim have done to us, none of them is entitled to preach morality to us. We, on the other hand, have carte blanche, because we were victims and have suffered so much. Once a victim, always a victim, and victimhood entitles its owners to a moral exemption."
    (Amos Oz (born Klausner), 1982)

  • Addamo

    Orang,

    Ouch!! I hope you are prepared for this quote to be deemed false by the mere wave of Chris's wand.

  • Chris

    Ouch? Over something a novelist, better known as a fiction writer, wrote 24 years ago?

  • Addamo

    "Jews have inherently evil character traits that Muhammad warned Muslims about in the Koran"

    Where these quots from the Koran?

    Who made those statement? Can you provide names, dates, locations? Proof that they were made at all?

    If one of us were to pull out quotes like that (made by jews about Muslims) without any validation you would laugh them off.

  • Chris

    Who made the statement? names? dates? Did you even read the post? From line 3:

    In a televised sermon May 13, 2005, Ibrahim Mudayris reiterated many of the oft-repeated PA justifications for the anticipated genocide of Jews, including the following hate messages:

    Get it? Ibrahim Mudayris, in a televsed sermon on may 13, 2005, stated that the Koran has it in it. Go ask him.

    Sometimes it seems that redlight comes on and you charge out without thinking at all.

  • Addamo

    Oppps, my bad. Thansk for correcting me.

    Who is Ibrahim Mudayris but a loud mouthed cleric? Was he elected to any policitcal position? Did he say, commit war crimes on the scale of a certain fat war criminal presently lying in a coma? How many homes was he responsible for bulldozing?

  • Chris

    He is a cleric who is allowed to preach such hatred on official Palestinian television.

    Who is Amos Oz? Is he a dead arab war criminal who is responsible for the deaths of thousands of women and children? For stealing hundreds of millions of dollars while he kept his own people starving and malnourished, while his fat wife fattens his daughter in the comfort of a French suite suitible for a Sultan's whore?

  • Addamo

    Gee hatred on television!! Imagine that?

    What happened to a certain Pat Robertson calling for the assasination of a certain leader of Venezuela? Did he get so much as a slap on the wrist? No. he as merely dismissed as a quack.

  • orang

    ..or, is he a half dead zionist war criminal the rest of your post right up to "malnourished," . I'm not sure if he has a fat wife or daughter, but I think he has a son who is in jail for corruption?

  • Chris

    You're no sure? Pleading ignorance again as an excuse?

  • orang

    now were getting jibberish.

  • Chris

    Addamo

    Mar 7th, 2006 at 9:43 am

    Oooooooooooooooooooops

    Is that the gibberish you were referring to?