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.

Iraq, explained

Greg Palast, The Guardian, March 20:

“It’s about oil,” Robert Ebel told me. Who is Ebel? Formerly the CIA’s top oil analyst, he was sent by the Pentagon, about a month before the invasion, to a secret confab in London with Saddam’s former oil minister to finalize the plans for “liberating” Iraq’s oil industry. In London, Bush’s emissary Ebel also instructed Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, the man the Pentagon would choose as post-OIF oil minister for Iraq, on the correct method of disposing Iraq’s crude.

And what did the USA want Iraq to do with Iraq’s oil? The answer will surprise many of you: and it is uglier, more twisted, devilish and devious than anything imagined by the most conspiracy-addicted blogger. The answer can be found in a 323-page plan for Iraq’s oil secretly drafted by the State Department. Our team got a hold of a copy; how, doesn’t matter. The key thing is what’s inside this thick Bush diktat: a directive to Iraqis to maintain a state oil company that will “enhance its relationship with OPEC.”

6 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    Smiths,

    You are right. Palast did a story last year which exposed an in fight between the neocons and Big Oil. The neocons wanted Iraq’s oil to be privatised (to break the OPEC hold on oil domination) but Big Oil was totally against the idea. Big Oil are too close to OPEC and are addicted to the pullign the sitrngs when it comes to oil cupply and demand.

    The neocons lost out. One of the reaons guys like Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle and Co have moved on to new jobs.

  • Addamo

    One of the biggest reaons the neocons had for invading Iraq, among other things, was to break the back of OPEC, whon they dispised. Nothing get's up a neocons arse more than when the US or Israel ar enot holding all the cards.

  • boredinHk

    Addamo,

    I hope you have had a chance to look at the book

    " Blood and Oil" by Michael Klare . The long term view taken by successive US administrations since WW2, the long period of time that the US has been working with the Saudis, the relationship between the US military command structure and it's placing of the Gulf in a central role are all explained .

    Iraq is one piece of the whole and not even a very large piece apparently. The details of military support to the different gulf states also makes interesting reading – for example he cites figures that show the Saudis receive about 8x the military spending that Israel gets from the US.The spending of the Russians and now the chinese are also illuminating.

  • Addamo

    boredinHk

    No I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I will when I have the chance.

    Speaking fo books, I would recommend to you "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, if you haven't already. It deals with Saudi Arabia and the deal struck between the US and the Saudi's after the 1970's oil crisis.

    Essentially, the US gave the Saudi's a deal. it went somethign like this:

    -The Saudis woudl guarantee an In return for uninerrupted supply of oil cheap to the US.
    -The Saudi's would agree to trade oil in US dollars only
    -That the proficts from oil sales woudl be kept in US banks and acrue interest that way
    -That the interest from the oil profits would go toward paying for US companies to modernise the infrastructure in Saudi Arabia's main cities, especialyl Ryad.

    In return the US would:

    Guarantee protection to Saudi Arabia from it's enemies
    Guarantee protection to Saudi leadership from any challenges to their rule
    Provide Saudi Arabi with arms

    Apparently Kissinger was the main deal maker.

    I suspect that Perkins and Klare are very much in agreement on man of these issues.

    Getting back to the neocons, they regard Kissingers brand of Realpolitik as anathema, thus their stance against OPEC. While it is true the US administrations since WWII have mainatined close ties with the Saudi's, the Bush adminsitartino foreign policy has very much been overtaken by these Strassians.

  • smiths

    hold on though, this article says the opposite,
    that the invasion was to limit supply to keep opecs quotas in place,
    saddam was a problem for letting out too much oil,
    it is supportive of big oil and opec

  • Progressive_Atheist

    Yesterday was March 20th, the date for the introduction of the Iran Oil Bourse, and it has passed without so much as a squaek. So, are we going to invade Iran or what?