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.

Standing up for occupation

After three disastrous years in Iraq – the Sydney Morning Herald’s headline today is pure fantasy: “White House sees hope amid chaos in Iraq” – George Bush is now talking about using “military might” against Iran:

“The threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel. That’s a threat, a serious threat. It’s a threat to world peace. I made it clear, and I’ll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally Israel.” 

Iran knows the US is heavily weakened by the Iraq war. When Bush talks about Iran’s “interference within a democratic process” in Iraq, one presumes he sees the irony of an occupier warning a neighbour to butt out. Australian Prime Minister John Howard seems remarkably ill-informed about the situation in Iraq and says that he defends the Iraq mission on “moral grounds” and “Iraqis have a better future now than they would have had if there had not been a military operation.” One of the Arab world’s finest journalists, Zaki Chehab, asks the obvious question: was life better under Saddam?

11 comments ↪
  • smiths

    having real problems with the link button

  • smiths

    http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/

    cant the soddingh thing to work as a proper link

  • Addamo

    The Bush adminstration is famous to insisting that they creater their won reality.

    Creating your own reality means that when you cannot put down a resistance based in 5 million Iraqi Sunnis, you attack 70 million Iranians, who are allied with 15 million Shia in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Palestine.

    What the SMH also misses is that the attack in Iran was planned before the warm up they had with Iraq. It was going ot happen regardless of the outcome in Iraq. The people making these descisions are not effected either way.

    Howard might care to explain how an unecesary war that was based on lies and fabrications on a massive scale can be in any way raionalised on moral grounds. He seems to be learnign the Orwellin longo form his masters in Washington.

  • Addamo

    Here is a REALLY funny story. I expect that the cyborgs over at Tim Blair will also have egg on their faces over this one.

    The right wing of the Blogosphere has been going gagga over some this document
    http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents-docex/

    that were found in post invasion Iraq, that apprently tied Saddam Hussein to terrorist groups. It bypassed the MSM and went straight to the rign wing bloggers.

    Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard, has been running with this story, and even Christopher Hitchens has jumped on the bandwagon:

    This commitment doesn't override truth, and I know that a lot of people feel that they were cheated or even lied into the war. It seems amazing to me that so many people have adopted the "Saddam Hussein? No problem!" view before the documents captured from his regime have even been translated, let alone analyzed. I am sure that when this task has been completed, history will make fools of those who believed that he was no threat, had no terror connections, was "in his box," and so forth. A couple of recent disclosures lend some point to my view. The first are the findings published in the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs, and the second is the steady work of Stephen Hayes, over at the Weekly Standard, aimed at getting some of the captured documents declassified.

    Well as it turns out, the documents are fakes or at the very least, part of some scam. Read the links for more detailed explanation.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/17/134552/86http://www.juancole.com/2006/03/right-blogosphere

    Fact is stranger than fiction sometimes.

  • Howard on Lateline last night was like watching your demented old grandfather trying to explain why people really are stealing his socks, and it's not just his imagination.

    Howard's belief that everything is pretty close to rosey in iraq sees him isolated from even his closest allies. Bush is adding three or four more admitted mistakes of the Iraq fiasco with every speech, Iyad Allawi doesn't fear civil war but believes its well and truly already on, Rumsfeld is thinking beyond Iraq war and is looking to a Europe wide clash of white versus brown, and Blair is backtracking so fast he won't even pick up the phone when Bush calls to discuss the Iran situation.

    Now Iyad Allawi is telling the truth about what is happening in Iraq, Howard thinks it's all pure politics, after all Allawi is a politician, so why would he tell the truth? Ahh, about what you, Mr Howard?

    Tony Jones, ever fearful of being accused of left-wing bias, let Howard babble on for three or four minutes at a time, allowing only two or three questions on Iraq, and two or three on the 'Cash For Saddam' scandal. The Usual.

    I expect that the Right Will Itself plague now spreading through the pro-war crowd is well infesting the Liberal Party. None of them, except Howard, when forced, want to talk about Iraq at all anymore, and none, including Howard, will even say the words "War" or "Soldier" out loud.

    Perhaps a wave of monster cyclones smashing Australia will allow Howard to quietly withdraw the troops "to deal with the situation at home".

    We need yearly mental checks for all our politicians, and Howard needs to be at the front of the queue.

    It is dangerous for Australian citizens to live in a delusional world, but its deadly when our leaders are wandering those endless, dark corridors living in a reality shared by few others than themselves.

  • Addamo

    Great post Darryl,

    It seems that not only does power corrupt, but it also serves to isolate the ruling elite.

  • Chris

    Zaki Chehab, asks the obvious question: was life better under Saddam?

    It was not better for the 5000 dead kurds. It was not better for the thousands in mass graves. It was not better for the shi'ites who wanted equality. It was not better for the kurds.

    Risking the numerous posts that will challange this, But life for the majority of Gernmans were better under nazi rule from 1936 through 1939 then they were under the previous administrations.

    That is not justification for anything.

  • smiths
  • Addamo

    It was not better for the 5000 dead kurds.

    Maybe, but now there are more than 100,000 thousand dead Iraqis, so the cost benefit ratio is pretty hard to justify.

    It was not better for the thousands in mass graves.

    There are thousands in mass graves still. Where else would the 100,000 thousand plus dead Iraqis be burried? In Fallujah, they had to turn soccer fields into mass graves.

    It was not better for the shi’ites who wanted equality.

    That's debatable. For moderate Shi’ites things are probably no better seeing as Islamic law is the over-riding law, and there are indicators that country is headed towards thocracy.

    Let's not forget that half the population are women and women's rights are definitely heading to all time lows.

    Electricity is below pre-war levels as is oil production. Unemployment is undertsandably very high.

    It was not better for the kurds.

    That's true, but the security of the Kurds is not a fete accompli. Turkey is not happy about the possibility of a Kurdish state and may likely challnge it.

  • smiths

    this is what jeff wells at had to say though

    If all we can do is feel bad, and think we've accomplished something by having been moved, then perhaps we deserve to be judged with Husam's murderers. Because then we're scavenging the losses of others and making them our own, garlanding ourselves in tragedy, building an anti-war sentiment upon how upsetting it is to us. In that event, we won't be seeking justice, we'll just be looking to feel better. And the illusion of action will be more satisfying than its ambiguous reality.

    Information warriors. Jesus Christ, how precious of us.

  • orang

    ..why should I bother my beautiful mind with all of this?..(Out damned spot)