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.

Duking it out

Days after a comprehensive report on the US Zionist lobby was released, The New York Sun reports the event:

A paper recently co-authored by the academic dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government about the allegedly far-reaching influence of an “Israel lobby” is winning praise from white supremacist David Duke.

The Palestine Liberation Organization mission to Washington is distributing the paper, which also is being hailed by a senior member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization.

Duke, a former Louisiana state legislator and one-time Ku Klux Klan leader, called the paper “a great step forward,” but he said he was “surprised” that the Kennedy School would publish the report.

“I have read about the report and read one summary already, and I am surprised how excellent it is,” he said in an e-mail. “It is quite satisfying to see a body in the premier American University essentially come out and validate every major point I have been making since even before the war even started.” Duke added that “the task before us is to wrest control of America’s foreign policy and critical junctures of media from the Jewish extremist Neocons that seek to lead us into what they expectantly call World War IV.”

An author of the report has distanced himself from the Duke praise. The paper’s approach was a predictable smear on a scholarly text. Norman Finkelstein has faced similar criticisms. A number of neo-Nazis and anti-Semites have supported his thesis on Israel and Zionism so critics charge Finkelstein, ipso facto, as an anti-Semite. I have faced similar irrational charges.

Finkelstein is neither anti-Semitic nor anti-Israel. He is merely critical of the Israeli establishment and its gross human rights abuses. If one’s work is appropriated by others as a weapon against Jews, I believe it is the job of the writer to explain his position and defend himself. After all, many far-right Christians support George Bush, as do many dictators around the world. Do we therefore say that every Bush supporter is an anti-abortionist and Uzbekistan-style autocrat? Hardly (though it is pretty hard to find sane Bush supporters in 2006.)

UPDATE: Angry Arab responds to the Harvard study and criticises its findings:

The authors seem intent on blaming all the ills in US foreign policy on the Israeli lobby. There are obvious problems with that approach: it seems to ignore or deny the ills of US foreign policy in regions outside the Middle East. It also absolves the US administration, any US administration, from any responsibility because they (the administrations) become portrayed as helpless victims of an all-powerful lobby. Thirdly, the approach does not take into consideration the interests that certain elements of the US establishment see in maintaining US foreign policy toward Israel. Fourthly, the approach does not situate US foreign policy in the Middle East into the context of the global role of the US, especially in the ear of Bush – and Clinton. 

28 comments ↪
  • maxk

    Frankly, i agree with angry arab's analysis, this report seems to be an attempt at an easy to understand and vaguely anti-semitic explanation of America's foreign policy. The truth is and it always will be as such that the US acts in it's own percieved interests and those only. Israel's interests at the moment are similar to US foreign policy aims (and have been since 1967) but as soon as it is no longer in the US's interests to support Israel 'america's closest ally' will be dumped like a ton of bricks.

  • An excellent, methodical, yet uncomplicated assessment. Mearsheimer is one of the most respected 'realist' international relations academics in the world. I think he's Jewish too. A copy of his paper should be mailed to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs.

  • Addamo

    I totally agree Iqbal,

    It was a very thourough and compreensive work, Of course, any diplomat or policianseen with this report coudl probabyl kiss his career godbye, for the very reasons explained so eloquently in the report.

  • John Ryan

    We await the Zionist reply of the defenders of the indefensible Imperial Israel, Chris and Captian

  • Addamo

    Who wants to take bets on what the usual suspects will say? Here are the possible permutations:

    1. That the report has no relevance
    2. That Mearsheimer has been discredited
    3. That there is no such thing as the Jewish lobby therefore the report is moot
    4. That none of us are knowledgeable enough on the subject to comment
    5. That Hamas is commited to the destruction of Israel
    6. That the Jewish Lobby is essential to Israel's security
    7. That criticism of the Jewsih Lobby means support for Hamas, support for the destrution of Israel

  • Antony Loewenstein

    You forgot one! The report's authors are anti-Semitic and anyone who agrees with it are also anti-Semites.

  • Addamo

    Here's an amuaing link of Pat Robertson giving priase to the latest rag by David Horowitz, who identifies the 100 most dangerous intellectuals in the US.

    I guess you could call this the equivalent of the sex offenders register, only for those who don't lavish parise on Israel.
    http://movies.crooksandliars.com/700-Club-Horowit

    I wonder if Horowitz anbd Dershowitz are at all related. They seem to suffer fro mthe same mental ilness, and it's probably hereditory.

  • Comical_Ali

    and anyone who questions the Islamic world is a racist and 'Islamophobe,' right?

    Anyone up for burning some consulates or killing some heathens here & there?

    Since Duke uneqivocally came out in support of the report, there is no need for "smearing." The report does it on its own.

    The authors seem intent on blaming all the ills in US foreign policy on the Israeli lobby.

    At least Angry Arab has some common sense – common sense much needed on this blog.

  • Addamo

    Quesrioning Islam is nto rascits, but suggesting that Arabs are somehow genetically pre-disposed to being suicide bombers or warlords is.

    The authors seem intent on blaming all the ills in US foreign policy on the Israeli lobby.

    And who came up with this trademanrk responsse to any criticism of Israel? Becomming a tad predictable isn't it?

    Chirs,

    You are again wining like a little girl at the shoolyard who is constatly running to the teacher to dob in her classmates. What is your problem? Can no one share a joke or a spot fo sarcasm without you throwing a wobbly?

    Is is trite and worn out to make the accusations you made. very boring.

    I tend to agree, hwoever you in particular, prove to us time and time again how accurate it is.

    Couldn’t you come up with anything new or creative?

    We wil when you stop being so predictable. Give us soem fresh maerial Chris. Use your imagination.

  • Leo Buddha

    The (politcally) religious will not read this

    Stephen Walt's War with Israel

    Richard Baehr and Ed Lasky

    The American Thinker

    March 20th, 2006

    <a href="http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5342

    ” target=”_blank”>http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5342

    Those with an open mind may

  • Comical_Ali

    Quesrioning Islam is nto rascits, but suggesting that Arabs are somehow genetically pre-disposed to being suicide bombers or warlords is.

    I was talking about questioning Islam – drawing lame stick figures of Mohammed included.

    If you want racism, how about "Jewish control" and the "jews are behind 9/11" blood libel as spouted on this forum so often?

    And speaking of powerful and manipulative lobby groups:

    Its a tad bit ironic that this particular academic – David Duke endorsed – report about the "Israel lobby" came out after the Harvard school of government recieved $11 million in Saudi grant money. I guess all that Arab lobbying must be paying off…

    And Question for Antony – does your own Middle East board at Macquarie recieve any private grant money from Arab countries/lobby groups? I know that the UAE gives quite abit to Amin Saikal's mob in Canberra (tens of millions) to lobby on their behalf. What about your mob?

    I guess its time for the "all powerful Israel lobby" to live up to its name.

  • Addamo

    Its a tad bit ironic that this particular academic – David Duke endorsed – report about the “Israel lobby” came out after the Harvard school of government recieved $11 million in Saudi grant money.

    Equally Iroinic is that Harvard is also the wrok plac eof Allan Dershowitz. You think he got to refurbish his office and set up some PODcast inks with his buddiest in the Knesset?

    guess its time for the “all powerful Israel lobby” to live up to its name.

    It does. You'll never hear Bush rallyign to support a country in the ME.

  • captain

    When the views are almost identical between the white supremacist and the Jew haters here, at what point do you merely dismiss the facade of the Jew haters and call a spade a spade? At least Duke is honest about his repugnant beliefs. People like Edward merely duck and weave and lack the honesty to say who they really stand for in this debate.

    Oh, and where is the bleeding here about Sudan? Oops, forgot: no way to blame Jews, its only the natives killing each other. Debased double standards of the left once again.

  • Comical_Ali

    Equally Iroinic is that Harvard is also the wrok plac eof Allan Dershowitz. You think he got to refurbish his office and set up some PODcast inks with his buddiest in the Knesset?

    So he's giving away tens of millions of dollars a year to Harvard, is he?

    I guess Edward Said also had a direct link from the prestigious University of Columbia via podcast to the PLO, Hezbollah and Osama (who was hypernating in a cave somewhere at the time).

    Such a dill.

    And Antony, please answer my question – who is funding your "academic board" (i.e political lobby group)?

  • Addamo

    Captain,

    You builder of straw men. Whenever you run out of arguments, you can always be relied on to take someone's else's position and completely falsify it. Must be because you are so ashamed of what you stand for.

    When the views are almost identical between the white supremacist and the Jew haters here, at what point do you merely dismiss the facade of the Jew haters and call a spade a spade?

    Actually, that's compete the reverse. Many white supremacists, in say the US, are also evangelicals who are devoted followers of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. How many black people do you think are amongst their flock? Seeing as these guys describe themselves as Zionists, that would therefore suggest that white supremacists are in abundance in Israel’s amen corner.

    It is the neocons and chicken hawks in Washington’s think tanks who are after all, frothing at the mouth at the idea of a clash of civilizations.

    The white supremacist argument is a complete canard. Most Jews are a good deal whiter that Palestinians.

    People like Edward merely duck and weave and lack the honesty to say who they really stand for in this debate.

    And what do you do when the horrors of IDF actions are held to your face? Oh but Hams said this so that makes them worse, even though they haven’t killed a fraction of those murdered by the IDF.

    Oh, and where is the bleeding here about Sudan?

    Where is your bleeding about it, other than to use it as a talking point whenever you are backed into a rhetorical corner?

    David Duke also gave praise to Cindy Sheehan if you recall. It seems he has a habit of making an appearance when he is most needed. Perhaps AIPAC has him on a retainer?

    Speaking of Cindy Sheehan, anyone remember last year at Bush’s ranch how a bus load of white supremacists arrived uninvited and unexpected to support her? Fox news were there hoping to catch it but it turned out to be a non event when Sheehan said they had a right to protest but denounced what they stood for. I wonder who organized that?

  • Chris

    How many were murdered by the IDF? Actual figures. No quotes from notoriously propagandist palestinian sources.

    And not merely killed, but bonifide murders. I must assume you can look up the legal term and differentiate between what is and is not classified as murder.

    Please show the statistic of the whiteness of Jews as opposed to palestinians.

    Please show the White supremist sites which praise Falwell and Roberson for their zionist stand.

    Endorsement by David Duke is normally a death blow for the credibility of an organization.

  • Addamo

    Limiting ourselves to just the Second Intifada, from September 28 to the present. The record shows approximately 3,000 Palestinians have been killed, approximately 900 Israelis have been killed. On the Palestinian side and the Israeli side,

    Using the figures of B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories — on the Palestinian and the Israeli side roughly one-half to two-thirds of the total number were civilians or bystanders. And if you look at the findings of the human rights supports — B'Tselem, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, and so forth — they all say that Israel uses reckless indiscriminate fire against Palestinians, and B'Tselem says when you have so many civilian casualties, you have, you know, 600 Palestinian children who have been killed, which is the total number of Israeli civilians killed. 600 Palestinian children killed.

  • Addamo

    And not merely killed, but bonifide murders. I must assume you can look up the legal term and differentiate between what is and is not classified as murder.

    One could argue that suicide bombers and terrorists are actually legitimate soldiers in the filed of battle. After all, who's to decide whether they are murdering people or just killing them?

  • Addamo

    Endorsement by David Duke is normally a death blow for the credibility of an organization.

    That sort of guilt-by-agreement reasoning is inane and bankrupt, but there are never any limits when it comes to destroying the reputation of anyone who even dares to address the pernicious and disastrous influence of neoconservatives over U.S. foreign policy. It is a discussion strictly off-limits and the minimum punishment is to be quickly and widely branded as an anti-Semitic bigot, in this case, the moral equivalent of David Duke and Hamas.

    By this “reasoning,” if a racist like David Duke supports one of your views or says anything complimentary about your argument, it means that you, too, are a racist, and are the equivalent of David Duke. Let's take that "reasoning" and apply it to some other examples.

    Many Republicans and conservatives share all kinds of views with overt white supremacists, including their shared vigorous opposition to immigration, affirmative action and gay rights. If Mearsheimer and Walt are now to be branded as racists and anti-Semites simply by virtue of David Duke's agreement with some of their arguments, wouldn't that same rationale compel the conclusion that anyone espousing anti-immigration, anti-gay equality, or anti-affirmative action views ought to be labelled the equivalent of the Aryan Brotherhood by virtue of the latter's embrace of those same positions?

    Please show the White supremist sites which praise Falwell and Roberson for their zionist stand.

    In a post from December, 2005, Hunter over at Daily Kos collected a series of quotes from a whole slew of Bush allies, such as O'Reilly, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, The Liberty Counsel, and The Catholic League's William Donahue, declaring that there is a secret movement in America to wage war on Christmas, with O'Reilly, Donahue, and the Liberty Counsel — joined by David Duke — expressly blaming that war on Jews. And, of course, O'Reilly infamously told a Jewish caller last December who said that he found O'Reilly' views on Christmas objectionable to "move to Israel."

    And then there is this Village Voice article — entitled “Conservatives, White Supremacists Take to the Florida Streets” — which details the support given to the Bush campaign during the recount fight by the Florida White Supremacist group Stormfront. Its leader, former KKK Grand Wizard Donald Black, said that "he is counseling fellow 'pro-white' extremists to show up to support Bush."

    Why does the Bush Administration attract so many supporters who traffic in such blatant anti-Semitism? What does it say about Powerline that they defend Bill O'Reilly even as he spews this sort of bigotry? And what can we conclude about Glenn Reyonlds and the Powerline buddies that they are part of the same political movement, and support the same President, as those who claim to the country that Jews are waging war on Christianity and Christmas and that lurking behind every political danger is a slippery, Christ-hating, money trading, international financier Jew who wants to feed America drugs and kill off Christianity?

  • Chris

    One can argue that suicide bombers and terrorists are actually legitimate soldiers in the filed of battle, but that same person could just as easily argue that the dead still breathe, their breath being to shallow for us to detect.

    The person arguing such could just as easily be committed and wear a straight jacket. I assume you are arguing such.

    So we still have no number of any actual murders committed by the IDF. As we do have numbers of those killed by Hamas (That was your criteria) It must be that you were mistaken, ignorant, or deliberately lying. All we need to determine is when you actually knew it was not true.

    As for guilt by agreement, you earlier argued that the US supported the refusal to allow the girls, who later died, from leaving the burning building because of the way they were dressed. So you fully support the 'guilt by agreement' reasoning. Or you are inane and (intelectually) bankrupt, or mistaken, ignorant, or deliberately lying. All we need to determine is when you actually knew your previous argument was not true.

    You have still failed show the White supremist sites which praise Falwell and Roberson for their zionist stand. Again, the above holds true, we only need determine when.

  • Addamo

    The person arguing such could just as easily be committed and wear a straight jacket. I assume you are arguing such.

    meaningless statement that vilates the rules fo this forum. next…

    So we still have no number of any actual murders committed by the IDF.

    Pay attentiuon. I provided you with numbers quorted from B'Tselem.

    So you fully support the ‘guilt by agreement’ reasoning.

    Wrong. I just pointed out how ludicrous it was and that such a flawed argument cuts both ways. In his ignorance, Captain assertd that the lefgt is aligned with White Supremacists, when in fact, White Supremacists are associated with the far right.

    Or you are inane and (intelectually) bankrupt, or mistaken, ignorant, or deliberately lying.

    No that is your forte.

    All we need to determine is when you actually knew your previous argument was not true.

    With all the free time your job allows you, that should keep you busy.

    You have still failed show the White supremist sites which praise Falwell and Roberson for their zionist stand.

    I don't need to. You argued that endorsement by david Duke amounts to the destuctino of ones credibility. Seeing as Duke, Robertson and Falwell are in agreement about political leanings and attitudes to oterh races, they are one and the same if one were to apply your "guilt by association"ien of reasoning.

  • edward squire

    captain Mar 22nd, 2006 at 11:24 pm

    People like Edward merely duck and weave and lack the honesty to say who they really stand for in this debate.

    O Captain, My Captain: okay okay. I'll be completely honest with you. I honestly believe you are mentally disturbed – more particularly, paranoid and delusional. Please see a psychologist immediately. Explain your beliefs about the secret, hidden hatred of group X (let X be whatever you like) by others who never actually reveal their secret, hidden hatreds, but must possess them because they just must.

  • Addamo

    The imaginary arguments Captain creates out of thin air are a wonder to behold. I wonder if he indulges in some halucinagenic drugs before he writes something, in the vain hope that something remotely commonsensical will emerge.

    The poor fellow doesn't even have a handle on his left from his right.

  • Chris

    So we still have no number of any actual murders committed by the IDF.

    Pay attentiuon. I provided you with numbers quorted from B’Tselem.

    Pay attention. B'Tselem made no mention of any murders. Are you lying about murders? Can you tell us when you learned that your reference to B'tselem made no mention of murder by the IDF?

    If you don't need to prove your allegations, then neither does anyone else on this blog. You've just lied agian, and I don't need to prove it.

  • Addamo

    Using the figures of B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories — on the Palestinian and the Israeli side roughly one-half to two-thirds of the total number were civilians or bystanders.

    Inniocent bystanders were killed, thus murdered.

    As we have seen these past two week,s the IDF are now aiming at Palestinian children from point blank range,

  • Chris

    Your definition of murder is not used by any competent authority. Therefore, Hamas has certainly killed more Jews than the IDF has murdered Palestinians.

    Hamas has likely killed more palestinians than the IDF has murdered civilians.

    I have not seen a reliable source stating that the IDF is now "aiming at Palestinian children from point blank range,". Weir has proven, by her report that some child was shot in the mouth by an IDF member, that she is totally unreliable.

  • Addamo

    Therefore, Hamas has certainly killed more Jews than the IDF has murdered Palestinians.

    Wrong by a factor of three to one.

    Hamas has likely killed more palestinians than the IDF has murdered civilians.

    Wrong by a factor of three to one.

    I have not seen a reliable source stating that the IDF is now “aiming at Palestinian children from point blank range,”.

    Neither has Stevie Wonder. Helf a dozen Palestinians choldren shot in justr over a week is nto an accident, unless you insist that the IDF is staffed by a bunch of epileptic bufoons.

    Weir has proven, by her report that some child was shot in the mouth by an IDF member, that she is totally unreliable.

    How has she proven that? She wrote about what she saw. The problem is that she wasn;t suppose to see it was she?

    In your worldl Chris, reporting the facts on teh ground makes one unrelaible or discredited.

  • Chris

    Your stated criteria makes you incorrect. Hamas has killed many more than the IDF has murdered. That is the fact.

    Weir didn't write about what she saw. She reported what she was told as fact, rather than the fiction it probably was. She saw nothing.

    For all but you, heresay is not fact and is not evidence. But it is for you, only you.