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.

Speaking from the heart

Arguably Iraq’s best blogger is receiving her due recognition in the West:

An anonymous Iraqi woman has become the first blog author to be in the running for a big literary prize for a book published between hard covers.

Baghdad Burning, by a 26-year-old author who has won an international readership under the pen name Riverbend, is longlisted for the £30,000 Samuel Johnson award.

Riverbend began the blog with the words: “I’m female, Iraqi and 24. I survived the war. That’s all you need to know. It’s all that matters these days anyway.”

University-educated Riverbend worked as a computer programmer before the invasion which began on March 20, 2003.

She lost her job, she told her readers, when it became too dangerous for Iraqi women to travel to work alone. 

Her reflections on the three-year anniversary of the invasion displayed the trauma suffered by so many Iraqis since the country was “liberated.”

14 comments ↪
  • Chris

    She’s alive. Unlike the 100’s of thousands of Saddam’s victims.

  • Will Full

    Everyone should read the REFLECTIONS accompanying this article. It cuts across most of the American/British/Australian bullshit about how well Iraq is going and how democracy is flourishing.

    We, the people, are being fed a continual diet of lies, exaggerations and spin by our masters!

    It is time we stood up to them and took our democracy back.

    P.S. Read the article (at the bottom of REFLECTIONS) about the Oscars too – you'll get a good laugh something we need sometimes in this sick world.

  • Will Full

    Surely you meant millions of victims didn't you, Chris? If you're going to exaggerate might as well do it properly.

    Of course we wouldn't want to mention those killed by the brave COW, would we, or the many points raised in the REFLECTION article, or the depleted uranium devices?

    She might be existing but she's surely not 'alive', not in any meaningful sense of the word.

  • smiths

    chris, you really are a stinking turd of a person,

  • edward squire

    Will Full Mar 28th, 2006 at 3:39 pm

    Surely you meant millions of victims didn’t you, Chris?

    No he didn't. He meant billions – he is of course using the "Dershowitz Calculator"(TM). This marvelous device calculates deaths on a counterfactual basis.

    For example, how many Israelis were killed by suicide bombers? K = F C,

    where

    K is number killed;

    F is number in fact killed;

    C is number that would have been killed if all suicide bombers had been maximally successful.

    Thus, the "Dershowitz Calculator"(TM) shows the number of people who would have been killed by Saddam if Saddam had been more successful at killing than he actually was during his reign plus the maximum number of people Saddam could have killed if he had stayed in power til he was 150 years old.

  • edward squire

    Hmmm – interesting, the plus sign doesn't come out. Weird.

    K = F plus C

  • Addamo

    Do you actually doubt that Saddam is responsible for the deaths of 100’s of thousands?

    Diidn’t you mentino the figure in the millions Chris, or have you had a rethink abou t that?

    As for the NYT article, that was suring the Judy Miller peak BS period was it not? Of course, we know your a big fan of BS.

  • Chris

    Perhaps there is too much Chicken in your diet, preventing you from the proper use of your key board.

    When smiths gets riled, it is obvious the truth came out and he is pissed off.

    Do you actually doubt that Saddam is responsible for the deaths of 100's of thousands? You can't be that ignorant, can you?

  • Chris

    How Many People Has Saddam Killed?

    By John F. Burns

    The New York Times | January 27, 2003

    In the unlit blackness of an October night, it took a flashlight to pick them out: rust-colored butchers' hooks, 20 or more, each four or five feet long, aligned in rows along the ceiling of a large hangar-like building. In the grimmest fortress in Iraq's gulag, on the desert floor 20 miles west of Baghdad, this appeared to be the grimmest corner of all, the place of mass hangings that have been a documented part of life under Saddam Hussein.

    **********************************************

    In the end, if an American-led invasion ousts Mr. Hussein, and especially if an attack is launched without convincing proof that Iraq is still harboring forbidden arms, history may judge that the stronger case was the one that needed no inspectors to confirm: that Saddam Hussein, in his 23 years in power, plunged this country into a bloodbath of medieval proportions, and exported some of that terror to his neighbors.

    Reporters who were swept along with tens of thousands of near-hysterical Iraqis through Abu Ghraib's high steel gates were there because Mr. Hussein, stung by Mr. Bush's condemnation, had declared an amnesty for tens of thousands of prisoners, including many who had served long sentences for political crimes. Afterward, it emerged that little of long-term significance had changed that day. Within a month, Iraqis began to speak of wide-scale re-arrests, and officials were whispering that Abu Ghraib, which had held at least 20,000 prisoners, was filling up again.

    Like other dictators who wrote bloody chapters in 20th-century history, Mr. Hussein was primed for violence by early childhood. Born into the murderous clan culture of a village that lived off piracy on the Tigris River, he was harshly beaten by a brutal stepfather. In 1959, at age 22, he made his start in politics as one of the gunmen who botched an attempt to assassinate Iraq's first military ruler, Abdel Karim Kassem.

    Since then, Mr. Hussein's has been a tale of terror that scholars have compared to that of Stalin, whom the Iraqi leader is said to revere, even if his own brutalities have played out on a small scale. Stalin killed 20 million of his own people, historians have concluded. Even on a proportional basis, his crimes far surpass Mr. Hussein's, but figures of a million dead Iraqis, in war and through terror, may not be far from the mark, in a country of 22 million people.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 29th, 2006 at 5:23 am

    Do you actually doubt that Saddam is responsible for the deaths of 100’s of thousands? You can’t be that ignorant, can you?

    No, I can't be that ignorant. But it wasn't just hundreds of thousands. I wish you wouldn't keep under-estimating. The “Dershowitz Calculator”(TM) clearly shows that the number counterfactually killed is in the billions. Why do you insist on making excuses for Saddam? Disgusting.

  • Chris

    That would make one a fan of the material you post. I do not know anyone on this blog who is a fan of your posts with the accompanying BS.

  • Chris

    LOS ANGELES – The headline in this Sunday's Albany Times Union was a sobering slap in the face to those armchair strategists breezily debating a new invasion of Iraq:

    "Sanctions killing Iraq civilians, UN says 1 million — half children under 5 — have died for want of food and safe water."

    The article was from the Gannett News Service, a wire that feeds a chain of 94 newspapers across the United States.

    Coming as it did during a week in which plans concerning Iraq dominated political discussion, the news could not have been more timely. Too bad it was wrong.

    Because Saddam Hussein's government blocks any real independent inquiry, no one really knows how many civilians have died as a direct result of United Nations sanctions, which were originally imposed 12 years ago this past Tuesday in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

    But it is possible to declare, with some precision, that the UN has never said sanctions have killed 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five.

    This may surprise readers of just about every newspaper in North America, who are long accustomed to letters to the editor and left-of-centre columnists claiming, in the words of the Hartford Courant's Susan Campbell on June 30, "According to UNICEF, a half-million children and toddlers have died since 1990 as a direct result of the sanctions."

    That 500,000 number — and its corollary, the 5,000 Iraqi children who are said to be dying from sanctions each month — have proven to be remarkably resilient since first appearing on the scene in 1995. As Washington prepares for a war based on Baghdad's flouting of this very same sanctions regime (which was high on Osama Bin Laden's list of grievances aired after the Sept. 11 massacre), it's worth trying to figure out who is closer to the truth: critics, such as former UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator Denis Haliday, who characterize the policy as "genocide"; or supporters, such as The New Republic magazine, who argue that claims of the sanctions' terrible effects are false.

    When people calculate child mortality among the under-fives in Iraq, the measuring unit is the gruesome euphemism of "excess deaths" — the number of children who died "in excess" of what could be expected in "normal" times.

    This immediately begs two questions that are seldom asked: What is "normal," and how can you assign specific responsibility for the excess deaths? (A list of candidates for the latter would include: sanctions, drought, hospital policy, breast-feeding education, destruction from the Iran-Iraq and Persian Gulf wars, Saddam's misgovernance, depressed oil prices, farm policy, overdependence on oil exports, differences in conditions between the autonomous north and the Saddam-controlled south, and so on.)

    Saddam has not wasted any time on such interpretative nuance: Every death, "excess" or otherwise, is the embargo's fault. According to the Iraqi government, in the 10-year period from 1991-2001, UN policy has killed 670,000 children under five, and 1.6 million Iraqis overall (5,550 and 13,300 per month, respectively). Curiously, those numbers have grown over time (the alleged under-five death toll this June was 7,337), despite the introduction of the oil-for-food program, which has brought approximately US$20-billion of food and supplies into the country since 1997.

  • Chris

    Resorting the posts? Merely proof of my assertions. And your critique as opposed to relying on the items invented by Addamo?

  • edward squire

    A-oh. He's started resorting the cut-&-paste posts.