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.

Roots

As Ehud Olmert assumes the position of Israeli Prime Minister, a trip down memory lane:

Support for Israel was the major theme of the 2002 Road to Victory conference held by the Christian Coalition in Washington, D.C. October 11-12. Long known as a major source of troops for the right-wing of the Republican Party, the CC has undergone a lot of changes in the last few years. It has always advocated Christian support for the Israeli state, but never so thoroughly and vociferously as this year. At the conference and in the exhibit area there were more Israeli flags than American flags and Stars of David vastly outnumbered Crucifixes. At a solidarity rally scheduled for the Ellipse in front of the White House, but moved to the convention centre due to rain, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert thanked the “lovers of Zion” for their help and support. His Christian audience gave him a standing ovation while waving a sea of Israeli flags. In the meantime, about 300 Jews who had not learned that the rally had relocated, heard their own speakers on the Ellipse.

Israel may be desperate for international support, but relying on, and courting, the Christian fundamentalist vote will undoubtedly end in a messy divorce. Furthermore, the Republican Party has turned into a religious sect.

29 comments ↪
  • edward squire

    ..and who says theocracy isn’t alive and well in “The West”?

  • Chris

    My apologies. Ripped off from Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe.

  • Chris

    "more Israeli flags than American flags and Stars of David vastly outnumbered Crucifixes"

    The Christian Coalition is mainly a Protestant affair. Normally, only Catholics wear crucifixes. So there should have been more Stars of David than Crucifixes.

    And as 'Support of Israel' was the theme, there should have been more Israeli flags than American.

  • Chris

    America's longstanding solidarity with Israel suits most Americans just fine, but it does set some people's teeth on edge. Two of those people are Stephen Walt, the academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and political scientist John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, co-authors of a sour new polemic about the insidious "Israel Lobby" that manipulates US policy in the Middle East and dragged the Bush administration into war.

    Walt and Mearsheimer are not the first to wade into these swamps. In March 2003, US Representative James Moran inveighed against Jews at an antiwar rally: "If it was not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq," the Virginian Democrat fumed, "we would not be doing this." It was at about the same time that Professor Edward Said of Columbia University was ranting: "Wherever you look in the Congress there are the tell-tale signs either of the Zionist lobby, the right-wing Christians, or the military-industrial complex, three inordinately influential minority groups who share . . . unbridled support for extremist Zionism." A year earlier it had been South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, lamenting that "the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal" in the United States; no one dares oppose Israel "because the Jewish lobby is powerful — very powerful."

    But the truth is precisely the reverse. America's loyalty to Israel isn't engineered by a Zionist cabal that dupes American citizens and hijacks their government. US policy tends to align closely with Israel's because Americans like Israel. They instinctively sympathize with Israel's fight for survival in one of the world's most dangerous neighborhoods. If public opinion weren't robustly pro-Israel in the first place, the White House and Congress would be far less inclined to give Israel's advocates the time of day. There's a name for that phenomenon. It's called democracy.

  • Addamo

    From Justin Raimonod of antiwar.,com and the American conservative:

    Of course, we've been criticizing Israel, and its inordinate influence over American foreign policy, in these pages for quite some time, and we are not alone. On the Right, some conservatives, such as Pat Buchanan and The American Conservative magazine, have broken the taboo, and on the Left, too, Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, James Petras, and a host of others have refused to be a part of the Israel-can-do-no-wrong consensus. In the intelligence community, Larry Johnson, Philip Giraldi, and James Bamford have been critical of Israel and its amen corner in the U.S., while among academics, Juan Cole has often provided a skeptical view of Israeli government actions and Israel's apologists in the U.S.

    This situation, I would submit, has no equivalent in the history of the world. Nation-states are notorious for jealously guarding and pursuing their own interests. Why, then, would the most powerful state on earth abjectly subordinate itself to the influence and even direction of an ally, one that, furthermore, does not reciprocate this altruism?

    Answer: the Lobby.

    In detailing the crimes of the Israelis, Mearsheimer and Walt come to a conclusion that will outrage the Lobby, not because it is a lie but because it is indisputable: "In terms of actual behavior," they write, "Israel's conduct is not morally distinguishable from the actions of its opponents." If the suicide bombers of Hamas and Islamic Jihad continue to plague innocent civilians who fall victim to terrorist attacks in Israel, then this kind of violence is a reflection of the activities of the organized Zionist terrorist outfits who fought in the war for independence. These activities included mass expulsions, executions, and rapes by Jewish "settlers" in the early days of the Zionist state:

    "Between 1949 and 1956, for example, Israeli security forces killed between 2,700 and 5,000 Arab infiltrators, the overwhelming majority of them unarmed. … The IDF also murdered hundreds of Egyptian prisoners-of-war in both the 1956 and 1967 wars. In 1967, it expelled between 100,000 and 260,000 Palestinians from the newly-conquered West Bank, and drove 80,000 Syrians from the Golan Heights."

    The Zionists say they are merely defending themselves against "terrorism," but they themselves utilized terrorism to establish their state, as the authors of this study document. They cite Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, then a member of an underground Zionist organization, as quite honestly advocating methods that one now associates with al-Qaeda:

    "Indeed, Shamir openly argued that 'neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat.' Rather, terrorism has 'a great part to play … in our war against the occupier [Britain].'"

    Israel's alleged moral superiority is a myth. Neither strategic nor moral arguments explain America's unconditional support for Israel: instead, "the explanation lies in the unmatched power of the Israel Lobby."

    In any case, the publication of this study [.pdf] is a milestone in the annals of the debate over American foreign policy. For the first time in memory, the power of the Lobby has been challenged by two prominent academics: try as the Lobby's activists might, they won't succeed in smearing either Mearsheimer or Walt as neo-Nazis, nor will they be able to dismiss their concerns as the ravings of fringe characters. As far as the Lobby is concerned, the jig is up – and all I can say is, it's about time.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 31st, 2006 at 1:19 am

    Normally, only Catholics wear crucifixes.

    You forgot the first four crucial sentences, In the eighteenth century…

    And as ‘Support of Israel’ was the theme, there should have been more Israeli flags than American.

    Slap! Well of course! Just like there is a proponderance of Iraqi flags when US citizens hold a pro-Iraqi People Rally. Quiz: which is more insane? The suggestion that there would be more Iraqi flags, or the suggestion that the US people would ever bother with a rally for the people they're bombing to death (and freedom)?

  • Chris

    In the 19th, 20thj and 21st centuries, normally only catholics wear crucifixions. Protestants normally wear plain crosses.

    “Between 1949 and 1956, for example, Israeli security forces killed between 2,700 and 5,000 Arab infiltrators, the overwhelming majority of them unarmed.

    So what? They were supposed to find out if they were armed before they were killed in the act of infiltrating? That suggestion is insane.

  • Addamo

    So what? Were suicide bombers supposed to frisk the poelp they were abotu to blow up in a cafe before hitting the switch?

    are you completely and utterly insane or has the the Ziuonsit mind controlling you were subjected to been triggered by some secret word you hear recently?

    What a freak!!

  • Chris

    They did ensure there were women and children to ensure that they would die.

  • Chris

    BRUSSELS, Belgium – The United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations warned the Hamas-led Palestinian government Thursday that it must recognize Israel and seek peace talks if it wants to be guaranteed continued aid.

    "The Quartet concurred that there inevitably will be an effect on direct assistance to that government and its ministries" if those conditions are not met, the four mediators for Middle East peace said in a statement.

    The new Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar has said the new Palestinian Authority government would not give in to international pressure to change its ways and that it had no plans to negotiate with Israel.

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

    Let's see what happens next. I'm betting that they give in. Plaestinian governments have proven to be spineless most of the time.

    Also, will they change the name to Hamastan? Palestine is becoming synonomous with 'loser'.

  • Addamo

    Plaestinian governments have proven to be spineless most of the time.

    So now you're saying that if Hamas do recognize Israel and seek peaceful negotiations with Israel, that it wood be a sign of weakness n their part? Gee Chris, you have some seriously fucked up ideas don't you?

    Do you want Hamas to recognize Israel or not? Your true colors are coming out Chris. Seems that you actually want the violence to continue so that Israel don’t have to negotiate anything.

    To his credit, at least Captain has voiced his support for a viable Palestinians state. You on the other hand seem to prefer the bloodshed.

    And let’s be frank, if the international community, US included, were to put nearly that much pressure on Israel, you could bet they would do exactly as they were told. At the end of the day, the only thing that speaks to Israel is money anyway.

    Palestine is becoming synonomous with ‘loser’.

    Such a juvenile mind. No wonder you could only get a job starting at boats all day.

  • Chris

    The Government of Hamastan loses either way. First, they are addamant about not recognizing Israel. Their caharity providers have told them to recognize Israel or no more money.

    Now Hamas either starves to death, eats its own people to survive, or gives in.

    Hamastan… You can just smell the stench of losers.

    No one puts that pressure on Israel because it is morally repugnant to do so to a party who clearly, by western statndards, do not deserve such treatment.

  • Addamo

    No one puts that pressure on Israel because it is morally repugnant to do so to a party who clearly, by western statndards, do not deserve such treatment.

    No one puts that pressure on Israel becasue it's politically volatile to do so, as the MW repoirt has exposed.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 31st, 2006 at 4:48 am

    In the 19th, 20thj and 21st centuries, normally only catholics wear crucifixions. Protestants normally wear plain crosses.

    …oh, riiiight, so that means there were more CROSSES at the rally than stars? (Assuming that the reporter, Jo Freeman, knows the difference between a cross and crucifix.) Incidenally, why do you classify the Anglican Protestants as "abnormal".

    Chris Mar 31st, 2006 at 6:42 am

    They did ensure there were women and children to ensure that they would die.

    Gee, you must really get around to check all these things out using your special 'Terrorist Intention Detector'(TM).

    Addamo Mar 31st, 2006 at 10:30 am

    No one puts that pressure on Israel becasue it’s politically volatile to do so, as the MW repoirt has exposed.

    The one and only reason no-one puts pressure on Israel is because it is protected client-state of the US.

  • Chris

    The one and only reason that the US stands with Israel is that it is right and moral, as far as the US is concerned.

  • Addamo

    The one and only reason that the US stands with Israel is that it is right and moral, as far as the US is concerned.

    Wrong. The SU does nothign out of morality or righteouness,. but what is right for US interests at the time.

    Go back to reading children's stories Chris. Your naivity is an embarassment.

  • Addamo

    Incidently, what is so righeous about stading with Israel? A state that has flouted more UN resolutions than any other, that has a repugnant human rights record and has been in violation of internaional law since 1967?

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 31st, 2006 at 1:30 pm

    The one and only reason that the US stands with Israel is that it is right and moral, as far as the US is concerned.

    No serious political scientist believes the US foreign policy has ever been dictated by anything other than self-interest. It doesn't support states before moral reasons. For example, if it did, it wouldn't also be supporting the otherhuman rights abusers in the Mid-East region. Nor would it have provided military, financial and diplomatic support to Pinochet as it does for Israel. Nor would it have provided military, financial and diplomatic support to Soeharto as it does for Israel. Nor would it have provided military, financial and diplomatic support to Somoza as it does for Israel. Hell, this was and is 'real-politik' most openly expressed by Kissinger.

    While it is now a little fashionable to say that Kissinger instituted the 'real-politik' doctrine, I think the historical record shows that Kissinger merely expressed it openly. The theory that the neo-cons have overturned the doctrine is hogwash. When you look at what they actually do, the basics are the same as ever: (1) secure sources of resources essential to the US economy; and (2) establish or support state regimes that do not threaten or challenge US influence and interests in the given region. That is not to say the US isn't capable of producing outcomes that are moral, but it is to say that those outcomes are only sought where they either serve or do not contradict (1) and (2).

  • Progressive_Atheist

    Israel receives about $3 billion in direct assistance each year, roughly one-fifth of the foreign aid budget, and worth about $500 a year for every Israeli…

    Other recipients get their money in quarterly installments, but Israel receives its entire appropriation at the beginning of each fiscal year and can thus earn interest on it. Most recipients of aid given for military purposes are required to spend all of it in the US, but Israel is allowed to use roughly 25 per cent of its allocation to subsidise its own defence industry. It is the only recipient that does not have to account for how the aid is spent, which makes it virtually impossible to prevent the money from being used for purposes the US opposes, such as building settlements on the West Bank. Moreover, the US has provided Israel with nearly $3 billion to develop weapons systems, and given it access to such top-drawer weaponry as Blackhawk helicopters and F-16 jets. Finally, the US gives Israel access to intelligence it denies to its Nato allies and has turned a blind eye to Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons…

    Since 1982, the US has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members. It blocks the efforts of Arab states to put Israel’s nuclear arsenal on the IAEA’s agenda.

    John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

  • Addamo

    Excellent post Edward,

    Young Chris is in dire need of a history lesson, indeed an entire education.

    You forgot to add Uzbekstan, another favourite of the US, who's leader is not only a despot, but likes to boil his enemies alive. Further to that, we shoudl add to the list the number of democracies the US has heldped to overthrow. In the last 2 years, Aristide has been removed along with a failed coup attempt on Chavez.

    The company Israel keeps (nto to mention Apartheid South Africa) should well and truly dispel any notion of morality.

    I also agree entirely about this notino that the neocons are some counter to Kissinger's real-politik. US foreign policy remains unchanged since WWII, albeit rebranded and repackaged for the masses.

  • orang

    You mean these Christians..the same ones who say we killed their saviour, are supporting us?

    Well, not the same ones, different ones.

    Now tell me again why?

    Well, they say when all the jews go back to Israel, christians will go to heaven in a sort of ecstacy.

    Right. – And everyone else will be left behind?

    Right, but you can convert to christianity before that happens and still go to heaven.

    Right. But up until then I can stay a jew?

    Right.

    This is more than funny.

  • Addamo

    Yes an educatino Chris.

    If you had one, you wouldn't be holding down a job fot for a mentally handicapped person.

    Shut up and learn. You are making an nuisance of yourself.

  • Chris

    Learn from a liar who couldn't back up his claims? Your trollish behavior is just an indication that you actually know nothing.

    Tell us more about your expertise in Nuclear technology. Everybody is waiting to find out why you didn't know anything about radioactivity.

  • Addamo

    Tell us more about your expertise in Nuclear technology. Everybody is waiting to find out why you didn’t know anything about radioactivity.

    Ask away and I will answer your quesrion. My career as a nucealr engineer can be proven as can yours as the village idiot.

  • Chris

    You were tasked and you screwed up, proving you knew nothing about nuclear technology. No second chances here.

  • Addamo

    Wrong. You asked me why uranium would be suitable for a dirty bomb. That has nothing to do with nuclear technology because dirty bombs are improvised devices. They are not manufactures to any spec.

    Furthermore, my expericen in nucearl science did not include working on the manufacture of dirty bombs.

    Of course, I wouldn’t expect someone with your vocation to understand that.

    Of course that doesn't stop you from your and you delusions of grandeur and appointing yourself the adjudicator in this forum. Your Napoleonic complex has not abated.

  • Chris

    No, you were informed by knowledgable persons that your statement regarding the use of uranium could only come from someone ignorant of nuclear technology, thus proving you a liar.

  • Addamo

    No I was not informed by anyone. Who are the klnowledgeable persons you are refrring to?

    Only an ignoramus woud trivialise the dangers of uranium dust. You are one fo those.

    You are just talking shit as usual Chirs.

  • Chris

    You were informed. Why are you lying about that?