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.

Fighting on all fronts

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review asks Daniel Pipes what he has learned from the Iraq war:

The ingratitude of the Iraqis for the extraordinary favour we gave them – to release them from the bondage of Saddam Hussein’s tyranny. They have rapidly interpreted it as something they did and that we were incidental to it. They’ve more or less written us out of the picture.

Those ungrateful Iraqis should really be punished. The paper then asks how “we” will know if the occupation and invasion of Iraq is a success or failure:

Oh, it was a success. We got rid of Saddam Hussein. Beyond that is icing.

Pipes might not care about Iraqi deaths in a civil war, but “Coalition” troops will be increasingly targeted:

Two years after U.S. authorities ceremoniously declared Iraq to be sovereign again, top religious leaders say Iraqis remain under military occupation, have a right to fight foreign troops and still don’t govern themselves.

Their statements, made at the conclusion of a peace conference in London on Tuesday, provided a stamp of approval from Iraq’s most influential Sunni and Shiite Muslim clerics for their countrymen to step up attacks aimed at hastening the withdrawal of U.S., British and other troops.

Note that both Sunni and Shiite clerics are now joining together to condemn the US occupation and advocate fighting together.

15 comments ↪
  • orang

    Pipes will be a keynote speaker Thursday night at Grove City College's star-studded conference on the prospects of spreading democracy in the Arab world, "Mr. Jefferson Goes to the Middle East,"..

    He also will feature in the upcoming short movies "Daniel blows Dubbya", "Diaries of a Middle age Sex Slave", and "Head down Arse Up with Tim". I think the last one was shot in Oz.

  • edward squire

    The ingratitude of the Iraqis for the extraordinary favour we gave them

    Oh God! This is so insane that I thought this was a spoof comment!

  • Addamo

    Pipes at his delusional best.

    I’m laughing so hard I can’t see my keyboard. There’s even stuff coming outta my nose. Sniff. Okay. I’m good to go.

    The ingratitude of the Iraqis for the extraordinary favour we gave them – to release them from the bondage of Saddam Hussein’s tyranny.

    Uh, no. But, oh, Hell. The facts be damned.

  • Chris

    From someone who claimed that Israel attacked the USS Liberty to prevent them from learning about the upcoming attack on Egypt at the start of the Six day war, you have cared less for facts.

  • edward squire

    Chris Apr 4th, 2006 at 12:29 am

    From someone who claimed that Israel attacked the USS Liberty …you have cared less for facts.

    Um, so from this we should conclude you think what about Pipey? Delusional or Completely Barking?

  • Chris

    We should conclude that you do not have facts at hand, but rather make them up. But that gives you no insight as to the knowledge level of others.

  • orang

    chris, same old attacks at Addamo? at the risk of of being personal – you are a f*kin arsehole.
    So why did Israel attack the USS Liberty then? Well let you tell us (and "ooops accidents happen" we won't believe).

    Let's hear it.

    Israel attacked the USS Liberty because:

  • Addamo

    Another example of IDF busffoons not knowing how to handle their weapons:

    Film-maker’s death ‘was murder’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4876176.stm

    Will they ever learn?

  • Addamo

    Yes Orang,

    I too and curious to hear the tale fo the clumsiest and most accident prone military force in the world.

    And Edward,

    Um, so from this we should conclude you think what about Pipey? Delusional or Completely Barking?

    Is it just me or does Chris raise completely irrelevant arguments when the thread is goign in a directino he is not comfortable with?

    Chris, are you ever goign to explin to us what you means when you said that "real peoepl admire Israel" and "real people do not admire Palestinians"?

  • Chris

    Why would you actually want facts when you are content to invent them. Antony gave you your required explanation for 'real'. Don't you read what's posted?

    Accident prone?

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – An explosion destroyed a house after nightfall Monday in Gaza City, killing four people and injuring at least 30, residents and officials said. Three nearby buildings were reported on fire.

    Residents said the wrecked home in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood near the border with Israel belonged to a well-known family of supporters of the Islamic militant group Hamas, but the Israeli military denied having anything to do with the blast.

  • Addamo

    Antony gave you your required explanation for ‘real’.

    That's Antony's explanation. i want ot hear yours chris. i doubt antony woudl agree with your statement that "ral peoepl admire israel" and that "real peope do not admire Palestinians". I eagerly await your explanatino inless you choose to continue to display your cowardice.

    but the Israeli military denied having anything to do with the blast.

    Of course they did. Just as they denied siking the USS Liberty, or the way they denied shelling of the UN compound in Quana, or deny their targetting of Paelsrtinian children even though they have killed 6700 of them since the year 2000.

  • Chris

    I would say that Antony's suffices. You want? Who cares what you want? By the way who siked the Liberty? I don't really care but you just made this round about statement of fact that the Liberty was siked.

    The Israeli military killed 6700 children since 2000? Are you sure? Did you pull that number out of something that Antony would be upset about?

  • Addamo

    Ooops my bad, that was supposed to be 700.

    I doubt that Antony agrees with your definition of real peoepl seeing as it;s unlikely he would agree that "real peoepl admire Israel"and that "real people do not admire Palestinians".

    Just admit you're a coward and be done with it.

  • Chris

    Can Israel win?

    Daniel Pipes

    Since I argued in a column last week that Israel can and must defeat the Palestinians, a barrage of responses have contested this thesis. Some were trivial (Ha'aretz published an article challenging my right to opine on such matters because I do not live in Israel) but most raised serious issues that deserve an answer.

    The ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu observed that in war, "let your great object be victory" and he was echoed by the seventeenth-century Austrian war thinker, Raimondo Montecuccoli. Their Prussian successor Clausewitz added that "War is an act of violence to compel the enemy to fulfil our will." These insights remain valid today: Victory consists of imposing one's will on the enemy, which typically means compelling him to give up his war goals. Conflicts usually end with one side's will being crushed.

    In theory, that need not be the case. Belligerents can compromise, they can mutually exhaust each other, or they can resolve their differences under the shadow of a greater enemy (as when Britain and France, long seen as "natural and necessary enemies," in 1904 signed the Entente Cordiale, because of their shared worries about Germany.)

    Such "no victor, no loser" resolutions are the exception in modern times, however. For example, although Iraq and Iran ended their 1980-88 war in a state of mutual exhaustion, this tie did not resolve their differences. Generally speaking, so long as neither side experiences the agony of defeat — having its hopes dashed, realizing the futility of treasury wasted and lives extinguished — the possibility of war persists.

    One might expect this agony to follow on a crushing battlefield loss, but since 1945 that has usually not been the case. Planes shot down, tanks destroyed, munitions exhausted, soldiers deserting, and land lost are rarely decisive. Consider the multiple Arab losses to Israel during 1948-82, North Korea's loss in 1953, Saddam Hussein's in 1991, and that of Iraqi Sunnis in 2003. In all these cases, battlefield defeat did not translate into despair.

    In the ideological environment of recent decades, morale and will matter more. The French gave up in Algeria in 1962, despite out-manning and out-gunning their foes. The same applies to the Americans in Vietnam in 1975 and the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1989. The Cold War ended without a fatality.

    Applying these insights to Israel's war with the Palestinians points to several conclusions:

    Israel hardly enjoys freedom of action to pursue victory; in particular, it is hemmed in by the wishes of its primary ally, the U.S. government. That is why I, an American analyst, address this issue with the intention of influencing policy in the United States and other Western countries.

    Israel should be urged to convince the Palestinians that they have lost, to influence their psychology.

    An aggressive step like "transferring" Palestinians out of the West Bank would be counterproductive for Israel, prompting greater outrage, increasing the number of enemies, and perpetuating the conflict.

    Contrarily, perceptions of Israel's weakness lessen the possibility of Palestinian defeat; thus did Israeli missteps during the Oslo years (1993-2000) and the Gaza withdrawal inspire Palestinian exhilaration and more war.

    Israel needs only to defeat the Palestinians, not the whole Arab or Muslim populations, who eventually will follow the Palestinian lead.

    I refrain from suggesting specific steps Israel should take in part because I am not Israeli, and in part because discussing tactics to win is premature before victory is the policy. Suffice to say that the Palestinians derive immense succor and strength from a worldwide network of support from NGOs, editorialists, academics, and politicians; that the manufactured Palestinian "refugee" problem stands at the dank heart of the conflict; and that lack of international recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital festers. These three issues are clearly priorities.

    Ironically, Israeli success in crushing the Palestinian war morale would be the best thing that ever happened to the Palestinians. It would mean their finally giving up their foul dream of eliminating their neighbor and would offer a chance instead to focus on their own polity, economy, society, and culture. To become a normal people, one whose parents do not encourage their children to become suicide terrorists, Palestinians need to undergo the crucible of defeat.

  • Chris

    Can Israel win? (redux)

    Daniel Pipes

    Since I argued in a column last week that Israel can and must defeat the Palestinians, a barrage of responses have contested this thesis. Some were trivial (Ha'aretz published an article challenging my right to opine on such matters because I do not live in Israel) but most raised serious issues that deserve an answer.

    The ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu observed that in war, "let your great object be victory" and he was echoed by the seventeenth-century Austrian war thinker, Raimondo Montecuccoli. Their Prussian successor Clausewitz added that "War is an act of violence to compel the enemy to fulfil our will." These insights remain valid today: Victory consists of imposing one's will on the enemy, which typically means compelling him to give up his war goals. Conflicts usually end with one side's will being crushed.

    In theory, that need not be the case. Belligerents can compromise, they can mutually exhaust each other, or they can resolve their differences under the shadow of a greater enemy (as when Britain and France, long seen as "natural and necessary enemies," in 1904 signed the Entente Cordiale, because of their shared worries about Germany.)

    Such "no victor, no loser" resolutions are the exception in modern times, however. For example, although Iraq and Iran ended their 1980-88 war in a state of mutual exhaustion, this tie did not resolve their differences. Generally speaking, so long as neither side experiences the agony of defeat — having its hopes dashed, realizing the futility of treasury wasted and lives extinguished — the possibility of war persists.

    One might expect this agony to follow on a crushing battlefield loss, but since 1945 that has usually not been the case. Planes shot down, tanks destroyed, munitions exhausted, soldiers deserting, and land lost are rarely decisive. Consider the multiple Arab losses to Israel during 1948-82, North Korea's loss in 1953, Saddam Hussein's in 1991, and that of Iraqi Sunnis in 2003. In all these cases, battlefield defeat did not translate into despair.

    In the ideological environment of recent decades, morale and will matter more. The French gave up in Algeria in 1962, despite out-manning and out-gunning their foes. The same applies to the Americans in Vietnam in 1975 and the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1989. The Cold War ended without a fatality.

    Applying these insights to Israel's war with the Palestinians points to several conclusions:

    Israel hardly enjoys freedom of action to pursue victory; in particular, it is hemmed in by the wishes of its primary ally, the U.S. government. That is why I, an American analyst, address this issue with the intention of influencing policy in the United States and other Western countries.

    Israel should be urged to convince the Palestinians that they have lost, to influence their psychology.

    An aggressive step like "transferring" Palestinians out of the West Bank would be counterproductive for Israel, prompting greater outrage, increasing the number of enemies, and perpetuating the conflict.

    Contrarily, perceptions of Israel's weakness lessen the possibility of Palestinian defeat; thus did Israeli missteps during the Oslo years (1993-2000) and the Gaza withdrawal inspire Palestinian exhilaration and more war.

    Israel needs only to defeat the Palestinians, not the whole Arab or Muslim populations, who eventually will follow the Palestinian lead.

    I refrain from suggesting specific steps Israel should take in part because I am not Israeli, and in part because discussing tactics to win is premature before victory is the policy. Suffice to say that the Palestinians derive immense succor and strength from a worldwide network of support from NGOs, editorialists, academics, and politicians; that the manufactured Palestinian "refugee" problem stands at the dank heart of the conflict; and that lack of international recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital festers. These three issues are clearly priorities.

    Ironically, Israeli success in crushing the Palestinian war morale would be the best thing that ever happened to the Palestinians. It would mean their finally giving up their foul dream of eliminating their neighbor and would offer a chance instead to focus on their own polity, economy, society, and culture. To become a normal people, one whose parents do not encourage their children to become suicide terrorists, Palestinians need to undergo the crucible of defeat.