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.

Gay deaths in Iraqi “democracy”

Why is the mainstream media generally avoiding the issue of anti-gay crusades in Iraq? The Advocate reports:

An antigay pogrom is taking place in Iraq. Gratuitous killings of gays are permitted under Iraqi law, and it is a fact that George W. Bush approved the wording of the Iraqi constitution that makes it so. Mainstream U.S. media are not reporting on the plight of Iraqi gays, nor are they discussing how to rescue them. This points out the urgent need for LGBT Americans to participate more in our democracy.

For those who have not yet learned of these circumstances, here is some background.

In August 2005, the United States was party to negotiations regarding the wording of the Iraqi constitution. The United States sanctioned the results, which included a change making Islam “the” rather than “a” main source of Iraqi law. Sharia Islamic law calls for homosexual people to be killed.

Some time around October 2005, the Ayatollah Sistani, writing in a question-and-answer section of the Arab-language version of his official Web site, issued an antigay fatwa. He was asked, “What is the judgment for sodomy and lesbianism?” He replied, “Forbidden. Punished, in fact, killed. The people involved should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.” 

The Independent documents one particularly horrific case.

How often are we hearing about Sistani’s “moderation“?

3 comments ↪
  • Pingback: Installing theocracy » The Road to Surfdom()

  • Thank you for this very interesting information. As ever, the pathetic gay papers in Australia have failed to report these issues, but fortunately there are people around such as yourself who get the information and report it accordingly.

    Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, Melbourne has web pages dealing with hate crimes against gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS people around the world, and countries other than Australia are listed separately and alphabetically on these web pages.

    These web pages are listed on:

    http://www.zipworld.com.au/~josken/homophob.htm

    It is not surprising that these events are taking place in a country "liberated" by the USA and its allies who are bringing their own brands of "democracy" to Iraq. These allies are renowned for their "liberating" tactics around the world.

    What adds to our distress is that the gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS communities, those who are targetted on a regular basis for human rights abuses are not out there, screaming loudly for all the world to hear, and responding to these assaults, bashings, murders, which occur daily around the globe.

    Religious fanatics are the cause of it all and they encourage these vile acts while their so-called books of religion are supposed to teach tolerance and understanding. In the 21st century, it seems, homosexuals are being pushed back into their closets!

  • JohD

    Isn’t it interesting when ‘so-called’ Gay people talking about ‘so-called’ Books of religion make appeals for ‘tolerance’. It is bad enough when people are being killed or hurt for nothing more than being who they are, but when this appeal it is combined with a barely concealed hatred for religion itself, then to heck with it, I say. I won’t be bullied into solidarity with Gay fundamentalist under such circumstances. The problem is that because Homosexuals are being persecuted, some activist organizations take this to mean they have a right to push an agenda totaly unrelated to the crime itself. In this case, to demonize a religion, on the basis some adherents are not saints.

    This incident is being misrepresented. It is not a crime, nor is it a sin, to be a homosexual in Islam. What is forbidden is the act of sodomy, which under certain circumstances is punishable by death – must be witnessed by four people. Pre-marital consensual heterosexual sex is also considered to be a crime of similar magnitude.

    From the report it is obvious that the 14-year-old was considered to have homosexual mannerism, and was killed for this tendency, not for engaging in sodomy. A hate crime by any decent criteria. Many people in Iraq have been murdered for no-less hateful reasons – they are Shia, or Sunni, or intellectuals or other.

    The idea that crimes against Homosexuals should be considered above crimes against non-homosexuals is fraught with hypocritical implications.