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.

A shining light

US Zionist lobbyists AIPAC are notorious for flexing their intimidatory muscles towards any politician who dares challenge “accepted” Middle East policy. Now, one Congresswoman is fighting back. Michael Massing explains:

The letter below was sent by Representative Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota, to the executive director of AIPAC. The bill mentioned, H.R. 4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, would place so many restraints on aid to the Palestinian people, and so many restrictions on the administration’s ability to deal with the Palestinians, that even the State Department has opposed it. AIPAC has strongly backed it. The Senate version of the bill, S. 2237, would allow the administration far more flexibility. On April 6, the House International Relations Committee passed H.R. 4681 by a vote of 36 to 2; McCollum was one of the two nays. As of May 11, AIPAC has yet to respond to her demand for an apology.

Mr. Howard Kohr
Executive Director
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
440 First Street, NW; Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20001

Dear Mr. Kohr:

During my nineteen years serving in elected office, including the past five years as a Member of Congress, never has my name and reputation been maligned or smeared as it was last week by a representative of AIPAC. Last Friday, during a call with my chief of staff, an AIPAC representative from Minnesota who has frequently lobbied me on behalf of your organization stated, “on behalf of herself, the Jewish community, AIPAC, and the voters of the Fourth District, Congresswoman McCollum’s support for terrorists will not be tolerated.” Ironically, this individual, who does not even live in my congressional district, feels free to speak for my constituents.

This response may have been the result of extreme emotion or irrational passion, but regardless, it is a hateful attack that is vile and offensive to me and the families I represent. I call on AIPAC to immediately condemn this un-American attack and disavow any attempt to use this type of threat and intimidation to stifle legitimate policy differences. I will not stand to be labelled or threatened in a manner that questions my patriotism or my oath of office.

AIPAC has been banned from her office until the organisation apologises or retracts its outrageous slur.

Read the whole letter and discover more about Rep. McCollum.

24 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    Given the heat AIAPC have been getting, it wil be interesting to see if they sit this one out.

    BTW. It looks like the story about the Iranian Jews being forced to wear yellow stars is bogus. I wonder if that was a littel Rovian stunt, given the revelation that Iran's nuclear progrma is even further behind than understood.

  • Leo Buddha

    Addamo,

    I have NOT seen the story about the Iranian Jews being forced to wear yellow stars. Would appreciate links about it and why you think the story is simply bogus.

    What in your view are the current situation and circumstances of Jews in Iran?

    What in your view are the current situation and circumstances of Christians and Baha'is in Iran?

  • Antony Loewenstein
  • Glenn Condell

    I tried to email Betty McCollum but had the same problem I've found over the years, trying to congratulate Barbara Lee, Robert Byrd, John Murtha, Russ Feingold etc. Their offices have an email function which has US ZIP code as a mandatory field.

    Even the people you admire are a part of this national self-absorption, where the possibility that a furriner might be bothered to communicate with them so far off the radar that they are blithely excluded from contact. I don't think it's conscious, it just reflects how utterly superfluous non-US views are at an official level on both sides of the aisle.

  • Addamo

    Leo,

    Here is the link to challenging the story:
    http://www.940news.com/locale.php?news=2511

    I woke up to this tory this morning and was very disturbed by it. I then started looking for other references to it, because such a controversial topic was bound to attract attention and was surprised to discover that no other news outlet had bothered to report it.

    By the time I came across the rebuttal, I had already concluded that the story was bunk.

  • Addamo

    BTW Leo,

    I inderstand that the plight of the Baha’is is far from ideal, but I must confess to not being very familiar with their situation, or that of the Christian population.

  • Leo Buddha

    Thanks for the links Ant and Addamo. In the meantime. I've also found IRAN: NO CLOTHING ID PLOT

    So the situation of the Jews of Iraq may not now be as be as bad as some fear. Is it good? Is it safe? I am still puzzled though why Addammo and especially the smart Mr. Edward Squire seem to try to point-score in this blog otherwise.

    Addammo wrote

    I inderstand that the plight of the Baha’is is far from ideal, but I must confess to not being very familiar with their situation, or that of the Christian population.

    I think that learning some more about the plight of people other than beleaguered Palestinians may improve one's credibility as a genuine social justice advocate.

  • edward squire

    Leo Buddha May 20th, 2006 at 4:10 pm

    I am still puzzled though why Addammo and especially the smart Mr. Edward Squire seem to try to point-score in this blog otherwise.

    Huh? What's that all about?

    Anyway, re the story: clearly this so-called "Representative" Betty McCollum should be sent to Guantanamo Bay forthwith.

  • Addamo

    Leo,

    Yes I am aware of that link. Interesting how all reads lead to the neocons isn't it?

    The plight of Iranian Jews is most significant. Israel's amen corned insists that Iran is determined to extermiate the world's Jews, but fail to explain how a thirving Iranan Jewsish poulation manages to avoid persecution. Surely, genocidal tendencies start at home do they not?

    And Leo, while I agree that being better versed in the plight of all oppressed people is something to aspire to, it is hardly a pre-requisite to understanding when a population is getting a rough deal. After all, one need not be a nuclear physcist to appreciate the nuclear weapons are bad.

  • captain

    Addumbo: A "thriving Iranian Jewish population…."

    I'm sorry, which parameters are you relying on for that? Or did you just make it up?

  • Addamo

    Thriving as in being left alone and allowed to go about their business.

    Tell me Captain,

    Do you have evidence of Iranin Jews being herded into enclaves, forced to pass through checkpoints, having their homes bulldozed, thei land stolen? Surely a genous like you, who believes Iran hates Jews must have a mountain of evindence that Holocaust Mark 2 is under way in Iran?

  • Leo Buddha

    edward squire wrote May 21st, 2006 at 1:57 am

    Huh? What’s that all about? Anyway, re the story..

    I principle, I agree, Edward. It is relevant ONLY BECAUSE

    Addamo wrote on May 20th, 2006 at 11:29 am

    BTW. It looks like the story about the Iranian Jews being forced to wear yellow stars is bogus. I wonder if that was a littel Rovian stunt, given the revelation that Iran’s nuclear progrma is even further behind than understood.

    Whilst not on topic, I can understand someone (regardless of their hobbyhorse) trying to draw attention some unrelated news given the technical limitations of threads in blogs.

  • captain

    Addumbo asserts that Iranian Jews are thriving but offers no evidence. Instead he lazily expects me to disprove him. Unless you know what you are talking about, please keep your hyperbolic statements to yourself or risk contaminating debate with foolish ignorance.

    1948 Jewish population: 100,000
    2004: 10,900

    You can read more and look at the references here.

    But don't worry Addumbo, the fact is that many people did not believe that Hitler was killing Jews either.

  • orang

    "1948 Jewish population: 100,000

    2004: 10,900"

    Is this a quiz?

    So for several hundred years these people were living in Iran and then all of a sudden something happened and they left. Now what was it that happened again?

  • captain

    Oh, Ant's alter-ego is so charming.

    Hmmm, now how would the creation of Israel be seen to justify the decimation of Jewish populations in all countries? Hot on the heels of the Holocaust, Jews get thrown out of Arab countries. Now how will the resident anti-semites rationalise this?

  • captain

    That should have read "in all arab countries…"

  • Addamo

    So tell us Captain, what happened to the Jewsih population in between 1948 and 2004? Did Iran builld their own concentration camps and ovens?

    "I never knew that Iran was a Nazi "But don’t worry Addumbo, the fact is that many people did not believe that Hitler was killing Jews either."

    So are you saying that Iran has been killing Jews steadily since 1948? Or is this one of those pathetic little attemtp to throw up as much dust as possible.

    The fact that many Jews left aftert the Iranian revolution is supposed to mena that Jews were targetted? Pathetic Captain, utterly pathetic.

    If Iran is such an oppressive place of for Jews, then why are 10,900 still in Iran?

    "Hmmm, now how would the creation of Israel be seen to justify the decimation of Jewish populations in all countries?"

    Perhaps you should ask Zionsist who have worked so feverishly to conflate anti-semtiism with anti-Zionsm?

    "Now how will the resident anti-semites rationalise this?"

    Shoud it be raionalised? Of course not. Does it excuse the Israeli's for not only doing the same, but making it national policy?

  • captain

    Addumbo: did I say Iran built concentration camps? This is typical of your feeble mind: create statements that I did not make and then procede to dispute them.

    Addumbo, you claimed that the Iranian Jews were flourishing. When I demonstrate that this is clearly false, you accuse me of "throwing up dust". This is utterly absurd.

    Asking "if Iran is such an oppressive place for Jews then why are 10900 still in Iran" is too funny to get angry about. Given the natural population growth, a loss of 90% of one ethnic population is very easily understood. Other than by you. I do agree though that the Iranians have been "utterly pathetic" in their treatment of Jews. But then again, this is not your concern.

    The fact that Iran is blatantly anti-semitic has nothing at all to do with Israel. Your lack of concern for the Jewish refugees of arab countries makes it obvious that your concern for human rights is shallow and based in racism.

  • captain

    Bottom line Addumbo: you claimed that the Iranian Jews were thriving. They are not. Can't you admit that you are wrong: again????

  • edward squire

    Representative of Iran’s 25,000 Jews in the nation’s parliament, Maurice Motamed, the only Jewish MP there, told the western press that the report dealt a severe blow to the Jewish image in Iran. “I was there when they discussed the law, and it was about the dress of Iranian Muslim women. Restrictions for minority or other religions were not mentioned,” Motamed said.

    source

    Maurice Motammed, a Jewish member of Iran's parliament, dismissed the report as "a complete fabrication" and told AFP in Tehran, "It is a lie, and the people who invented it wanted to make political gain."

    Source

  • Addamo

    Hey Cretin,

    As is usually the case, and in absence of any evidence, you were the one to pull the Hitler/Holocaust switch. Hence my question about concentration camps etc.

    The 90% loss of the population tells us ONE thing only. Iranian Jews fled Iran during the 1979 revolution. The numbers have clearly not changed in 25 years. Surely if the conditions in Iran had become so intolerable since 1979, then the reduction would have continued since then.

    Try using your brain for a change, although I can see that the Zionist cool aid has caused some serious atrophy.

    “I do agree though that the Iranians have been “utterly pathetic” in their treatment of Jews”

    How do you suggest they be treated? Like the Palestinians in the occupied territories perhaps?

    The fact that Iran is blatantly anti-Semitic has nothing at all to do with Israel.

    Bullshit. It has everything to do with Israel othewise the remaining Irania Jews woudl have flead to Israel long ago.

    Your lack of concern for the Jewish refugees of Arab countries makes it obvious that your concern for human rights is shallow and based in racism.

    On the contrary. I woke up to the story abot the badges and was totalyl freaked out until I learned that it was anothee piece of Zionist propaghanda, cleqrlty a sign of desperation from those who are afarid that the case for an attack on Iran was becommign increasingly unsustainable.

    Jewish refugees? But I thought the whole reason for an Israeli state was that it would be a home for all Jews in the world? Why is it that these Jews are so reticent to take up the offer? Surely life in Israel would be far more pleasant for them, would it not? Free of all that nasty Iranian brand of anti-Semitism? Unless of course, Israel itself has turned it’s back on these people.

    Ooooooooooooooops.

    you claimed that the Iranian Jews were thriving.

    Well Captain Cretin,

    They are free to go about their business and enjoy a quality of life Palestinians can only dream of. They have a “religious” home to go to if their lives were so intolerable in Iran. Obviously, that is not the case and this is ample proof that the so called anti-Semitic state of Iran is clearly not anti-Semitic enough to threaten the lives of these people.

  • captain

    Adummbo: A decimation of a population of the Iranian Jews is clear evidence that it is not thriving. You can attack Israel all you want, but this does not support your statement.

    I'm glad that badges freak you out (but then again, it doesn't take much to freak out a freak), but curiously the mass expulsion of Jews from a number of Arab states seems to be justified on the basis that Israel was created. This is pure racism.

  • Addamo

    Captain,

    Decimation implies destruction or taking of life. The 90 thousand that fled Iran I trust did so in good health?

    I stand corrected that the Jewish Population is Iran is not abundant, but those who remain do have options if the conditions in Iran were intolerable. I assume they would be welcomed in Israel.

    The mass expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is abhorrent, no question, but Arab countries seem to do that often, and not just to Jews. Kuwait expelled a great many Palestinians from Kuwait after Gulf War 1, if I remember correctly.

  • captain

    The Iranian Jewish community are regularly mistreated, arrested and killed. There is no religious freedom in Iran.

    Decimated is a term that refers to a reduction in numbers. Good health? Huh? What planet are you on? They left as refugees.