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.

Stay on and fight

The UN paints a nation in chaos:

Human rights in Iraq are being “severely undermined” by growing insecurity, violence and a “breakdown of law and order” caused by militias and criminal gangs, the U.N. mission here said Tuesday.

The human rights update, issued every two months by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq, cited soaring numbers of execution-style killings in Baghdad. Such slayings have increased during a surge of sectarian violence that followed the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra on Feb. 22.

Baghdad’s main morgue – which handles only the remains of victims of violent or suspicious deaths, not including bombing victims – issued 1,155 death certificates in April, the U.N. agency reported.

No wonder John Howard thinks Australia should stay in Iraq. Western troops are clearly doing a smashing job in maintaining security.

  • Granted the Coalition, including Australia should not have invaded in the first place and that the insurgent reaction is mainly nationalist and Baathist in terms of numbers. However the invasion has also bred a whole new front for thousands of international Islamic "terrorists" (kind of an Islamic Foreign Legion).

    To withdraw would "put them out of a job" in Iraq as their main objective/enemy/hatred is the West. From "defending Islam" in Iraq against the Western forces these terrorists would refocus their strategy to bombing the West again (9/11 etc).

    A rapid pullout would also lead to wholesale massacres of Sunni's by Shiite Death squads (which have stated on a "smaller" scale).


  • "A rapid pullout would also lead to wholesale massacres of Sunni’s by Shiite Death squads (which have stated on a “smaller” scale)."

    No I don't think that will happen at all. I belive that a pullout is the best thing for Iraqis. Occupation is part of the problem, it is the reason to many problems Iraqis never ever had before. As we say Jalla 3ad GET OUT, let us Iraqis rebuild.

  • Ian

    A rapid pullout would also lead to wholesale massacres of Sunni’s by Shiite Death squads (which have stated on a “smaller” scale).

    Thats the standard argument, but history suggests its flawed, Pete.

    The writing was already on the wall about the Vietnam war when I first went there in late 1968, but of course we had to 'stay the coarse' to stop a wholesale massacre if the commie won. Well, many, many more people, millions, military and especially civilians, died between Jan 1, 1969 to the fall of Saigon than were killed by the commies afterwards. And its probable that there would have been many times fewer of these score settling killings if the war had ended in 1968 (and almost none if it hadn't started)!

    The same argument was run to support a continuation of Israel's occupation in Lebanon, but the predicted meltdown never occurred.

    As you point out, the Sunnis and Shiite's are already engaged in a civil war. Its probable that the death toll in a mighty explosion of barbarity if the CoW left overnight would be much less that will occur in a slow burn over years of occupation. But killings there will be either way. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done, was back in 2003.

    HOWEVER, all this assumes that Iraq must be left in a vacuum with a sudden CoW withdrawal. It doesn't have to be that way. The CoW could announce a date of withdrawal and invite the UN, or a coalition of Muslim states to take over as peacekeepers as the occupying troops leave. If the latter, it would be advisable to exclude bordering states who have their own axes to grind.

    Of course this would stick in Bush's craw, especially the UN option, but increasingly no one is giving a sh*t about what he thinks.

    As for the terrorist then turning their attention back on the West, I doubt its ever been diverted. We've simply turned Iraq into the best terrorist training camp that our taxes could buy and they are taking full advantage!