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.

“Terrorists” everywhere

The Australian releases startling new information:

Indonesian terrorists planned to attack Western targets by spreading hydrogen cyanide, a deadly gas used during the Holocaust, through the air-conditioning systems of large buildings.

Details of the method of the proposed attack, designed to maximise the number of victims, were revealed in a 26-page training manual produced by members of Jemaah Islamiah, the terrorist group blamed for the Bali bombings.

Hand-written in the Indonesian language Bahasa, the document expresses optimism that victims exposed to the poison gas will die within 30 seconds.

The source of this is Rohan Gunaratna, terrorism “expert” and regular commentator in the Australian media.

But who is Gunaratna? His record is less than impressive and his past statements suggest a man prone to hyperbole. Further investigations, published in August 2004, outlined numerous issues with Gunaratna’s “sources”:

Martin Bright, the home affairs editor of the Observer and long-time writer on Islamic terrorist groups has described Gunaratna as “the least reliable of the experts on bin Laden”.

Gunaratna’s current project to establish a data base of Asian terrorist groups has been said to blur the line between freedom of academic research and intelligence-gathering for governments.

Gunaratna tends to rely on what he claims are inside contacts within intelligence networks. By their very nature, however, no claims based of these sorts of sources can be independently tested.

17 comments ↪
  • captain

    As compared with Martin Bright's comments which are independently tested!

  • Addamo

    Does Australia have one of those funky colour coded terrorist warning systems yet?

    They can have these on news reports, side by side with bushfire warmings, so long as they are not confused.

  • edward squire

    The problem with this shadowy area is that it is very difficult in the short-run to tell the difference better an opportunistic, attention-seeking hack like Gunaratna and someone who is in fact collecting information from actual human beings who wish to remain anonymous.

  • Addamo

    Exactly,

    Gunaratna could just be another Chalabi wanna be. What ever became of that huge sweep of terrorist plotters that took place last year?

  • edward squire

    Addamo May 28th, 2006 at 2:34 am

    What ever became of that huge sweep of terrorist plotters that took place last year?

    What worries me about fools like Gunaratna is not so much the unsubstantiated and unsubstaniatable claims he makes; it's the insaneo fascistic policy prescriptions he recommends in the light of his intentionally scary, unsupport claims; it is always the same: cut back on civil liberties and basic human rights for citizens more draconian powers for an ever-more unaccountable state.

  • Glenn Condell

    911 seemed to flush flocks of these readymade experts on Islamic terrorism out of obscurity and into the broadsheets and current affairs circuits of the West. Most of them were Jewish but some like Gunaratna are less ethnically problematic, untainted by association with the thousand year enmities of the Middle East. Handy, no?

    For such experts who as Edward notes tend in their prognostications to support the fascist designs of Western governments, my default position is that unless it can be shown otherwise, they are animated by those governments at some level. It could be by direct intelligence psy-ops involving Rendon or Lincoln Group style shenanigans, or by the less direct but equally effective phenomena of low-level academic grunts sensing an opportunity to shoulder the pack aside in a shot at pundit fame, and so busily set about trimming their cloth to exactly fit the whims of those who underwrite their meal ticket.

  • Addamo

    It seems that when Bush, Blair and Howard spoke of exporting freedom and democracy, they were referring to shipping out whatever we had left.

  • rohan's a longstanding fraudster on things islamic and muslim, not having any expertise in language (it's bahasa indonesia, not 'bahasa' which just means 'language') or the region's diversity of islamisms and cultures. But he's parlayed his research on the tamil tigers masterfully, persuading that ol'authoritarian lee kuan yew to take him in before 911 and install him at singapore's defence 'thinktank'. Rohan's a useful conduit for the disinformation fed out via s'pore, which as old spooks know, still hankers for the days when it was the region's espionage central station.

  • What happned to that dateline documentary that talked about how the Indonesian army was behind terror networks in Indonesia?

  • Addamo

    Good question Nadia. I beieve the evelations were based on an interview with the former Indonesian prime minister, who was regarded as the most honest Indonesia has ever had.

    He stated, I believe, that the Indonesian police/military were behnd the terrorist attacks and that it had become a gravey train, seeing as the US gave at least US$50 million to Indonesia to combat terrorism. Needless to say, more terror attacks = more money to fight it, expect that the money probabyl ends up in the bank accounts on military generals and politicians.

  • smiths

    http://tinyurl.co.uk/8cuk

    this article references the sbs dateline doco you are thinking about,

    the site also has a lot of interesting articles on the bali bombings and south east asian terrorism in general

  • smiths

    well, interestingly the transcript of the dateline program should be here
    http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/index.php?page=ar

    but it is mysteriously unavailable

  • Intersting post and comments.

    I agree that some Muslim terrorists in Indonesia have a former military background or are perhaps still in it. This provides technical knowledge in bombmaking and (maybe) poison gas planning.

    The Indonesian army and security services once received extensive US and Australian aid to combat communism but now that get this to combat Islamic terrorism.

    Meanwhile many in the Indonesia government refuse to believe that JI exists or ever existed – no problem.

    Looks like the old problem of bribing many sides really quiclky to get a result favourable to the West.

  • Its clear the transcript of other dateline doco's can be read, but not the one of Indonesian army involvement in terror attacks.

    So what can we make of that?

    Are people not interested in this story, so they took it of the list? Is it all lies, and therefore had to be removed? Or is it the truth that we are NOT supposes to talk about?

  • Here is the transcript link from Global Research

  • Thanks Nadia

    An interesting link.

    Pete

  • My pleasure Pete, I am happy I can help 🙂