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.

Trust what we say

Yet more reason to treat the US war machine with contempt:

Pentagon officials have just finished writing a document that they hope will help officials steer a path through contentious debates over how the military should handle communications, seen as central to the war on terrorism and, more generally, to the promotion of U.S. interests. The terrorists’ increasingly savvy use of videos and the Internet to recruit followers and shape world opinion has given added urgency to the project. The document, called the “strategic communications roadmap,” a copy of which was obtained by U.S. News, has been through 10 drafts by senior officials; final approval is expected in the next few weeks.

Perhaps the Pentagon would like to explain the Haditha massacre as provoked action by stressed soldiers. A more honest appraisal would be an inevitable event in every occupation.

26 comments ↪
  • The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has already moved into the CIA’s turf in the humint area and the first link indicates it wants to get into covert news feeds as well (another job mainly allotted to the CIA).

    Covert news feeds are standard in politics (and have been throughout history) but I have a problem with Rumsfeld’s DoD tripping over well trodden turf. I believe Rumsfeld is untouchable and the principal reason for “Iraq”.

    Pete
    http://spyingbadthings.blogspot.com/

  • The terrorists’ increasingly savvy use of videos and the Internet to recruit followers and shape world opinion has given added urgency to the project.

    From Osama's LiveJournal:
    "well its been a bitch of a morning in the bunker… george is at it again, he just won't stop!11!! why can't a freedom fighter have a little bit of peace?… what's with him?? oh yeh theres a terrorism conference over in akhmed's bunker at 0800hours tomoz… if you're up for it you can come.. don't 4get ur ID cards and your AK's – photo and TV ops aplenty :)"

  • P.S

    Like no other country does the US is flagellating itself over the Haditha massacre see http://blog.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2006/… (may need subscription).

    Its no excuse but if the Russian media was in English we'd hear much more about the Russian Army and FSB in Chechnya.

    Pete

  • Addamo

    What's so sickenign abto uall this is that this wil be come another public hanging of these individuals to convince th epublic this wa some abberant event that has not taken place already.

    The onlre resonthis investigation is not sitting at the bottom of a pile in some dark and dusty room is becasue the NYT (or was it Time) published a story on it.

    These events are inevitable in urbane warfare, yet the real culprits, those who saterted this war, will pretend to be offended by what happened and remain quaky clean.

  • >Boston Globe – "A QUICK WAR in Iraq has become a long, violent occupation, and US troops are under intense strain."
    Do you see who they leave out Iraqis? The Iraqi people are under intense strain. First a decade of sanctions. Then Iraq was chosen by the US to be the field to have their war on terror. The US wanted terrorists to come to Iraq, so it could fight them there. See what it all led to today; Iraqis are being killed left and right and the US says we’ll stay the cores.

    >Boston Globe – ”a town in Anbar province, hotbed of the insurgency.”
    Do you see how they describe Iraqi cities?

    >Boston Globe – ”Members of the 3d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, were understandably angry when Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas was killed by a roadside bomb.”
    Why not use this “understandably angry” when describing Iraqis who have lost love ones by US bombardments? US troops have feelings, Iraqis turn to terrorists.

    >Boston Globe – ”Both soldiers and Marines were fighting on battlefields where enemy combatants blended with civilians.”
    Why not report that this war was illegal. That some of these “enemy combatants” are really Iraqi people who lived all their lives in Iraq long before these soldiers and Marines knew were Iraq was on the map. Their country was invaded and they have chosen to fight back.

    From media reports about US killing Iraqis in Iraq I get the feeling of pure racism. Racism comes in many forms. But one thing they have in common; the belief that one human being is worth more then another.

    >”It sounds as if the Pentagon is serious about criminal prosecutions.”
    Does this mean Rumsfeld is going to get prosecuted for sending troops to a war based on lies?

  • captain

    "A provoked action by stressed soldiers"

    This is the kind of pathetic rant that only a leftist apologist could come up with. Its like Ant feels sorry for them. A person who is a mass murderer cannot have his actions diminished in such a manner. The only reason Ant does this is to shift the blame to US commanders. Transparent and appalling.

    There are war crimes in every war. There is a complete disconnect between this fact and the legitimacy or otherwise of the coalition's determination to remove an evil regime.

    When was the last time a palestinian was prosecuted for war crimes by the P.A.? (oh and I am not referring to the recent public lynchings as prosecution)

  • "There are war crimes in every war."

    I personally want the US to take its war and war crimes to the streets of the US insted of Iraq. Its the US who wanted a war on terror, they have no right to choose Iraq as the place to have it. And to sacrify Iraqis. Take it back to the US were it should have been fought from day one.

    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How many? (asking about how many terrorists are there in Iraq?)

    AMBASSADOR L. PAUL BREMER: I think for the American people to understand ·· well, probably several hundred, probably several hundred. And I think most Americans understand that it's better for us to fight and win this war here than to have to fight it on the streets of the United States.

    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you've said that before. And I want to now play something that you've said, and also President Bush and General Sanchez, along those same lines and get you to respond. Let me put it up right now.

    PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH (From video): There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring them on. We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.

    GENERAL JOHN ABIZAID (From video): This is what I would call a terrorist magnet where American being present here in Iraq creates a target of opportunity, if you will, but this is exactly where we want to fight them. We want to fight them here, we're prepared for them, and this will prevent the American people from having to go through other attacks back in the United States.

    AMBASSADOR L. PAUL BREMER: It's the kind of thing that we've seen before in so many places, and it's something that we have to beat, and I must say, I think we must now defeat it here in Iraq, better to fight it here than to fight it somewhere else like the United States.

  • Addamo

    Captain Clueless

    In a recent NYTimes report on how Haditha is affecting the Camp Pendleton Marine base, Cpl. Michael Miller, who fought in Falluja and Ramadi, observed, "In Iraq, everything you do has to be cleared with a commanding officer. You just can't go clearing houses without the permission of higher-ups."

    If what Cpl. Miller says is true, then there goes the "rotten apple" defense. And anyway, we know that someone in the chain-of-command knew this massacre would not play well with many observers, which is why there was an attempted cover-up.

    Frontline grunts don't have the power or reach to minimize or erase such a grisly deed, so it makes sense that their superiors would be actively involved in trying to divert the inevitable attention that comes when civilians, women and children among them, are executed in their own homes.

    Also, Marines don't have the authority to pay compensatino to the surviving victims, which is what has taken place here,

    This is the same as the Vietnma syndrome, where the occupation soldiers are unabel to tell the enemy from civilian. Why? becasue those they are fighing are the Iraqis.

  • viva peace

    Nadia

    I am afraid that you have no understanding of "international law" if you think this war is "illegal." Next you will be telling us that the Coalition is "occupying" Iraq. LOL!

  • smiths

    not sure if you are taking the piss viva peace, so just in case you're not,

    here is the text of the British Attorney General's Advice to Blair in 2003,
    pretty clearly showing that he doesnt think the war will be legal and explaining that blair will have to pull all sorts of tricks to try and make it legal
    http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/

    having said that though, maybe you have a better understanding of law than the British Attorney General,

    but maybe you were only joking and none of this is necassary

  • Nadia

    I think most of what you said here is true. Americans write about their own and through American eyes.

    A super power with a massive media (on which the remaining international MSM feeds) is deeply America centric.

    Unlike other powers (eg France, Russia, often Britain) America has a strong streak of regret – BUT usually when its too late. Once it has invaded a country (in Iraq for the wrong reasons) and set in train a process of say 30,000 dead in 3 years it seizes on 30 deaths.

    Various US papers have different motivations but I find the Washington Post is a little more balanced and critical.

    Pete

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    You are getting lazy mate.

    War is indeed illegal. The only time military action is deemed legal is within the framework of self defense.

    The Geneva Conventions stipulate this and the Nuremberg principals dictate that wars fo aggression are the ultimate war crime, distinguished from other war crimes only in that they encompass all the others.

    Military intervention is legal under the Un charter if it is passed by UN resolutions which call for it, but that in itself is not war.

  • Addamo

    BTW.

    It looks like there is evidene of another massacre involving hte killing of 11 Iraqi civilians, inclusing children.

    Herfe is the BBC report. http://movies.crooksandliars.com/bbc_iraq_new_mas

  • captain

    addumbo are you rubbing your hands with glee?

    I don't seem to recall your excited announcement of all of the massacres that occur on a daily basis in by your friends.

  • Addamo

    No Captain,

    Celebrating he murder of childern is your speciality, seeing as you so often condone it.

    I have no friends commiting massacres. The issue this raises is that every time a couple of dozen Iraqi's are killed in some remore village, the US military reports that they are all insurgents. What this evidence suggests is that this is probabyl just propaghanda to mask the killing of ordinary Iraqis.

  • captain

    probabyl just propaghanda

    I'm sorry, which language are you speaking?

    I am totally against children being killed. Its just that you never seem to be concerned about Jewish children being killed and living with a threat of death because in your sick twisted islamist whore mind they somehow deserve it. I am also against terrorists hiding behind children as the pals have done, thus causing more child casualties. And I am very much pal gunmen firing from schools, churches and mosques. All of these are war crimes. As you are a whore of what you euphemistically term resistance, you would realise that this is the root cause of civilian deaths in Israel.

  • edward squire

    captain Jun 3rd, 2006 at 12:29 am

    I am totally against children being killed.

    Well, you may be against such children, but I'm for them – and against the murder of them. 😛

  • captain

    eddy, thats good. I have never observed you to be concerned with terrorised Jewish children. No doubt you have made your concerns heard on other blogs.

    Are you in a b-grade TAFE or something? Continually setting up straw men to suggest that I am against children is absurd. Its like you concluding elsewhere that I thought that Hitler wasn't racist because I stated that Judaism is not a race.

    Please point us to where your universal ethic is manifest beyond these pages? Where do you stand on prosecuting palestinian terrorists who shield themselves with their own children? Where do you stand on the education of pal children to glorify shahid and to demonise Jews? I know you would have written about such terrible child abuse elsewhere, so just send us the link of your good work eddy.

  • ed squire

    captain Jun 3rd, 2006 at 10:58 am

    I have never observed you to be concerned with terrorised Jewish children.

    That's because you're blind.

    You mustn't be following the sacred law. Here's the punishment: The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart. (Deuteronomy 28:28)

  • Comical_Ali

    When it comes to using and exploiting children for cannon fodder, especially a young mentally retarded child like 16 year old Hussam Abdo or 12 year old Abdallah Quran – where the former was bribed with chocolates and ciggerattes and the latter was duped into carrying a bomb – the herioc freedom figting PLO have really set the benchmark for heroic freedom fighting.

    When it comes to PLO fighting tactics, these two individual cases are just part of a wider norm.

    Yep, one man’s terrorists is certainly another man’s…barbaric terroist? Thats why any comparisons between these

    barbarians and how the Irgun and Haganah faught the British is..er…justified.

    Keep shedding crocodile tears for the Palestinians and their children, Squires et al, because we all know how much you really care about them.

    Viva Filistina!!

    On another note, whenever someone mentions the PLO and children, I for some reason always get reminded of the infamous Maalot school masscre (where 21 school children were murdered in cold blood) the percursor to the Beslan massacre — the Palestinians certainly no how to raise the world standards in freedom fighting.

  • captain

    Come on ed, just show me a couple of instances in which you were at your humanitarian best. You have said previously you are concerned about humanity beyond those terrible Israelis. So please show me where. Please show me what you are doing about pal child abuse.

  • ed squire

    captain Jun 4th, 2006 at 12:35 am

    Please show me what you are doing about pal child abuse.

    Captain, I hereby dub thee Knight-Captain of the Royal Guard of Morons.

    What are you doing about child abuse in Papua New Guinea? Oh, really? Nothing, hey? You must be a supporter of child abuse. Probably got something to do with the fact that they have that awful, awful problem called "brown skin", hey?

    I was making a joke about grammar. You on the other hand were tawling your mouth through the sewer, yet again.

  • Comical_Ali

    Since you purport to be for Palestinian human rights, where is your outrage over the use of Palestinian children and civilians as cannon fodder for Palestinian terroists. Where is your outrage when Arafat's Fatah terrorists duped a 12 year old kid into carrying a bomb or bribed a mentally retarted teenager (with ciggerattes and chocolates) into becoming a suicide terrorist?

    What is the relevance to this and child abuse in Papua New Guinea? You might as well change the subject to astrophysics, Squires.

    And what is he doing about child abuse there, you ask? Apart from the total irrelvance – for a start he never purported to be for the people of Paupua New Guinea and their human rights. You on the other hand shed crocodile tears for the Palestinians and their children and like your terrorist heros use them as cannon fodder when convienant…so I couldn't think of anything worse.

    Probably got something to do with the fact that they have that awful, awful problem called “brown skin”, hey?

    As soon as I read that, I was reminded of one particular scene from the Wizard of OZ-

    Scarecrow: That's the trouble. I can't make up my mind. I haven't got a brain. Only straw.

    Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?

    Scarecrow: I don't know. Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?

    They sure do.

    I could wile away the hours, Conferrin' with the flowers

    Consultin' with the rain, And my head I'd be scratchin',

    While my thoughts were busy hatchin', If I only had a brain

    I'd unravel any riddle, For any individ'le

    In trouble or in pain…

    Oh, I would tell you why, The ocean's near the shore

    I could think of things I never thunk before

    And then I'd sit and think some more

    I would not be just a nuffin', My head all full of stuffin'

    My heart all full of pain, I would dance and be merry

    Life would be a ding-a-derry, If I only had a brain

    I hear they're holding auditions Squries.

  • captain

    Ed, when you make jokes in the future, can you also tell us when to laugh?

    I have never claimed the mantle of being a universal ethicist. It is you who said that your concerns were symmetrical over all of those violated. I am simply asking you to demonstrate this. You said that you have made contributions to this debate elsewhere, so I am asking you to show them to us.

    Otherwise you are left as a hypocrite Jew hater who is merely honoring that age old anti-semitic tradition.

  • ed squire

    captain Jun 4th, 2006 at 9:40 am

    I have never claimed the mantle of being a universal ethicist.

    Never truer words spoken. Better: you've never claimed to be interested in ethical outcomes at all.

    You said that you have made contributions to this debate elsewhere, so I am asking you to show them to us.

    Huh? You actually want to turn this blog into a repository of all my posts on the web? Are you completely bonkers? Wait – of course you are! You're Knight-Captain of the Royal Guard of Morons. If you're absolutely desperate, go back and trawl through all the posts on A.L.'s old blogsite. (Oh, and by the way, I have never observed you to expressing concern with terrorised Jewish children on this blog. Is this proof of your anti-Semitism?)

    Otherwise you are left as a hypocrite Jew hater who is merely honoring that age old anti-semitic tradition.

    Why do you keep going on about Jews and hating Jews. You sound totally obsessed. As I've stated before (for the umpteenth time), my objection is to the Israeli foreign policy of long-term occupation and annexation. "Israeli foreign policy" is obviously not "Jewish people". You would have to be brain damaged to think otherwise.

  • Addamo

    Edward,

    The Jew hating accusation emanates from Captain's keyboard like come tourette's syndrome type response. I suspect he uses it most times just for the hell of it, or when he has simply run out of ideas.

    I noticed the same attitude being expressed by Bush apologists. Drawing attention to the countless examples of lunacy and incompetence of the Bush administration is met with accusations of being a Bush hater. There is never any denial of the accuracy or validity of the criticism of the Bush’s themselves, just a response that to draw attention to it makes one a pathologic Bush hater.

    The same argument is being used about suggestions of impeachment. Few deny there are ample grounds for it, but the argument has been centered on whether proposing it is motivated by vengeance or some act of tit for tat.

    In the case of Captain Cretin and Comical, their philosophy is that drawing attention to Israel’s foreign policy is out of bounds so long as higher watermark for human rights abuses exists somewhere else in the world.