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.

Talking balance

Recently released documents prove that the US has long been aware of its unhealthy bias towards Israel:

The United States reached out to hostile Arabs three decades ago with an offer to work toward making Israel a “small friendly country” of no threat to its neighbours and with an assurance to Iraq that the U.S. had stopped backing Kurdish rebels in the north.

[Henry Kissinger] said U.S. public opinion was turning more pro-Palestinian and U.S. aid to Israel could not be sustained for much longer at its massive levels. He predicted that in 10 or 15 years, “Israel will be like Lebanon – struggling for existence, with no influence in the Arab world.”

While it’s encouraging the US elite recognised that blind support for Israel wasn’t sustainable in the long-term, its actions always suggested something different entirely. There will come a point – and that period might not be too long away – the US acknowledges that the current path is doomed to continued, regional strife. The Bush administration’s current stance towards Hamas is just the latest example of pointless and damaging posturing.

32 comments ↪
  • viva peace

    You people are an absolute hoot! This stuff has been known about for years! Negotiations were taking place between Nixon's first secretary of state, Will Rogers, and Egypt's Naaser in 1971. Also, Kissinger had been conducting backchannel discussions with the PLO via Moscow. The great problem for the PLO was its refusal to ackowledge Israel re 242 and 383. It started to do so with Arafat's UN address in 1978.

    There is just so MUCH of this stuff that we have all known about for years. That is what was so shocking about all you bozos cheering for the Walt "study." To anybody who has even a basic undertstanding of Cold War history, the Walt & Mearsheimer "study" was so bad that it could only ever had been published in very bad faith.

  • Addamo

    Very interesting.

    Of all the thrats posed to Israel, the greatest appears to have been the cessation of support from the US, thereby forcing Israel to succeed on it's own. How diffrernt things could have been had these key monents in history taken a different turn.

    In spite of all this, isn't it remarkabel how the Israeli lobby behaves as though this support and benevolnece is Israel's birthright? Who was it recently that was threatned by AIPAC for not voting to cut off aid to the Palestinians? She apparentl received a message from AIPAC that support for terrorism woudl nto be tolerated.

    Here we have, Israel's amen corner screaming blue murder at the paper drawing attentino to the influence of the Israeli Lobby, and yet AIPAC is unabashedly threatneing a US senator with a chice of words reserved for the ruling elite.

  • Addamo

    You are suffering from the SAME blindness of Walt: Two words for you Addamo: SOVIET UNION. Hullo? WHY do you think the US had to fund Israel and re-arm Israel in 1973? I'll give you a hint. It is inextricably linked with the issues being discusses between, firstly Will Rogers and Egypt from 1969 onwards and then Kissinger and Egypt from 1972 onwards. I can tell this is going to take a while; but I can be very patient. 😉

  • Addamo

    Well Viva,

    It might have been obvious to some, but the documents the Guardian alludes to have only recently been made available, which now makes it common knowledge. Had this been suggested earlier, your fellow travelers like Captain, would have been adamant that the story was unsubstantiated.

    Cold War history is largely irrelevant in today's climate, so your critics of the Walt & Mearsheimer is inconsequential. So much has changed since then. Iraq was an ally under the guide of the cold war and ceased to remain one a decade later. The influence of Israel's lobby in the US has increased by an order of magnitude since then.

    Nice try though.

  • Addamo

    Oh Viva,

    You are so predictable. Always ignoring th eelehpant in the room by insisting everyone pay attentibno to the wall paper.

    Consider the dates you are quoting. That was more than three decades ago, and yet the policy of arming Israel continues to this day. If you could erase history post 1973, you might have a valid point.

  • If you could erase history… Er, isn't that what YOU are trying to do?? And I assure you, that the only person on this planet who considers history as irrelevant to the ongoing dispute in the middle east is YOU.

    Might I direct you to the Hamas Charter? Or perhaps those, such as yourself, who continually harp on about the "green line" Resolution 242 and so on?

    And please enough of your sophomoric zoological metaphors. 😉

  • Addamo

    Also, in the context of Antony's misleading "frame" this history is VERY important as it contributes to highlighting just how wrong the "Walt thesis" was.

  • Addamo

    Only person in this planet the planet you say? This is incredibly rich comming from the only person on the planet who still believes that the US is in Iraq at the behest of the Iraq leadership and that they are prepared to leave the minute the Malaki gives the nod. Hoooo boy, here we go.

    You may direct me to any charter you liek, so long as you aloow me to direct you to anither, say the Un charter for example. The Hamas charter is like any other set of rules, made ot be broken right? Tsk Tsk.

    Hamas has stated that it is prepared to recognise Israel as per the 1967 borders. Now you may insist this is insisncere, but it is an offcial statement nonetheless. Mayeb Israel shoud have helped hamas drqaw up that chater when they were financing and backing them post 1967? I know it pains you to even admit there was such a thing, but sit on it for a while.

    As for my sphomoric metaphors, ir not zoologicalwhat would you prefer?

  • Addamo

    Hamas has declared NO such thing. Where do you get this rubbish? Please, put Fisk down and take the drugs yourself.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    You got me. I'm one of those fringe tin foil hat renegades that reads the main stream news.
    http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/254A8588-3http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/n

  • Addamo

    see this is where you people constantly go SO wrong. Why have posted these two links? What do I care what a couple of journose have to say? How can you be so naive? You people need to expand your analysis of the middle east far beyong English media headline grabs.

  • Good post Antony

    This time my serial advertising (I'll slow it down) is directly relevant:

    Regarding Iraq/Iran /Israel and US duplicity the latest post on blog predicts the possibility of a deal between the US and Iran that allows Iran to covertly enrich uranium. Needs further work but here's part:

    "Iran can continue its enrichment plan (perhaps covertly) if it facilitates a smooth US/Coalition withdrawal from Iraq

    Israeli Influence in Northern Iraq

    The possibility of US duplicity may be one reason there are rumors that Israel is establishing its own power base in northern Iraq. Rumors are that Israel has been training Kurdish guerillas, upgrading the regional airport (at Irbil) to take civilian (and military) jets and even establishing a sigint station to monitor Iran’s missile and nuclear programs.

    If true this would give the Israeli military a tentative foothold in Kurdish Iraq if the US pulled out and also might act as a forward base in any attack on Iran."

    more see http://spyingbadthings.blogspot.com/

    Pete

  • Comical_Ali

    Recently released documents prove that the US has long been aware of its unhealthy bias towards Israel…said U.S. public opinion was turning more pro-Palestinian and U.S. aid to Israel could not be sustained for much longer at its massive levels

    I don't know about American's attitude's toward Israel in the 70's but today well over 60-70% of Americans support Israel. A recent survey conducted in Europe, is showing that the Palesitnians are losing support and sympathy, especially in France where quite concidentally some riots took place not too long ago…

  • Ian

    “Iran can continue its enrichment plan (perhaps covertly) if it facilitates a smooth US/Coalition withdrawal from Iraq

    This assumes the U.S does actually want to leave. I don't believe they are at that point yet and may never be. They're not going to give up control of Iraq that easily. They may withdraw into the fortified bases and the embassy compound and leave the Iraqis to fight it out amongst themselves, but leaving Iraq completely, I doubt it and certainly not at the cost of allowing Iran to build nukes. That would not only mean giving up Iraq, but effectively the whole oil producing ME.

    Rumors are that Israel has been training Kurdish guerillas, upgrading the regional airport (at Irbil) to take civilian (and military) jets and even establishing a sigint station to monitor Iran’s missile and nuclear programs.

    If there is one thing guaranteed get Turkey distancing itself from the U.S. and Israel and moving closer to a neutral position on Iran this is it! They may be prepared to wear a nuclear armed Iran, but I can't see them being so reasonable about the Kurds being strengthened militarily. Talk about waving red rags at bulls!

  • Ian

    I think the US will bow to the reality that Iran is developing nuclear weapons and that attempts to disrupt this process would cause much greater problems in the Middle East (including cutting the flow of oil) than the current Iraq debacle. However if the US' hand is forced by a pre-emptive Israeli strike on Iran it will have to back up Israel to destroy Iran's nuclear potential.

    Obviously I'm talking about a divergence of US and Israeli interests despite Israeli and domestic Jewish pressure on US policy.

    Having safe fortified bases was effective prior to the defeat of the Maginot Line in 1940… Furthermore as the French discovered in Vietnam even bases with air support and supply are vulnerable to insurgent artillery and (more likely) rocket fire in the long run.

    More importantly the political costs of staying in Iraq (unpopular at home and in the Arab world) are likely to make early withdrawal a serious option (or at least a plan) particularly in the 2008 US election year.

    Pete

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    You are truky a piece of work.

    You accuse me of being naive for giving any credence to what reporters have to say,k yet you consider the wordsw fo poilicians to be set in stone.

    That muct mean you were one of the lame ducks who believes that Iraq had WMD

  • Ian

    I also quoted my blog info (on Israeli influence in Kurdish northern Iraq) in Antony post below "Two Sides of Iran". Yes that has confused things but my blog was related to US/Israel and Iran/Israel/Kurds.

    Antony has provided a link in comments on "Two Sides of Iran" which describes in depth Turkey's attitude to the Israeli machinations.

    I suggest we shift our discussion of the Kurds to "Two Sides of Iran" below to consolidate.

    Pete

  • Comical_Ali

    Here is the official addammo sanctioned statement from Hamas reconginsing Israel:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3258975
    "Armed factions, including Hamas, Jihad, refuse to accept PA chairman's deadline, adopt proposal recognizing Israel on 1967 borders. "

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    you just get funnier and funnier. Riddle us this. If Hamas is such a daisy-chain wearing partner for peace then WHY does it oppose Abbas' demands for a referndum on the very issue that you claim has already been resolved.

    Dude, face it. You are just another Useful Idiot for Islamofascists and Holocaust-deniers.

  • orang

    .."Riddle us this. If Hamas is such a daisy-chain wearing partner for peace then WHY does it opp…"

    Thank you for your "wisdom" viva peace, but tell us please, when was the last time Israel, in it's own words did in fact have a "partner for peace". You telling us they actually want a partner for peace?

    Pull the other one, it's got bells on it.

    Hamas is telling Abbas, fuck the sonsa bitches, recognising Israel or not is not the issue here. Stop playing their games.

  • viva peace

    orang

    Right. So you agree that Addamo is talking ouit his ass? Well then direct your post to HIM; not me.

  • Addamo

    Viva Viva Viva,

    You on the juice again?

    If Hamas is such a daisy-chain wearing partner for peace then WHY does it oppose Abbas’ demands for a referndum on the very issue that you claim has already been resolved.

    Hmmm let me see? Coudl ti be that Abbas has become Israel's bitch and it taking his orders from Tel Aviv? Nagh couldn;t be that right Viva? Politicians never lie.

    Dude, face it. You are just another Useful Idiot for Islamofascists and Holocaust-deniers.

    You forgot to mention that my bedroom has posters of OBL and Saddam all over it. LOh yeah, don't forget the bit abotu me being a jew hating Holcaust denier also.

    Seriously Viva, are you really that stupid or just pretending to be?

  • Addamo

    Hey Roang,

    Do you get the feeling when talking to Viva, that there is two of him in there and they forget to tell each other what the other one said last time?

  • orang

    Well I'm perplexed, although I'm pretty sure I commented on something viva had definitely stated.

  • Comical_Ali

    Hmmm let me see? Coudl ti be that Abbas has become Israel’s bitch and it taking his orders from Tel Aviv? Nagh couldn;t be that right Viva? Politicians never lie.

    First Hamas recognised Israel and wanted peace. When confronted with the hard reality which contradicted your claim- all of a sudden Hamas didn't recognise Israel and wanted to destroy the Jewish state, because it didn't want to be Israel's bitch, because Abbas was Israel's bitch.

    Make up your mind Addammo.

  • Addamo

    There is no contradiction in what I said Comical.

    First, Hamas said they were preapred to regcognise Israel once the 1967 borders were re-established.

    Abbas has u nashamedly become Israel's puppet, and anything he proposes is going to be motivated by the orders he gets from those who are comitted to getting him back into the driver's seat.

    It's the same thing as partisan politics ion any country. When the opposition demands something of the government, the predicatble response from the leadership is to be belligerent, simply becasue it wasn't their idea.

  • Comical_Ali

    First, Hamas said they were preapred to regcognise Israel once the 1967 borders were re-established.

    Hamas said no such thing. The closet Hamas ever came to "moderating" (if that word has any meaning in this context) is when they declared that they MAY be willing to declare a CEASE FIRE if Israel withdraws to the pre-67 borders.

    A far cry from recognising Israel and declaring peace.

    Read the article- “Armed factions, including Hamas, Jihad, refuse to accept PA chairman’s deadline, adopt proposal recognizing Israel on 1967 borders. “

    it contradicts exactly what you said.

    Or better still read the statements of leading Hamas figures such as Zahar or Maashal who repeatdly call for Israel's destruction.

    Abbas has u nashamedly become Israel’s puppet, and anything he proposes is going to be motivated by the orders he gets from those who are comitted to getting him back into the driver’s seat.

    It’s the same thing as partisan politics ion any country. When the opposition demands something of the government, the predicatble response from the leadership is to be belligerent, simply becasue it wasn’t their idea.

    Your own extremism or that of other people who comment here never ceases to amaze me. So anyone who proposes recognising Israel and having peace with them is a puppet of Israel?

    If Abbas was indeed a puppet of Israel, then the incitement to hate and murder Jews would end in the Fatah controlled media. Just one minor example.

  • orang

    By the way, didn't the PLO recognize Israel? All this talk about recognising Israel is bullshit and another tasty morsel thrown out by Israel's spin machine. Why should Israel negotiate when it's all so easy to keep a compliant US and Europe mollified? It's like , why bother pulling the wool over their eyes when they're smiling and winking at you. Even "putting the Palestinians on a diet" because they voted for Hamas has not evoked any sort of outrage. They can ride this horse for a long time to come. Brilliant. …but why do they hate us?

  • Ian

    Every time the Israelis demand Hamas recognize Iraael's right to exist, they should counter by declaring they will just as soon as Israel renounces 'Greater Israel'!

  • Comical_Ali

    ummm Israel just expelled 10,000 Jews from Gaza at a huge social and economic cost.

    Now they are on the verge of expelling another 100,000 Jews from the Wbank at the cost of $US20 billion – more than a quater of the entire country's budget. The social and economic consequences for Israeli society is going to be 100 times greater than the first expulsion.

  • Comical_Ali

    To add – the palestinians responded in kind to the first withdrawal by electing in Hamas.

    I wonder how they will react to the next not to mention any other future withdrawals and concessions.

    To then say Israel is on par with Hamas and that Hamas should demand that Israel abandon its desire for "greater Israel" (whatever that means) in exchange for Hamas recognising Israel, is plain delusional at best.

  • Addamo

    Read the article- “Armed factions, including Hamas, Jihad, refuse to accept PA chairman’s deadline, adopt proposal recognizing Israel on 1967 borders. "

    Talk about delusional. Recognise Israel as per 1967 borders when everyoneknows Israel will never withdraw to those borders. You been drinking from Viva's cool aid Comical?

    To add – the palestinians responded in kind to the first withdrawal by electing in Hamas.

    Can anyone beat that for barefaced bullshit? Hamas were elected becasue Fatta were corrupt and ineffective.

    I wonder how they will react to the next not to mention any other future withdrawals and concessions.

    Why bother, the net sum of the parts will mean there are no withdrawals and concessions. As usual, Israel will give a little with one hand and take a lot with the other, and our beloved media will protray it a generosity on Israel's part.

    in exchange for Hamas recognising Israel, is plain delusional at best.

    In other words, Israel don;t wnat to do this becuase it would leginitmise the righs of Palesitnians. Can't have that now can we?