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.

One more strike for freedom


Senior counter-terrorism officials now believe that the intelligence that led to the raid on a family house last Friday in a search for a chemical device about to be used to attack Britain was wrong, the Guardian has learned.

Counter-terrorism officials were under pressure last night after days of meticulous search of the house in east London failed to produce anything to link the two men they arrested to a chemical plot. But a senior police officer said they had been left with “no choice” but to force entry into the house because there was specific intelligence of a threat to public safety. 

What’s the chance of the Australian newspaper acknowledging its mistake in praising British authorities on the raid just yesterday, when it had already emerged that the “intelligence” was faulty? Or perhaps the Murdoch press would like to praise the Blair government for assisting the CIA in torture flights? You can almost smell freedom, democracy and liberty in the air.

  • Addamo

    These idiots are so predictable aren't they? POll numbers heading south? No problem, manufacure a terrorist threat.

    An op-ed in the Toronto Star suggests the 17 alleged terrorists accused of plotting to bomb city landmarks may not be terrorists at all.

    Thomas Walkom chronicles the history of Canadian terror arrests and how in every case the supposed evidence against the accused has always evaporated.

    The piece also highlights the alarming absence of bullet proof evidence to suggest the Toronto suspects were plotting anything at all.

    "If the alleged conspirators knew they were under surveillance, it seems odd that they continued along merrily with plans to make explosives. But perhaps they are not bright terrorists. Or perhaps they are not terrorists at all," writes Walkom.

  • smiths

    after getting the usual bullshit from the blind muppets about how there really is a terroro threat and those 17 arrested last year in sydney and melbourne will be convicted, i have done a little aussie wrap up of the last 3 years,
    whats so annoying and saddening about it is that even though the terror swoop happened at exactly the same time as the changes to the laws and the climate of fear, and even though all previous terror arrests have resulterd in fuck all, the blind muppets still cannot see what is going on

    "I don't think there's been a (terrorism) conviction brought on Australian soil and I think that's a clear matter which has to be resolved by the federal Attorney General,” Steve Bracks, 2005.

    February 26, 2006,
    After deliberating for more than two days, a jury of nine women and three men dismissed two serious terrorism charges against Jack Thomas, a young Melbourne worker, on February 26. After the prosecution ultimately presented just a single day of evidence, the jury acquitted Thomas of the only two charges that alleged that he was actually involved in, or intended to carry out, terrorist acts.

    April 2005,
    A Sydney jury threw out charges laid against a young unemployed worker, Zeky “Zak” Mallah. After a 13-day trial, Mallah, 21, was found not guilty of preparing to storm government offices and shoot dead intelligence or foreign affairs officers in a supposed suicide mission.
    Arrested on December 3, 2003, In a joint state and federal police operation, Mallah was accused of preparing to commit a terrorist act. He would be jailed for life if found guilty.
    Mr Mallah served two years in prison after pleading guilty to making threats to kill Commonwealth officers but was acquitted on two charges of preparing for a terrorist act, for which he would have served a life term.
    An undercover officer posing as a freelance journalist encouraged him to make a videotape proclaiming violent jihad, which he provided for a promised sum of $3000.
    He also had his home raided, where a rifle and ammunition were discovered – this was the basis for a second, dismissed charge of preparing a terrorist act.

    February 2005
    Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib arrives back in Australia after spending three years at Guantanamo Bay.
    Mr Habib had been detained without on suspicion he knew about the September 11 terrorist attacks and had trained with al-Qaeda. US authorities did not charge or convict him.

    October 26, 2003,
    ASIO-police raids on at least seven homes in Sydney’s Lakemba-Bankstown area. The raids produced no evidence of terrorism and no charges were laid as a result. Extremely serious suggestions of complicity in a “terrorist cell”, which could lead to life imprisonment under the counter-terrorism laws, were uncritically presented as facts.

    September 2003, two Australian residents, a Melbourne Islamic fundamentalist cleric, Sheik Mohammed Omran and one of his Sydney followers, Bilal Khazal, were widely reported by the media to have been named in Spanish court documents as having regular telephone conversations with one Abu Dahdah, whom the media dubbed “Spain’s top Al Qaeda suspect”.
    Nearly two months later, no charges had been laid against either man, both of whom denied the allegations. Australian journalist Brian Toohey told the Special Broadcasting Service television Dateline program that the Spanish documents in fact contained no telephone transcripts or other evidence against Omran.

  • Addamo

    Very good observation Smiths,

    The other pattern that emerges is that in spite of the terror threats being a hoax, the homeland securoty departments, or whatever they are caled in each country, end up with a massive injection of funding.

  • Antony

    Thanks for spotting those stories. Canada aside UK security is hypersensitive following the (actual) London bombings last year. Who knows what intelligence they acted on in the latest raid? If that comes out we caan judge better.

    On the CIA's "rendition" flights (which also involve the DIA and FBI) there has been a bitter debate for years within the CIA over the morality of these flights. The more principled (and humane) CIA employees have stressed that the CIA's main role is to collect secret intelligence and not arrest, transport and handover "al Qaeda" suspects to known torturers in third countries.

    Many good people have left the CIA in protest.

    Its interesting that all the most revealing media reports and official inquiries into rendition have happened in Europe and the UK. Much less has come out in the US even though its running the program (an example of muzzling the press?..).

    On the Australian front – the Lodhi trial looks convincing.

    Those 20 arrested in Melbourne-Sydney are supposed to be committed for trial this (or next) month. This doesn't mean there is a weak case against them. One of them pulled out a gun and hit a policeman…not to mention all the other evidence leaked by our security services and politicians.

    Re Bracks 2005 statement about no terror convictions … Like most politicians and commentators in Australia he doesn't know enough about the subject.

    On 1 June 2004 "Convicted terrorist Jack Roche could be free in three years after being sentenced today for plotting with al-Qaeda to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra.

    Roche, 50, was sentenced in Perth District Court to nine years in jail, with a non-parole period of four-and-a-half years, backdated to the time of his arrest in November 2002.

    ….Roche last Friday became the first person to be convicted under Australia's new anti-terror laws when he pleaded guilty midway through his trial on a charge of conspiring to damage the embassy with explosives, and as a consequence harm diplomatic staff."


  • Ian

    Theres been a debate within the CIA about the morality of rendition flights, has there? They should have debated the f****** illegality of them?!

    And what brainless twerp in the WH/Pentagon/CIA/FBI/DHS came up with the nonsense that having someone else doing the torturing absolved you of legal reponsibility/liability? It doesn't. The detaining power remains responsible for what happens to the detained no matter who they subcontract their care, or abuse, to.

  • Ian

    Yes there have long debates (read the Washington Post or more easily my blog article

    The "twerp" who first authorised rendition was Bill Clinton probably under Presidential Directive (PDD 39). It was "mild" under the Democrats but after 9/11 the desire for vengance, revised neocon ideology (google "John Yoo torture") "justified" rendition with torture in the minds of angry Americans (perhaps Cheney and Rumsfeld instructing Bush). Its no excuse but large security bodies (eg "KGB" after 1920) have done similar for many years.

    Hopefully the Americans will grow out of it if there is sufficient bad (but non-sectarian) press about it.


  • smiths

    fair point on jack roche, i did a google search and put in combinations of 'australian' 'terror' 'conviction' 'charge' and i couldnt find jack roche,
    the point of course being that the overwhelming bulk of arrests and so-called terror cells are political beat ups,
    i encourage anyone who is interested to look into the london bombing on 7/7
    there is so much wrong with the whole story and background that i personally cant help but feel it was a set up,
    anyway, who knows

  • Ian

    Re Jack Roche check

    According to this:
    he was more a "keystone cops" terrorist who at one point tried to turn himself in to ASIO but they weren't interested.