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.

Neighbourhood watch

East Timor’s Prime Minster, Mari Alkatiri, has resigned, but the story behind the country’s recent turmoil remains highly suspicious. One of Australia’s finest journalists, John Martinkus, has discovered the situation is far more complex than we have been led to believe:

In a wide-ranging interview last week, East Timor’s embattled Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri accused opposition groups and their foreign supporters of repeatedly trying to convince prominent commanders in the East Timorese armed forces to overthrow his government in an armed coup. “They were always trying to get the command of Falintil, F-FDTL. They tried to convince the command to order and participate in a coup. They failed.” It was then he said his opponents embarked on a program to weaken the influence of the military. “When they failed to bring the command to join their forces in a coup then what they did is they tried to break Falintil F-FDTL and they did it by bringing out of the barracks almost 600 which they called the petitioners.”

For the first time Prime Minister Alkatiri has given his version of what exactly led to the chaos in the capital Dili in late May and the breakdown of law and order that led to 130,000 internal refugees and the deployment of 2,200 troops from Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia to quell the violence. He says his political opponents exploited ethnic divisions within the police force to create unrest. “Then they try to influence the PNTL [East Timor National police force]. How did they do it? Through this kind of propaganda, Loromunu, Loro Sae [West vs. East]. They succeeded in dividing the people within the PNTL. This is the whole strategy. Then they put groups of PNTL against groups of F-FDTL in confrontation. And they succeeded again. This is why I requested assistance from outside,” he said.

Senior sources within the command of the East Timorese armed forces; the F-FDTL confirmed that not one but three separate attempts had been made to the leadership of the F-FDTL to lead a coup against Prime Minister Alkatiri in the last 18 months.

At best, Australia’s intentions are questionable.

  • Alkatiri clearly stuffed things up.

    He has a right to his version of events but as a PM and leader he should have taken ethnic divisions and other political variables, such as military influence, into account.

    He has demonstrated that he may be a good revolutionary advocate but unlike the Timorese President he failed to act as a moderator, or a manager and hold things together.

    Hence the current mess. That a Portugese General is given some credibility as a critic is curious. Portugal naturally has an unsurpassed reputation as a former colonial power. Mozambique, Angola, East Timor …all happy examples of Portugese culture and nation building.

    Naturally Australia has national interests regarding East Timor. What do grown up people expect?

    If the East Timorese (as represented by Fretilin) want to play the GUILT CARD against Australia and imply that all Australia's interests stem from neo-colonialism, Australia may grow tired of its adopted child.

    Australia may eventually find it easier to deal over oil issues with an East Timor again controlled by Indonesia. This is because East Timor's GUILT CARD approach to governance and foreign relations won't wash with Indonesia.


  • captain

    Any problems? blame a western democracy. No one else is every at fault.

  • Excellent article. Thanks for the link.

  • ed squire

    Some disgruntled soldiers, some riots, and few thousand people protesting, appallingly bias media coverage … rhetorical succour for rioters from the most powerful government in the region … and ta da! … there goes the Prime Minister. Why can't we eliminate Howard by the same means? Oh, that's right … that would be utterly illegitimate if the guy in question is an Australian. We have our standards, after all.

  • JohD

    This is a sad day for Timor. There is going to be unbelievable trouble when alkatiri supporters realise they have been had and outmanouvered by a clique utilizing manufactured divisions. My respect for Ramos Horta has totally dissipated, and he joins the ranks of sellouts like Abbass, Hariri & Kazai. When local politicians play to a foreign constituency, it is a sure sign they have sold-out. What he has done is exploit they natural fears of a vulnerable people and the responsibility leaders have towards their safety. As disgusting a performance as any we have ever witnessed.

  • smiths

    heres another questioning the way things have happened

    captain you are a moron, please fuck off

  • Comical_Ali

    Since Bin Laden cited the brutual occupation of east timor as a grievance and justification for terror attacks against Australia, I say troops out of East Timor! End this racist, colonalist occupation! This land belongs to the oppressed Muslims of Indonesia. Land which is holy to muslims – after all some say that Mohammed and his horse ascended to Allah from this place and not Jerusalem. Sounds far fetchd because East Timor isn't mentioned in the Koran? Well neither is Jerusalem.

    End the occupation of dar-al Harb, bring in the jiyza and all terrorism will end.

  • Kev

    The WSWS website has some excellent articles on Timor.

    These date back from several years.

    Australia hang your head in shame.

  • ed squire

    As usual, Comical_Ali's response reveals more than he wants. Why the trivial response? Why the obsessive turning away from the actual issues? Because he doesn't give a shit about East Timor. As usual, they don't fit the racial profile that warrants moral concern on his part…Camical's messages are always in the absences of his comments.

  • Rich Bowden

    Congratulations John Martinkus for his tireless efforts in bringing balanced journalism to this country. The fact that John was unable to get mainstream coverage in this country for his excellent article speaks volumes for the press in Australia.

    Alkatiri's views have a right to be heard and we in Australia deserve a balanced coverage of the current crisis in Timor-Leste.

  • Comical_Ali

    of course I give a shit about east timor – why do you think I'm activley campaigning for it to be returned to Indonesian rule? This is after all, a serious root cause that needs to be addressed. Under Indonesian rule, the timorese lived in harmony – paying their jiyza like good & obediant racially sub-survient dhimmis. Once HoWARd went in to occupy this piece of historic Muslim land, Bin Laden made us a target for terror attacks. Concidentally Abu Bakar Bashir, also blamed this occupation on the joos. Damn Joowish settlers & their quest for greater Israel.

    This is a root cause & a grievance which needs to be addressed, quickly. Didn't I just take the words right out of your mouth? Whats with all the hostility, Squires?