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.

The set-up

Those world-class forensic skills displayed by the US government are exposed:

The US government said it could not find the men that Guantánamo detainee Abdullah Mujahid believes could help set him free. The Guardian found them in three days.

Two years ago the US military invited Mr Mujahid, a former Afghan police commander accused of plotting against the United States, to prove his innocence before a special military tribunal. As was his right, Mr Mujahid called four witnesses from Afghanistan.

But months later the tribunal president returned with bad news: the witnesses could not be found. Mr Mujahid’s hopes sank and he was returned to the wire-mesh cell where he remains today.

The Guardian searched for Mr Mujahid’s witnesses and found them within three days. One was working for President Hamid Karzai. Another was teaching at a leading American college. The third was living in Kabul. The fourth, it turned out, was dead. Each witness said he had never been approached by the Americans to testify in Mr Mujahid’s hearing.

The case illustrates the egregious flaws that have discredited Guantánamo-style justice and which led the US supreme court to declare such trials illegal on Thursday in a major rebuke to the Bush administration. 

Australian Guantanamo captive David Hicks remains in legal limbo, despite the latest Supreme Court ruling. His military lawyer, Michael Mori, explains why the Australian and US governments are lying about his client. This has nothing to do with “terrorism.”

6 comments ↪
  • Ian

    On yesterday's ABC Stateline (SA version) Alexander Downer claimed the charges against Hicks were "Conspiracy to commit war crimes" and that Hicks was a murder, which he quickly changed to alleged murderer.

    As Major Mori makes clear in the linked article, the so called "conspiracy" charge was exposed by the US Supreme Court as a nonsense. It is not a valid offence under the laws of war. As for the murder allegation, at no time has it been alleged that Hicks has harmed so much as a fly, except now by Downer.

    OTOH, Downer himself appears to have a case to answer on the following:

    1) Waging aggressive war

    2) War Crimes: violations of the laws or customs of war.

    And, depending on what he knew about matters such as the 'Downing Street memo,' he may also have a case to answer on:

    3) Conspiracy to wage aggressive war.

    Currently, while the ICC does have the power to prosecute the charge of 'Waging aggressive war' it has so far not defined this crime. A determination is expected in 2007, or possibly 2008. As expressed at Nuremberg, this "is the supreme international crime" and its hoped it will be taken seriously once defined.

    Charge number 2 arises from the Supreme Court's ruling in which it made clear that Gitmo prisoners have been held in violation of the Geneva Convention. By being the main non U.S. urgers of these criminal acts and making no attempt to protect Hicks et al, the Australian government is possibly as criminally culpable as their American counterparts.

    The facts are that Hicks is only guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and stupidity. Howard and Downer have defamed and demonized him for political purposes and are terrified this will be exposed if Hicks is ever able to give his side of the story.

  • pre-dawn leftist

    Ian, too true. Hicks is guilty of being sold to the Americans by his Pakistani captors. Apparently this is common among the detainees at Gitmo. It does not seem that they actually "caught" many at all – they paid for them.

    I'm still struggling with why this is really happening in political terms – after 4 years the best charges they can come up with for Hicks seem relatively minor and are all prefixed with the word "conspiracy to.." or "aiding …", it makes it sound like he hasnt actually done very much. If this is the best they can do the evidence against Hicks must be pretty weak.

    What are they really playing at here? Why is Hicks such a big deal?

  • JohD

    I think it was Thomas Jefferson that once said: "Vigilence is the price of freedom", or something to that effect. What he had in mind however was that the people should watch the government, not the government the people. Essentially the Australian Governments position on David Hicks is illegal under common law. But that is the flaw in Democracy; if the powers that be can convince the majority to go along, they can essentially violate the law. It is not neccessary to have the majority agree, but just enough to get them to not care enough. And 'don't care' is unfortunately the position of public opinion in Australia.

  • orang

    "OTOH, Downer himself appears to have a case to answer on the following:

    1) Waging aggressive war

    2) War Crimes: violations of the laws or customs of war.

    And, depending on what he knew about matters such as the ‘Downing Street memo,’ he may also have a case to answer on:

    3) Conspiracy to wage aggressive war."

    But on the other hand must be congratulated on his abilities to perform fellatio and cunnilingus on all of the Bush cabinet at the same time and in public without once spilling a drop.

  • Addamo

    Predawn,

    Ian, too true. Hicks is guilty of being sold to the Americans by his Pakistani captors. Apparently this is common among the detainees at Gitmo. It does not seem that they actually “caught” many at all – they paid for them.

    That's very true. The US were offering rewards of $25k for Al Qaeda and Taleban members, which basically led to people being snatched off the street by new made bounty hunters.

    You bring a guy in and collect your reward. At the end fo the day, it's your word against his and the fact that he denies being such a member is proof that he's lying.

  • Ian

    Orang wrote:

    But on the other hand must be congratulated on his abilities to perform fellatio and cunnilingus on all of the Bush cabinet at the same time and in public without once spilling a drop.

    I wouldn't be too sure about him not "spilling a drop" When I called him a war criminal to his face he did start dribbling. The bloke has a weak mouth!

    Addamo wrote:

    The US were offering rewards of $25k for Al Qaeda and Taleban members

    $25K for Al Qaeda is understandable, but the Taliban? Anyone would think they were terrorists. Which of course they aren't, as a check of the U.S. State Dept list of terrorist organizations (http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/fs/37191.htm) confirms. Nor are they on the UK Home Office's list of proscribed terrorist groups (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/security/terrorism-and-the-law/terrorism-act/proscribed-groups).