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.

Moral bombing

Historian Norman Finkelstein has a few thoughts about the current crisis in Israel and Palestine:

latuff_norm_says_1.gif

49 comments ↪
  • orang

    There's also "Moral Kidnapping".

    See when the Pali's take an Israeli soldier it's called "Kidnapping", and we get the usual rhetoric and threats and certainly much collective punishment being meted out. However when the Israeli's nip over and grab a couple of Pali's it's called "detaining".
    See the difference? One is good, the other is bad.

    Detaining is good, kidnapping is bad, we have never kidnapped , we always detained.

    Boo to kidnappers, they must be punished, in fact not just the kidnappers, but the kidnapper mothers, they must be punished. the kidnapper's fathers – they too must be punished. And while everyone is in the mood, we'll punish the kidnappers little sister. We'll continue to punish everyone remotely involved with the kidnappers because we hate them especially after we see the poor father of the kidnapee who we feel sorry for. We don't feel sorry for the Pali's that are detained by Israel. We don't feel sorry for the fathers of the Pali's who are looking for their sons who are detained by Israel – fuck em. We only care about the ones who are kidnapped.

  • viva peace

    The fact is that neither Hamas nor the PA has ever reached a stage of legitimacy where it could ever possibly be compared to a legitimate sovereign state such as Israel.

    Sadly, their continual display that they only respect and understand the sword has ensured there status will never change.

    As they sow, so they reap.

  • viva peace

    AL

    A monor correction. Finkelstein is most certainly NOT an historian.

  • orang

    "The fact is that neither Hamas nor the PA has ever reached a stage of legitimacy "

    Well, lets see, they had an election and everyone from Europe to the Whitehouse thought this a wonderful thing – democracy and freedom are ringing. So what you are saying is just an opinion. An opinion from a one eyed Israel apologist.

  • Ian

    The fact is that neither Hamas nor the PA has ever reached a stage of legitimacy where it could ever possibly be compared to a legitimate sovereign state such as Israel.

    Hmmm.

    "If I was an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. …They only see one thing: we came here and stole their country. Why should they accept that?"

    "[I]n our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us [but] let us not ignore the truth among ourselves. …[P]olitically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs,"

    David Ben-Gurion

    I await the usual charges of anti-semitism with great interest!

  • Comical_Ali

    First of all the interior ministry is not a civilian target & neither are places from where kassams are launched from. Secondly the building was empty and Israel gave advance warning for the occupants to get out – a coutresy which Hamas does not extend to its victims.

  • orang

    So they just wreck it for fun?

    Are they like spoilt children with their hands on F-16's and D9's and mom says go ahead you little spoilt child of mine, go ahead and wreck everything because you are are beyond my control you horrible little twisted spoilt child.

  • Comical_Ali

    The late Hamas appointed interior minister was on Israel's most wanted list. Not only did he organise & coordinate Kassam attacks from that very same building but also planned the latest kidnapping from there.

    If that's your definition of unprovoked Israeli aggression (i.e "they just wreck it for fun"), then so be it. The poor, blameless Palestinian government.

  • orang

    No, not kidnapping it was "detaining". See that outpost was used to lob artillery shells into Gaza and therefore was a legitimate target for the glorious freedom fighters of Hamas who parted the Red Sea and fired a rock from a sling shot into the eye of Ariel Sharon that ugly fat fuck who'se still alive.

  • Comical_Ali

    What came first post-gaza withdrawal – the artillery shell or the Kassam & katyusha rockets (i.e. your definition of "sling shot") or the suicide bombing that occurred at the falafel stand?

    Is your name just an abbreviation for Orangutan? If so, then I rest my case & give you some credit for trying to think logically much like a human does (thus going well & truly beyond the nature of your average Orangutan) but failing miserably nevertheless.

  • orang

    Oh so finally we see your anti-semian attacks laid bare. You now show your true colours. If Ant were truly impartial, you would be banned post haste.

  • Comical_Ali

    Apologies to the Orangutan species.

  • ed squire

    "Orang" means "person".

  • Comical_Ali

    Not in the official dictionary –

    http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&lr=&amp

    Definitions of orang on the Web:

    orangutan: large long-armed ape of Borneo and Sumatra having arboreal habits

    arboreal habits…do you have a wireless up there?

  • ed squire

    Comical_Ali Jul 6th, 2006 at 12:50 am

    Not in the official dictionary

    Gee, I hate to burst your tiny, tiny linguistic bubble, but there are in fact more languages in the world than Americanese.

    The correct (generic) definition of orang is "person" (as in "Ini orang membawa surat itu" – "This person brought the letter").

    Kamus Indonesia Inggris, 3rd edition.

    Perhaps your moniker should be "orang-pandir".

  • orang

    Pak Comical ini ananas kepala.

  • captain

    wouldn't it just be much easier if the pals stopped the missiles and prosecuted the murderers? And hey, if they stopped calling for Israel's destruction and actually stopped trying to do it, maybe then there would be some chance of success.

    Until then, the semantic etymology of orang seems more important to the morally depraved left than the condemnation of kidnapping, intentional shelling of schools, the targetted murder of civilians, the palestinian industry of hate speech and the failure of the PA to engage in the road map.

  • orang

    dribble

  • captain

    perhaps you should see a urologist.

    Its all too simplistic for you. You merely suffer from confirmation bias. Every aggressive thing that you can quote on an unknown Rabbi or an irrelevant MP has relevance. The Hamas charter that calls for the destruction of Israel and Jews of course is just irrelevant. So is the the fact that pal gunmen are always surrounded by pal children. Just dribble, until you raise your blood libel crap that has eternal significance.

  • captain

    You see losers like orang and fast eddy always crapped on endlessly that the problem with pal violence was all about land and occupation. Funny that when Gaza is completely Judenrein they are still as violent as ever and now with the overt sanction of the PA as compared the covert terrorist practices of tiger boy arafat.

  • orang

    you see, the problem with smegma breath champions of Israel like captain is they not only take the land but they love to punish those who oppose them. AND not only that , they want us to believe they are pure while doing it. So thievery, sadism and delusion are all rolled into a nice ball of shit.

  • captain

    Orang, nice evasion: Gaza is now full of arabs and there are no Jews there at all. How much idyllic can that be? This has nothing to do with purity. But explain why now that there are no Jews at all in Gaza, that the pals continue to fire missiles into israel on a daily basis, kidnapp and murder Israelis and now fire into an Ashkelon school.

    The answer is pretty simple, they want all Jews out of Israel. And you orang, what would satisfy you? another Holocaust?

  • Comical_Ali

    It's called English, ed, e-n-g-l-i-s-h. I presumed that we were all speaking in that one language.

    Concidentally it could also mean Orangutan, in Indonesian too.

    Now I'm picturing one behind a key board with a cigar in its mouth. As I said, hope he is using a wireless up there, otherwise things could get slightly complicated & life would be made more difficult, in his tree.

  • Don Wigan

    "if they stopped calling for Israel’s destruction and actually stopped trying to do it, maybe then there would be some chance of success."

    Tell me, Captain. If the Palestinians agreed to that, would Israel and the US lift the financial sanctions imposed on the elected government?

  • orang

    Don,
    of course!! The Pali's are just too stupid to realise that all they have to do is recognise Israel's right to exist, renounce viilence and voila!!

    Instant Palestine! No Israeli's , gone gone away.

  • Comical_Ali

    What came first – the financial sanctions or the rocket barrages & suicide bombings.

    Just think logically for once. I don't expect much from Orang, however you come accross as someone who is more rational. so think.

  • orang

    I think the "Detentions" and the thievery and the financial sanctions came first.

    I win!!!

  • Don Wigan

    "What came first – the financial sanctions or the rocket barrages & suicide bombings."

    Happy to oblige, Comical. Firstly, the punitive responses (to rockets and bombings) have always vastly outweighed the damage and the casualty numbers of the so-called terrorists' strikes. They're probably intended to be so, and that is probably based on perceptions and concerns of Israel's security. I think most credible body counts will find a lot more dead Palestinians than Israelis. So that begs the question: Why impose further actions? Are you hoping to starve them into submission?

    As mentioned elsewhere in this blog, Hamas had refrained from attacking Israelis for over a year.

    It seems that the US-Israeli attitude in refusing to accept the electoral legitimacy of Hamas is anti-democratic. There doesn't seem much consideration to what the Palestinians wanted. And clearly first among those requirements is a party that will stand up for their own interests. The interests of the Palestinians and the US and Israel are not going to coincide on a lot of things. But the art of politics, whether democratic or despotic, is to try to reach some sort of workable arrangement on some issues. Hamas has at least tried to start that process. How much give has there been from the US and Israel.

    My concern is that brute force will not be enough to cower the Palestinians into submission. It didn't work for the British with Ireland when they had over a millenium of occupation. It didn't work for the Afrikaners. It won't work for the Israelis over time.

  • Aaron Lane

    The cartoon is clearly idiotic, for this reason: when a Palestinian blows up a bus, his intended target is obviously the civilians riding on the bus, not the bus itself. It would be hard to argue, however, that civilians were a primary target of Israeli military offensives, or even a target at all. Finkelstein, despite his politics largely disagreeing with mine, is clearly a highly intelligent man, and must see that the cartoon is highly disingenuous in its comparison.

  • orang

    "It would be hard to argue, however, that civilians were a primary target of Israeli military offensives"..

    This is the mantra lately for anywhere in Iraq or Palestine and is bunk.
    There are many instances where civilians have been SPECIFICALLY targeted. I don't mean a one ton bomb dropped in a residential area to supposedly kill a specific target and "omigosh where did those women and children come from?". I mean "Oh look, women and children let's kill."

    The denial of civilised people to accept the "unbelievable" contributes to the killing.

  • orang

    Seek and ye shall find.
    http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/06/15/isrlpa1357
    "Israeli military officials have also suggested the explosion, which killed seven members of the Ghalya family and wounded many others, might have been caused by a mine. But Human Rights Watch researchers also examined blood-crusted shrapnel given to them by the father of a 19-year-old male who suffered abdominal wounds in the beach explosion. They determined that the shrapnel is a piece of fuse from an artillery shell. "
    http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles/Sharma_CNN
    "On June 22, three Palestinian children, Ahmed Abu Aziz, his brother Jamil Abu Aziz, and Sajedah Famahwi, ages 6, 13, and 6 respectively, were killed by a hail of Israeli tank fire in Jenin. The children were among many Palestinian civilians trying to flee from oncoming Israeli forces. A third brother, Tareq, age eleven, was critically injured."

    -Oh wait a minute, that was in 2002, a long time ago and doesn't count. And it was Jenin..Ha! Jenin wasn't a massacre, that's a lie! Kofi Anan said it wasn't – A Prank a fraternity prank..The Pali's did it to each other… We are pure, it wasn't us…ooops sorry my finger slipped on the trigger hahaaaa!!

  • Captain

    orang, you just don't seem to want to get it. Finkelstein has to rely on his version of events 4 years ago to make an analogy with what the pals are doing on a daily basis.

    Because pal terrorists are mostly quite gutless creatures, they usually target commuters, people having dinner with their families, old men playing chess and backgammon, young people in a disco, families having pizza: you know all those horrible things that occupying powers do. Worse still, they hide behind the skirts of their women and surround themselves with children just so cretins like you can feign psychopathic outrage. Its a nice tag team effort: their terrorism, your apologetics.

    It is a complete laugh that they are appealing to the international community for protection from the country that they are trying to destroy! If only their cared more about their own children!

  • Captain

    Don, the problem as I see it is this: it is the raisen detre of hamas to destroy Israel. Whether they under one umbrella have a cease fire hold no water if they continue under another to facilitate terrorism and attacks. And the latter is exactly what has been happening. It is an unresolvable situation.

    Every attempt that Israel has made to strengthen pal leadership and infrastructure is subsequently sabotaged by the same group. For example Israel set up pal broadcasting infrastructure and it is then used to create the Muhamed Al Dura myth. Enormous amounts of money were spent on the Gaza settlements to ensure that they could be a source of livelihood for the pal population: the pals destroyed most of these. So what do you do with a group that gets more mileage out of starvation than success? Do you give them what they want: the destruction of Israel? Do you strengthen them so that they can foster more terror operations with the PRC?

    This crap about collective punishment of the pals ignores the asymmetry of the pals collectively punishing Israelis all the time with terrorist activities which are clearly designed to affect those well beyond the direct victims. If as a population they support the tactics of Hamas then they can cry their crocodile tears elsewhere.

  • orang

    captain, you are so full of shit ..look it's coming out your ears, seriously!!

    Go on , collect your stipend for this month, you've done well.

    We're all convinced aren't we guys?

  • Captain

    Its funny that that is all you can say. Why don't you tell us where you are from and what your affiliations are.

    orang, can you tell us why pal terrorists always surround themselves with children? its because they love them so much, right?

  • orang

    Let's see now "why do Palestinian terrorsits always surround themselves with children? "

    (thinking like as islamohating Israel adoring, racist turd)

    Because they're Paedophiles!!

    Waaa Haaa – that's funny !!

  • Comical_Ali

    DW,

    A majority of Palestinians killed were armed combatants and not civilians. Proportionally, far more innocent unarmed Israeli civilians – women & children – have been killed. Its also worth noting that those palestinians who were killed by other Palestinians as "collborators" are often lumped into the general palestinian body count, thus making the figures misleading.

    When criticising the Israelis for inadvertentley killing civilians, have you ever considered the Palestinian tactic of delibratley using their own civilians as human shields? What about their government controlled media & education system which constantly calls for "thousands & thousands" of martyrs – including child martyrs?

    And they don't just manipulate & use them as human shields- take the case of 16 year old Hussam Abdo or 12 year old Abdullah Quran. The former (who happened to be mentally handicapped) was manipulated and bribed into becoming a bomber with a packet of ciggereates and the latter was bribed into carrying a package (unbenkowest to him there was an explosive inside the package)with a bag of lollies.

    Do you think these are just isolated cases? When expressing concern for the number of innocent palestinian civilians being killed, perhaps you would be better served to direct your criticism at the palestinian authority and its proxy terrorist groups.

    As mentioned elsewhere in this blog, Hamas had refrained from attacking Israelis for over a year.

    There was a hamas suicide bombing 8 months ago, and hamas has been launching kassams into Israel right before it was elected into power. After it was elected into power Hamas declared that kassam attacks against Israeli cities were a legitmate tool of resistance. This was in addition to a March suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

    On top of that, all top Hamas officials – including the Prime Minister and foreign Minister – have openly declared their intention to destroy Israel.

    All this is a declaration of war.

    My concern is that brute force will not be enough to cower the Palestinians into submission. It didn’t work for the British with Ireland when they had over a millenium of occupation. It didn’t work for the Afrikaners. It won’t work for the Israelis over time.

    Unfortunatley, it has been proven time & time again that Israeli concession as oppossed to "Israeli brute force" has been the one fact in further inflaming Palestinian voilence and terrorism. The Gaza withdrawal was one such example. The oslo accords were another – far more Israelis had killed during the Oslo period than in any other time in history.

  • Captain

    no come on orang, you can do better than that. If its just racist thinking, correct me. What are all the children doing around the pal terrorists? They do love their children don't they?

  • orang

    Pulling out of stolen land because it costs too much to keep it and give yourself a pretext to steal something else is a "concession". – Thank you for those kind words Comical, we undersatnd.

    Captain, what the fuck are you raving on about? You have levels of sickness I cannot comprehend. /…maybe it;s the crying of the lambs I should be remembering?

  • Addamo

    A majority of Palestinians killed were armed combatants and not civilians

    Wrogn again Comical. The split is 50/50. Pretty miserable for a country using state of the art prescision guided weaponry now is it?

  • Addamo

    The fact is that neither Hamas nor the PA has ever reached a stage of legitimacy where it could ever possibly be compared to a legitimate sovereign state such as Israel.

    The fact of the matter that so long as Israel and it's allies can deny Hamas nor the PA legitimacy, they can contionue to use this meanigless slogan.

    Tell me Viva, does lack of political legitimacy have anything to do with being less worthy of existence?

  • Addamo

    Viva

    A monor correction. Finkelstein is most certainly NOT an historian.

    As recognised by whom Viva? AIPAC, the ADL?

  • ed squire

    Addamo Jul 10th, 2006 at 2:36 am

    As recognised by whom Viva? AIPAC, the ADL?

    Probably, but who cares what these things think; they're not historians, so they are unqualified to speak.

  • Addamo

    Someone posted to the Seymour Hersh thread a comment using my ID, to the effect of advocating that the US bomb Israel instead of Iran. I did not post this message. I am totally opposed to the bombing of any country by any other, and would completely condemn such an act.

    I have been away from an internet connection since Sunday, so either someone with eh same ID as I posted that message or is misrepresenting me.

  • viva peace

    Mention Finkelstein's name to any of the real historians who he bases all his work on (such as Benny Morris or Peter Novick), and you will get a barrage of very colourful invective.

  • Addamo

    Glad you raised Benny Morris Viva, seeing as your fellow traveller, Captain, stated a while back that he had been discredited.

    Finkelstein speaks glowingly about Morris, and while he may not be in the same league, that hardly precludes him fom being recognised as a historian just the same, now does it?

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    So Finkelsetin might. After all, a more truculent Zionist than Morris would be hard to find. Morris is a very rigorous historian, whose work I admire a lot. At least he has the humility and ethics to admit where he has forced evidence.

    However, Morris loathes Finkelstein as Finkelsetin, like those fraudsters Mearsheimer and Walt, misrepresents Morris so egregiously.

  • Addamo

    However, Morris loathes Finkelstein as Finkelsetin, like those fraudsters Mearsheimer and Walt, misrepresents Morris so egregiously.

    Does Morris also loathe Chomsky or Dershowitz for that matter?

    It's funny you should refer to Mearsheimer and Walt as Fraudsters. In his book, The Case for Israel, Dershowitz gllats abotu how Israel has formed the most effetice lobby the hostpry of US froeign policy, yet when Mearsheimer and Walt made this observation, Dershowitz's reflex reposnse was to renoucen thsi suggestion as anti-semitic and hesesey.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    If that is your summary of the M&W argument, then you have not understood it. M&W's argument is that the Joo lobby has hoodwinked the entire US political class to act against US interests.