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.

Israel’s moral purity

The following photograph and caption speak for themselves (how many civilians did our bombs kill today, Daddy?):

hezbollah_wideweb__470x316,0.jpg

Israeli girls write messages on shells ready to be fired toward Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.

30 comments ↪
  • What a bizarre photo. If the girls could see what such items actually do to people just like themselves… Chances are it simply doesn't register in their minds. Someone asks them to write on the shells for a photo and they do it.

  • Adam

    Usually this signifies enjoyment and entertainment, had these pictures been of Lebanon, Iranian or Syrian girls writing messages on Hezbollah rockets the (western) world would not have been this quite. I guess apart from this blog no one has actually seen this (or these) types of images. If you look carefully at the picture, you can just about make out another photographer on the opposite taking a picture of this great moment.

    To be honest, I rather not see any child exposed to such weapons let alone allow them to write comments on them enjoying themselves, maybe that’s how it works in Israel. I remember not so long ago in Palestine when local Palestinian demonstrations occur, the media is really quick to take a picture of a child dressed as a suicide bomber or carrying a small plastic machine gun (like children play with after watching movies like Rambo) and that same image becomes a center of debate in the (western) world, well what’s the difference between these girls writing comments on this rockets and that child in Palestine? The only difference is that that child is a Palestinian so his farther must be a freedom fighter oh sorry a terrorist.

    Can you imagine them rockets in which the girls proudly are writing comments on can be the cause of people death in Lebanon, its crazy for these girls to be doing this?

  • Addamo_01

    Oh this is precious isn't it?

    What better way to exemplify the sick agenda that is behind these attacks.

    Any comments from our resident shills, Captain and Comical?

  • foxman

    Lunacy reigns!
    Wonder what these girls will think of this photo in twenty years. Proud Are You!
    The planet's psyche is in a very bad place at this period in time.
    My Heart Hurts!

  • Captain

    Their parents should be counselled. I am totally against such behaviour. But people deal with stress in different ways. But now lets have a look at the pals dancing when Jews are blown up on a bus. Lets have a moral discourse about that.

  • viva peace

    It is a disgrace that the Islamofascists are exploiting the Lebanese people like this. Remember a significant proportion of the Lebanese people are not even Muhammadans!!!

    However, we must start here before we deal with Syria and Iran

  • it just makes me sad. this is a form of child abuse, a perversion of the innocence of childhood. it matters not to me the circumstance or religion of the parents, or the organizers of such an event. they are despicable for allowing horror to be marginalized in the eyes of their children, who will learn the disservice of that lesson later in life.

  • Addamo_01

    It is a disgrace that the Islamofascists are exploiting the Lebanese people like this.

    But it's perectly reasonale fo the Isralil's to target them is that it Viva?

    It's perfectly acceptabel for Israelis to order people to leavr their homes, then bomb them in their vehicles as they are leaving is that it?

    emember a significant proportion of the Lebanese people are not even Muhammadans!!!

    And here we have Israel tiurnign them all into Hezbollah supporters overnight. Hiw clever is that?

    However, we must start here before we deal with Syria and Iran

    We, you mean Israel don't you? Or are you assuming that this is now Austalia, American's and Britain's problem also?

    Funny how in spite of all this rhetoric from Israel's amen corner abtou Syria and Iran, Olmert stil maintain this is all about captured IDF soldiers.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    Are you REALLY so naive? I was speaking to a friend in DFAT tonight. Apparently, you had all better hang on to your hats as the whole non-Islamic world has now decided to move BIG TIME on the Muhamaddans. This to-do with Hezbollah is going to be used as the excuse to totally destroy the weapons and political leadership of Syria and Iran. 100s of 1,000s are expected to be killed.

    There will be MAJOR re-drawing of the middle east.

    p.s. There will NEVER be a "Palestinian" state.

  • Addamo_01

    Viva,

    It is you that is inceedibly naive.

    Apparently, you had all better hang on to your hats as the whole non-Islamic world has now decided to move BIG TIME on the Muhamaddans.

    Decided? Do you seriosuyl believe that this is a recent descision. Viva, Viva, Viva, Viva what are we to do with such intellectual flatulence?

    Israel and it's allies had this is thne plannign for quote some time. The appropriately named, David Wormser (current member of the Bush administration and strong supporter of Israel), wrote a paper about it in 2002. He said that their goals (which haven't been completed by now) were to: destabilize Lebanon, replace the current Syrian government with one friendly to Israel, expulse the Palestinians to Jordan, eventually start a war with Iran with the help of the U.S. to install a government friendly to Israel, and finally to force the current Saudi leadership out of control over the oil. Most of these goals are within a few steps of actually happening. It is ridiculous. These planners who came up with these ideas are playing with the lives of millions of people just for imperialism.

    And here you are Viva, celebrating like it's the next millenium.

    The timing of this is no accident either. After all, Israel has negotiated prosoner exhanges before without to much fuss, but all of a sudden, Olmert is doign a Adaminejad and talking about bombing Lebanon back 20 or even 50 years.

    This actions isn't just something of a whim; there is a reason for it. The AIPAC trial is coming fast (scheduled for August 7th to be exact.) To quote from an article in teh Jewish News Weekly (http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/27560/edition_id/527/format/html/displaystory.html)

    It’s a classified leak case that could rattle U.S. foreign policy and fundamentally alter how Washington does business… Defense motions suggest that the trial could expose the extent of covert U.S. surveillance of an ally, Israel, and how Israeli diplomats gather information about the United States.

    After AIPAC effectively goes on trial Israel's influence over Congress will obviously take a huge hit. Israel will have a much tougher time getting us involved with Iran after the trial. (not to mention that without Congress's support the $3 billion Israel gets from the U.S. every year will be in huge jeopardy.)

    p.s. There will NEVER be a “Palestinian” state.

    Oh goodie goodie. Break out the Champagne.

    Anyone doubt this was one fo the motivations for Israel's escalatino fo this from a few captrued soliders?

  • Captain

    1. By the way, the caption says the writing is in Hebrew. Good on you Fairfucked

    2. The Islamists are just so tasteful. What hope does Israel have with child abusers like this.

  • Gustov_deleft

    Well here's the big question for some of you. Up to 25,000 Australians are trapped in Lebanon. Our otherwise spineless Foreign Minister has requested aid from the Israeli's, in the form of a very short cease fire allowing a corridor for these Australians to escape. Israel's response………Not a chance.

    I'm just interested to know the reaction of the unquestioning supporters of Israel. Who do you support? Our own people, or a foreign power that is threatening the safety of our citizens?

  • Addamo_01

    Oh sure Captain,

    That will certanly main comebosy won't it?

    Bombs that decapitate the bodies of childern however are what exactly, a case of paring the rod and spoiling the child?

    Gustov, you make a good point. It is interesting that the Pentagon has revoked security clearances from employees who have dual Amercain and Jewish nationalities, or who have relatives in Israel.

    Viva, another mistaek in your argument (so many in such a short post):

    the whole non-Islamic world has now decided to move BIG TIME on the Muhamaddans

    Inteersting seeing as Lavrov of Russia is talking about sending navy ships to the region, which I doutb are intended to support the Israeli attacks. Europe are unanimusly against Israel on this as is everyone exept the US, Austrlia, Birtain and America's puppet regimes in the Gulf – all of whom are dicatators whom will probably find their careers meet a sudden end as things escalte in the region.

  • Captain

    No one can expect a pause during a war when Hezbollah will only exploit this. I am sorry for anyone who is stuck there, but it is hardly the fault of either australia or israel. It is the fault of iran and hezbollah. Obviously.

  • Captain

    And this business about the pentagon is crap. "Dual American Jewish nationalities"? huh? Judaism is a religion. It seems your islamist mates realise this.

  • Addamo

    Sprry to burst your bubble Captain.

    According to Insight magazine, "the Pentagon has banned security clearance to Americans with relatives in Israel. Government sources and attorneys said the Pentagon has sought and succeeded in removing security clearance from dozens of Americans, mostly Jews, who either lived, worked, or have relatives in Israel."
    http://www.insightmag.com/Media/MediaManager/Isra

    I am sorry for anyone who is stuck there, but it is hardly the fault of either australia or israel. It is the fault of iran and hezbollah. Obviously.

    If there were Jewsih lives at stake, you can bet your bottom dollar this woudl be an internatioal crisis, but Americans and australians are epxendable.

    Interesting also, the the Us government will fly Amercians out fo Lebanon who are stuck there, buyt will them after wards. Just goes to show where the US government pririties are, seeing asn they were the ones paying Israeli's to leave Gaza.

  • JohD

    What us the score?

    According to Reuters, 216 people in Lebanon have been killed all but 13 of them civilians. Twenty four Israelis have been killed 12 civilians and 12 IDF soldiers.

    If we delete those that don't count – innocent poeple 'collateral damage', then 13 Lebanese military or paramilitary have been killed as opposed to 12 Israeli Military and 12 Israeli civilians. Cannot say they don't count can we? Then we will be accused of anti-Semitism.

    According to these figures, Israel is wasting its time, and valuable blood, killing non-people. Perhaps the price is worth it, I wouldn't know. But there does seem to be little profit in it, and the exercise is marginal at best. Then again, those non-people-dead might just be producing enough wargasms to make it all worthwhile. Pedastry never did strike me as a rational pursuit.

  • Keith

    Antony, I've never seen you show the mass demonstrations of Hamas kids marching with fake suicide belts and guns that happen daily in the territories.

    Egyptian Sandmonkey has posted on an explanation to these photos: http://sandmonkey.org/2006/07/18/the-fucked-up-pi

  • Adam

    I came across an article by Richard Cohen which you can find here. Although I do read general articles written by him I don’t agree with some, but this particular one had me interested in reading it till the end. I going to quote some of these words (or work if you like) here as I think they need to be investigated or at least wondered over, and maybe some people present on this blog (who comments are pro-Israel) can chew over them too.

    One particular sentence I would like to quote is:

    greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake

    Now this is more like it, and well-done to Richard for getting this spot on. The western world (or the powerful leaders in the west) all agree that Jews who originated from Europe have a right to exist as Israel in the Middle East, Middle East which is all Arab and Muslim land. But the Middle East don’t share the same view at all, they were never consulted or asked for Israel to just one day popup in the Middle East, but one has to admit that even if they had been asked for Israel existence in the Middle East during World War I and II how much intention could a nation who existence is being divided into mini Arab states by non-other than western nations who had prearranged Jewish state already. So why did the Europeans not all the Jews to establish a state in Europe as Europe had its border already defined unlike the Arabstan (today known as Arab and Muslim nations)? My view is verified further by Richard comments:

    a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now

    He also makes the following comments, which I taught would be a good idea to share with the rest:

    This is why the Israeli-Arab war, now transformed into the Israeli-Muslim war (Iran is not an Arab state), persists and widens. It is why the conflict mutates and festers. It is why Israel is now fighting an organization, Hezbollah that did not exist 30 years ago and why Hezbollah is being supported by a nation, Iran that was once a tacit ally of Israel's

    And further he mentions:

    Whatever happens, Israel must not use its military might to win back what it has already chosen to lose: the buffer zone in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip itself.

    He also indicates that Gaza and militants running the Palestinian policy is what Israel wanted or had hoped:

    Hard-line critics of Ariel Sharon, the now-comatose Israeli leader who initiated the pullout from Gaza, always said this would happen: Gaza would become a terrorist haven. They said that the moderate Palestinian Authority would not be able to control the militants and that Gaza would be used to fire rockets into Israel and to launch terrorist raids. This is precisely what has happened.

    After reading his article a little brief but almost capturing the whole Middle East events in the 80 years, I have to admit he has hit most nails right on the head.

    What do you expect Muslim and Arab nation to do when first their land is divided into segments which we see today (and will continue in seeing in Iraq) but then to think that’s bad, having to live with Jewish Europeans who’s existence in their own home was decided behind closed doors, not by themselves but by the western nations who decided their nations fate (in divide and conquer). It is natural for local resistance to up rise especially when they are being kicked out of their own land thanks to their enemies. I would not be surprised if Hezbollah is known as freedom fighters amongst the Arab and Muslims, but the west who naturally identify them as Muslims terrorist, just like Soviet Union (USSR) who were known as terrorists not so long ago.

    Why don’t USA allow Israel to exist in America, I’m sure they will have room for their new neighbors to exist happily along side them. If that may be hard to chew looking at the Jewish history then why not bring them back into Europe maybe in Ireland I’m sure they wont be trouble there. But when I think about it hard then it starts to make sense why the western world wants the troublesome Israeli to exist. It would mean that the western nations won’t have an excuse to enter into the Muslim land and pinch their oil, it would mean that once feared Ottoman Empire might spring alive and drag Europe and America back into the dark ages. So they rather leave Israel in the Middle East after all its only the Muslims, who from the western view point don’t really have any rights in their own countries so they wont mind.

    Wrong this is just the beginning of an Israeli ending.

  • One journalist Jonathan Cook, has condemned BBC's bias reporting of the destruction of Lebanon by Israeli forces.

    Read here: http://newscompass.blogspot.com/2006/07/degraded-

    The more I listen to BBC, the more J. Cook's assessment is right on the money.

    BBC used to be a neutral and highly professional and respected news media. On this one, it has failed so miserably.

    I have stopped watching BBC as a result if I want to hear news of this catastrophe.

    Read jere

  • Addamo_01

    An intesresting article that adderesses teh BBC's bias:

    Israel – Britain’s Imperialist Rottweiler http://www.williambowles.info/ini/2006/0706/ini-0

  • Addamo_01

    Viva,

    Your statement about the non Arab world being united in their stance is very perplexing.

    Of the 15 nations of the UNSC, 10 voted in favour of Israel haltiung its attacks in Gaza, 4 abstained and onyl the US vetoed the resolution. Sounds to me like your soures are living in an alternate universe.

    (CNN) — The United States on Thursday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding Israel halt its attacks in Gaza.

    The proposal also demanded that Palestinian militants release the Israeli soldier abducted June 25 in a raid in Israel and stop launching rockets at Israel from Gaza. In addition, it called on Israel to release Palestinian government officials and lawmakers it took into custody after the soldier's abduction.

    Ten nations on the council voted in favor of the resolution, and four abstained.

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/07/13/mideast

  • smiths

    an explanation for theses photos eh keith?

    its not what it looks like,

    yes it is, no words in the world cover the sickness displayed in these images

  • orang

    BBC news is now trash – even CNN is better.

  • That photo ran on the SMH-Age site for at least six hours, don’t know if it made the print editions. I first saw it up Drudge Report…for a few minutes. Looks like it was widely circulated in the mainstream media around the world.

    Google News? It’s invaluable. Truly one of the most significant developments in media since the printing press. If you have the time, you can whip through the opening paragraphs to thousands of stories on latest news items, though you will find that a good 60% of them are syndicated Rueters, AFP, AAP, etc, stories.

    But you can find columns and different takes on latest stories from some interesting media in places like India, China, Japan, Middle East, Africa, that most people would not even know existed.

    It’s interesting, too, that Google News can list a take on a news story publishing on a small one-man website inbetween the takes from BBC and CNN.

    Pretty amazing for revolutionising the media.

  • Adam

    I’ve started reading googlenews as it provides many different news reports from around the world (and by different authors) so one can make up their own minds, as oppose to crappy BBC, Sky news or CNN. The reality of the war can only be seen from either independent news reports or from none western sources.

  • That photo ran on the SMH-Age site for at least six hours, don't know if it made the print editions. I first saw it up Drudge Report…for a few minutes. Looks like it was widely circulated in the mainstream media around the world.

    Google News? It's invaluable. Truly one of the most significant developments in media since the printing press. If you have the time, you can whip through the opening paragraphs to thousands of stories on latest news items, though you will find that a good 60% of them are syndicated Rueters, AFP, AAP, etc, stories.

    But you can find columns and different takes on latest stories from some interesting media in places like India, China, Japan, Middle East, Africa, that most people would not even know existed.

    It's interesting, too, that Google News can list a take on a news story publishing on a small one-man website inbetween the takes from BBC and CNN.

    Pretty amazing for revolutionising the media.

  • Note, Lisa Goldman has debunked some of the mythology beginning to surround this photo: ontheface.blogware.com

  • Addamo

    Lisda,

    I think Lisa Goldman is confusing debunked with spin.

  • M.Mayes

    Note, Lisa Goldman has debunked some of the mythology

    Interesting Lisa,

    however tragic that story may have been (someone's word on a blog that they contacted the reporter means very little so its questionable to begin with) however putting aside questionability and hypothetically if it were true, that in no way justifies having children write messages or flags on bombs,"The parents handed the markers to the kids" i think the point that its disgusting they are teaching their kids this is still pretty clear…

    Furthermore it could then be said that the parents there are deterring peace because those kids may have one day grown up to be politicians (now i mean DIPLOMTIC politicians not "I HATE PALESTINE" awesome lets have this guy for prime minister style politicians), politicians who may have worked with the Arab states to reach a peace settlement (given that the only other option there is the pushing out of one or the other).

    Which comes back to the current fact that Israel's little adventure into Lebanon that is not only killing hezbollah at a less than pathetic ratio to civilians but creating more and more enemies because now anyone who lost a family member or friend (or even countrymen for the more patriotic)… guess what… Israel just made them fanatics too.