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 (can never) win this war of ideas

The following editorial appears in today’s Australian newspaper:

Advocates for the Jewish state must use reason, not emotion 

The latest battles in the 60-year struggle in the Middle East seem to be going well for Israel. But the Israelis are also fighting on another front, one where victory is essential to their state’s survival – the battlefield of ideas, where Israel’s victories are far fewer and increasingly pyrrhic. In the 30 years since the apex of international support for Israel in 1967, when the beleaguered state won a war of survival against an axis of states committed to its extermination, the Israelis have become increasing victims of two paradoxes. The more military victories they win in the national defence the more they are treated in the West as an aggressor that lives to fight. And the more forcefully Israelis present the case for their own survival the more they are seen as intellectual, as well as military, bullies. Earlier this year American academics John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt published a long essay arguing that the United States’ alliance with Israel was no longer in their nation’s interest. Support for Israel, they claimed, had so enraged the Islamic world that the security of the US, and the West in general, was at risk. And one of the main reasons Israel was protected was because of the power of its propagandists in domestic American politics. It was not an especially convincing argument, reducing Israel’s existence to a cynical realpolitic reckoning of American self-interest. But Mearsheimer and Walt’s suggestions were strengthened by the extraordinary ire their arguments incurred from American allies of Israel.

We saw the same situation writ small on Wednesday night when commentator Antony Loewenstein debated Ted Lapkin from the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council on ABC TV’s Lateline. Much of Mr Loewenstein’s argument was based on emotion rather than analysis. He argued as if Israel were a garrison state addicted to the use of force far in excess of what is required for its national defence. On the basis of what he said on Wednesday night many of Mr Loewenstein’s opinions are reflective of an ill-informed youthful Jewish guilt. But instead of respectfully rebutting his claims exclusively on the basis of facts Mr Lapkin went in hard. He suggested Mr Loewenstein wanted Israel to stop bombing the transport system in the south of Lebanon so “it would be easier for Hezbollah to be re-supplied with rockets” and called Mr Loewenstein part of “the pro-Hezbollah cheer squad”.

Rather than badgering opponents and scoring debating points, supporters of Israel would do far better to calmly deploy an arsenal of facts. Israel, despite being a tiny country surrounded by Arab states who would happily – and on more than one occasion have tried – to push it into the sea, has historically sought peace with its neighbours and only fought to defend itself. The present conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon was not a fight of Israel’s choosing; in fact, Israel had pulled out from Lebanon in 2000 only to see the Iranian and Syrian-backed terrorist group regroup on its northern border. Certainly anyone with a heart will have compassion for the civilians killed in the current conflict with Hezbollah on both sides. Yet the outrage about the accidental wartime deaths of Lebanese children seems to far outweigh that felt for Israeli youth deliberately targeted by suicide bombers in calculated acts of murder. Likewise in the occupied territories, Israel has repeatedly sought to arrive at some sort of accomodation with the Palestinians. Yet it was Israel’s reputation that was sullied during the first Intifada of 1987 to 1993 when images of Arab youths hurling stones at tanks were beamed around the world. But when the collapse of the Soviet Union cut off aid from Moscow the Palestinian leadership was finally forced to the peace table. This led to the signing of the Oslo Accords and the famous handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn. The tragedy is that this promise of peace was false. Since its founding in 1948 Israel has repeatedly faced down hostile enemies who still view its founding as a naqba, or catastrophe. This was shown most dramatically during 1967’s Six Day War. Having been subjected to weeks of threats and surrounded by the mobilised armies of Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Jordan, Israel took the initiative and decimated its enemies’ military capabilities. And even though every honest accounting of the war acknowledges Israel was facing overwhelming odds, many in the West see it as an act of Jewish aggression. Israel only occupied land to the east of the cease fire line of 1949 because it was in the process of fighting a defensive war. But the obligation to seek peace is not an obligation to commit national suicide. Who could reasonably expect Israel, a country that is at places just nine miles wide, to withdraw from such defensive buffers in the face of states that have already proven their desire to do it harm? In any case, Arab countries have proved more than happy to delay solutions to the problem of the occupied territories to provide them with a continuing source of propaganda. Soon after Oslo the murder of Israel’s peace making prime minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish fanatic in 1995 removed one of the strongest advocates for compromise with the Palestinians, as did repeated violations of the Oslo understanding by the Palestinians. By the mid- to late-1990s suicide bomb belts had replaced rocks as the Palestinian weapon of choice. And Yasser Arafat would prove to be nothing but a disaster. Through all of this the Israelis explicitly voted to give land back to the Palestinians in a quest to acheive peace – a very rare act in the history of the world. Events would come to a head with the start of the second Intifada in late 2000, triggered, some say incited, by a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to a mosque within the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem. Arab Israelis rioted, and in the West Bank town of Ramallah two Israeli reservists were arrested and lynched in a local Palestinian police station. In the years that followed suicide bombings would take hundreds of lives in Israel. Yet in 2004 Mr Sharon, the most hawkish of Israeli hawks, finally saw a way to make peace by evacuating the Gaza Strip and withdrawing from parts of the West Bank and leaving the Palestinians to run both areas. But once again the hope of peace was betrayed when the Hamas terrorist militia kidnapped an Israeli soldier last month. The terrorists acted in an attempt to derail the possibility of a Palestinian vote on peace with Israel that could have gone against them. This fits a long pattern. For decades, first under a secular leadership and now under a more Islamicised one, every chance for peace has been scotched by a new atrocity committed by a Palestinian or Arab group determined to instead make war. And now Hezbollah has followed them into the fray, with attacks on Israel from the north. This is the long and complex story Israel’s enemies do not want told, instead preferring the narrative of displacement and victimisation that is so commonly heard in the West.

However many battles the Israelis win their sixty year struggle for survival will never end unless they achieve their objectives in the war of ideas. Yet on this fiercely contested front the fighting is not going Israel’s way. The fact is that many people like Mr Loewenstein, young and old alike, are simply unaware of the history of aggression Israel has faced and are naive about the nature of that country’s enemies. Israel’s foes have become adept at working the press and releasing footage of dead civilians. The assumption of many in the media that there is something suspicious about a democracy that fights, rather than appeases its enemies, makes it easy for the ignorant and the anti-Semitic to paint Israel as an aggressor. To counter this individuals like Mr Lapkin, and all who support Israel’s right to exist, need to make the case with calm reason and lay out the facts, from the 1967 war through the Camp David and Oslo accords and Yasser Arafat’s benighted and corrupt leadership. Also worth mentioning are Ehud Barak’s eagerness to sign a peace deal that would have given the Palestinians 95 per cent of their stated desires and which was still rejected by Mr Arafat. Such reasoning would go a long way to counter the opportunists who have especially emerged since September 11 we have seen more opportunists emerge, with arguments the Holocaust is now so distant that the West’s moral debt to Israel is cancelled and that the risk of terror attack makes the price of supporting the Jewish state too high. Paul Sheehan put it precisely in the Sydney Morning Herald when he wrote last week, “The moral legacy of the Holocaust has now passed into history” and concluded that “the combustible policies of the Israeli Government have become a danger to Australia and Australians everywhere”. Mr Sheehan misses the point. The Islamic terrorists he fears hate Hindus and Christians_ and also Muslims who adhere to different doctrines – as much as they do Jews. And by indiscriminately targeting transport in cities all over the world terrorists demonstrate they do not care who they kill. Like Mr Loewenstein, Mr Sheehan’s emotions shape his argument. But this does not mean they can be dismissed with debating tricks, or shouted down. Because every time this happens some Australians question whether the right is on Israel’s side. This is disastrous, because now more than ever Israel needs all the friends it can get.

  • Addamo_01

    What a boatload of rubbish:

    Israel’s foes have become adept at working the press and releasing footage of dead civilians.

    So according to this deluded op-ed, it's the fault of Israel’s foes that the footage of dead civilians exists. Never mind that the content of the footage was created by Israel, so long as there are no pictures to report it, everything is fine and dandy.

  • Addamo_01

    This piece epitomises why news paper circulation is headed south. The writer is lamenting that news can no longer be managed, and that Israel's amane corner are having a harder time of it controlling what people read, see and hear.

    Mr Loewenstein’s opinions are reflective of an ill-informed youthful Jewish guilt

    What this writer is really saying is that the world's youth has found a new way to communicate and access news (via the internet and blogs) and that dinosaurs and spin meisters like this columints are losing their grip on the power to control what people are told.

  • Roonaldo

    Throughout this recent conflict I have found The Australian's treatment to be "fair and balanced" in exactly the same way that Fox News is "fair and balanced". That is to say it is manifestly unfair and completely unbalanced. Those who dissent are "ill-informed" or "immature" or "assuaging their guilt". The moral vacuity of the argument is breathtaking and shocking, as is the fact that it is given prominent space in a national newspaper.

    Once again we are asked to buy the fiction of "Arafat turned down a deal that would have given him 95% blah blah" or "Sharon saw a way to make peace blah blah." No mention of an attempt to create isolated Bantustans, no mention of the construction of an apartheid wall built on occupied land and all the other routine acts of daily humiliation imposed on an occupied people.

  • smiths

    And one of the main reasons Israel was protected was because of the power of its propagandists in domestic American politics. It was not an especially convincing argument, reducing Israel’s existence to a cynical realpolitic reckoning of American self-interest.

    no not very convincing at all,
    meanwhile, back in reality

    Israel's campaign to destroy Hizbollah is a foreign policy windfall for the Bush administration, which hopes it will boost the U.S. war on terrorism and heap pressure on its nemesis Iran, analysts say.
    Several analysts say the fighting is a chance to let someone else's military promote what are also U.S. objectives, while gaining leverage for Washington's own diplomatic efforts.
    Influential conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer called the current conflict a "golden, unprecedented opportunity" to try to promote the U.S. goal of dismantling Hizbollah.

    Reuters, Thu Jul 20, 3:14 PM

    lets face it, its obvious who is ill informed in all of this

  • smiths

    great graphic on the front page of the UK independent

  • Anon

    God forbid that we should all be emotional about the death of innocent people, especially children. Let's debate this current assult on Lebanon over tea and scones. After wards we can sit and take stock of how many friends Israel has maintained over high tea. Who are these bastards writing in the newspapers, reporting useless crap, and monitoring increasing dissent towards Israel? Antony you did more than great on Lateline, and Lapkin didn't "go hard", he just went stupid.

  • smiths

    Having learned the bitter lessons of the 1982 Lebanon war and the long entanglement which followed, Israelis have become very suspicious of their leaders. Nevertheless, today they are united behind their government, and they will probably stay united, for two reasons: the blatant, unprovoked act of war by the Hizbollah; and the clear knowledge that

    nothing hides behind the simple, limited and just demands of the government

    , that the kidnapped soldiers be returned, and Hizbollah's capability of harassing Israel is curbed.

    Uri Dromi, The Independent

    "unprovoked", bullshit
    "nothing hides behind the demands", total utter bullshit

    its really easy to make a moral case for 'self defence' when your arguement is construcetd upon barefaced lies.

  • Pat

    My letter to the editor:

    Oh, yes, the Australian has never allowed itself to be “worked” has it?

    Who reads the Australian anyway? Materialistic bogans and pseudo-intellectuals at best, that’s who.

    You miss the point….people just want peace.

    Try to get that through your thick skull.

  • Pat

    I reckon we need to pull this argument and others like it (Iraq, Iran, etc) up into a progressive vs conservative context. We’re never going to get world peace while anti-Semitism sadly gets milked for all it’s worth by the likes of Lapkin, much in the way that Howard milks the anti-American and un-Australian terms.

  • Comical_Ali

    Oh, yes, the Australian has never allowed itself to be “worked” has it?

    Who reads the Australian anyway? Materialistic bogans and pseudo-intellectuals at best, that’s who.

    Why are you being so harsh on a large portion of Loewenstein's readership? After all, he does get regularly published by these bogan lovers, doesn't he? Whatever happened to Fairfax?

  • Captain

    Pat, so lets be clear about this. You are writing to a paper whose readers are:

    Materialistic bogans and pseudo-intellectuals at best, that’s who.

    after you read its editorial?

    Pure gold!

  • smiths

    and just like clockwork they chime in,
    comical ali and captain,
    having a go at the writers, and refusing to address the actual point of the post,

    just once guys, why not try and address the topic and actually use some verifiable information to back up your points

  • Captain

    The point of their posts is evident in their manner of delivery. Clowns are entertaining, not debating partners.

  • Adam

    It only really makes sense for pro-Israeli advocates to come forward and try to justify this recent bloody conflict affecting both sides. I think the best way to explain what the world nations think about this conflict is better understood by “Smiths comments” where he kindly has provided a URL for the front page of UK Independent, which you can find here.

    Things have started to go from bad to worse with the Israeli actions. While yesterday watching sky news one Christian resident speak fluent English turned to the camera man and said “this is democracy, can you see it (pointing at totally destroyed residential street) it supposed to protect us, like friend protects a friend and family protect a family, this is Israeli democracy protect us, have a good look my home use to be here”, and it was too much for me to bare and as I continued watching the same man had no emotions due to the shock and I have never seen this before. He just stood there gazing at the rubbles of what use to be his apartment home, his eyes cried of fear, loss and hatred but yet he smiled and looked to the sky’s. If people had argued that Syria had a big influence in Lebanon and thank god they left and returned to their own borders well thanks to the Israelis they have a better chance now in returning for good.

    Over the next coming weeks and months we will see continues similar interviews and justifications (like the one posted here) trying to defend Israel and its miserably failing attempt to defend it self. These stupid reports and articles are a natural response from pro-Israel supporters. The more I read them the more I believe that Israel has made a big mistake. The world opinion has changed regarding Israel and its conflicts and mostly its against Israel.

    Much of the problems, wars, conflicts, etc that we see around the world are side effects from Israel and its treatment of Palestinians and Arabs in the Middle East.

  • Adam

    Just to add the escalation of the war, Lebanon has warned that its own army could join Hezbollah fighters to fight Israel. The report can be found here.

  • orang

    "and just like clockwork they chime in,

    comical ali and captain,"

    Ding & Dong

  • orang

    "Mr Loewenstein’s opinions are reflective of an ill-informed youthful Jewish guilt"

    Yeeeeckk. That is so disgusting in so many ways. I bet the author used voice recognition software to produce this shit. They couldn't have physically typed it – the keyboard would've gummed up with all the puke and semen and scum oozing off the whore.

  • Roonaldo

    And if the battle of ideas had not already run its course, check out the letter in The Australian today from the Executive Director of the Executive Coucil of Australian Jewry. He writes, "Certain of your correspondents have expressed concern that Israel has not discontinued its response to Hezbollah terrorism to facilitate the departure of Australian citizens from Lebanon."

    "Israel does not wish to harm innocent people. However, it's first priority, as is every country's, is its own citizens."

    Eh? Follow the logic of that one? Seems to be suggesting, "You lot in Australia need to shut up while we kill and injure your citizens who are trapped in a war zone because their lives are worth less than those of Israeli citizens". Yes, your executive highness. Sorry for having raised the matter, your executive highness.

  • Addamo

    Sorry for having raised the matter, your executive highness.

    Oh and how shod we thank you for not bombing Australians?

    P.S. Sorry for inconveniencing you. i tmust be difficutl having your lives is such jeapordy.

  • Pat

    after you read its editorial?

    Pure gold!

    Nothing Gold about it. The editorial content is at the top of this blog. I don't have time to waste reading the Australian.

    Captain, you too miss the point…people just want peace.

    Comical, the fact is that the majority of the Australian readership can't discern real truth from truth "worked" into commercial fear, so I'm telling the editor to pull it's head in and act responsibly.

    Peace out.

  • Glenn Condell


    the very fact this editorial exists means that the effect of your appearance the other night and your upcoming book is causing foreheads to crease throughout Zionist Australia. You (and Paul Sheehan it seems) have them worried, with good reason.

    Its amusing really to see the Australian stoop to a coaching session for Lapkin and other potential apologists ('this is what you should say…') but more sophistry is not going to win debates if your argument is indefensible.

    I have thought for years that if conscription ever returned that I would rather spend time in gaol than serve alongside American and especially Israeli soldiers. But lately I've gone further and decided that if there were any way to fight AGAINST them, I would willingly do so.

    Just as fighting Nazism was the morally correct option then, so opposition to the war criminals of our own times is the ethical imperative now.

  • orang

    Today's Australian bless 'em, they had The Harvard Law Professor-yes, the ugly cunt Dershwoitzz, the champion for legalizing torture is playing at changing the "rules" of the game. Since bad Hezbolah hides behind the skirts of civilians then it should be legal for good IDF to bomb civians (or similar). These arseholes don't have a conscience and they think God is a fucking Lawyer,

    "Did you break the law my son?"

    "No we got that covered."

    "You are therefore Pure."

  • Jack Lacton

    Hi Glenn,

    I understood your post up until the last paragraph.

    In the fight against Nazism, we (the winning side) not only inflicted massive civilian casualties but in many examples that was exactly what we sought to do (Dresden, Tokyo etc).

    Our cause was just, as history has shown. However, had we lost then these would have been recorded as war crimes, would they not?

    If we were involved in another battle against a new Nazi (say) threat to the world then would you sign up to fight for the freedom that we take for granted every day?



  • Comical_Ali

    But lately I’ve gone further and decided that if there were any way to fight AGAINST them, I would willingly do so.

    So whats stopping you? Too many exams to mark at Sydney University? If David Hicks was able to find the time, so could you.

    Just as fighting Nazism was the morally correct option then,

    I wonder what Finkelstein ment by Holocaust industry and its exploitation?

  • Addamo_01

    I wonder what Finkelstein ment by Holocaust industry and its exploitation

    read hsi book and find out Comical. Or just log into your resident Zionist blog and get someone's take on it. That';s what you usually do about everything esle.

  • Addamo_01

    If we were involved in another battle against a new Nazi (say) threat to the world then would you sign up to fight for the freedom that we take for granted every day?

    There is a very good reason why we refer to armed forces as Defense forces as opposed to Attack Forces.

    Ask yourself the question, are we being attacked? Is there a threat of attack? Is there a threat of invasion? If the answer is no, then that should be self explanatory.

    It's quite bizarre listening to people refer to the bombing of Dresden as rational that seeing as we've committed atrocities before, then there is no harm in doing it again.

  • Glenn Condell

    I am thinking more of the Spanish Civil War where foreign anti-fascists tried to assist local antifascists in their battle to stop France from installing a military dictatorship. It didn't work, but it was a noble cause and even the anonymouse Zionist blowflies in here would I'm sure rather be aligned with the Orwells than the Francos (at least publicly)

    More recently there was the example of Ken O'Keeffe and the Iraqi human shields. The Blair/Devine cheerleader element had a lot of fun with him, but how does his stance look now? Like George Galloway, the tonnes of fake mud thrown at him has washed away, and his apocalyptic warnings have turned out a deal more prescient than any of the approved, 2nd hand talking points mustered by the Reggies and Veronicas of the press, who nowadays must hold their noses as they 'do their job', much more difficult you would think with the blood of all those innocent people sluicing around them. It's a dirty job but…

    Jack, I'm afraid I had even more trouble with your post than you did with mine. Are you saying that the Israeli invasion of Lebanon may be compared to the fight against Hitler? If so, come right out and say it, eh?

    The 'freedom we take for granted every day' is at risk I believe, as are the prospects of that freedom in any future my children might inhabit, but my conviction is that Israel and the US are a more clear and present danger to them than any poor, dispossessed, understandably aggrieved local militias in the Middle East or anywhere else.

    In any conflict you must look to your own backyard first and in mine I find uncritical support for racism, illegal occupation and genocide. How is it that the Prime Minister of our country has not yet been asked whether diplomatic and economic sanctions against Israel have been considered by Cabinet? Would the accidental Israeli bombing of a busload of Australian citizens have a decisive effect on the presence or absence of such deliberations? If so, the question is why should such calculations wait upon such a disaster?

    Paul Sheehan bravely dipped his toe into anti-Zionist waters the other week in the SMH. The ABC has taken a deep breath and gone in relatively hard on Israeli apparatchiks lately; it's encouraging to see Antony given a run and Maxine M gave a Mr Sneh some unaccustomed grief the other night on Lateline. Some Australian journos understand that their historical reputations will depend on how they reacted to this clearest of Israeli offences against decency and international law.

    This belated volte-face is happening elsewhere too; Tom Hayden has just come out in Counterpunch to decry his own 'capture' by the Israeli lobby over the years and now warns of it's power to lead Americans to the abyss in Iran and beyond. Ex-Reagan staffer Paul Craig Roberts is talking of his shame at being an American, aware of the world's apprehension of Israeli control of American policy and his own people's utter ignorance of the same; an ignorance largely cultivated by the same lobby that has Congress sitting mute.

    The walls of protection Zionists have built around their plans have been crumbling for a while but whole chunks are thudding to the ground now in the wake of the Mearsheimer/Walt piece. Antony could not have released his book at a more opportune time – looking forward to reading it.

  • Glenn Condell

    'Franco' rather than France in first para.

  • Jack Lacton


    Thanks for your response.

    I'm not talking about the current conflict and perhaps my analogy was bad. I'm trying to understand exactly what ideas are worth fighting for, that's all, especially when one has to allow for the 'collateral damage' that war entails.



  • Comical_Ali

    Once again what’s stopping you, Condell? Its time to put words into action.

    And not only would this give an opportunity to wage Jihad on behalf of the Ummah and the Socialist Proterlriate, but it will also give you a chance to abandon your mundane life as an examinations officer at Sydney U – you will finally add some purpose and meaning to your life (not to mention plenty of fresh air and sunshine in the great outdoors). Oh and can you take Addamo et al with you?

    and don’t forget your rifle…….

  • Comical_Ali

    Re the last line: sorry for didn't mean to sound like your mother.

  • Glenn Condell

    ‘I’m trying to understand exactly what ideas are worth fighting for, that’s all, especially when one has to allow for the ‘collateral damage’ that war entails.’

    I wouldn’t fight for an idea Jack, that’s neocon territory. I would fight for other people, people whose lives are being destroyed by an overwhelmingly superior force. What bothers me is that if I enlisted in my own country’s armed forces, I would be lining up with rather than against the aggressor nation. I’d rather go to jail thanks.

    As for collateral damage, Israel figures it’s own is always going to be a factor of at least 4 and probably closer to 10 times less than it’s targets, and they can live with that. Small price to pay for setting up a repressive imperial garrison state across other people’s lands, I guess.

  • Addamo_01

    So Comical, Why aren't you ona plane to Israel to sign up with the IDF? I hear they need people?

  • Addamo_01

    Speaking of losing he war of ideas,

    It look like Israel's supporters are deserving the ship:

    British split with Bush as Israeli tanks roll in,,182…

  • Suze

    "….as did repeated violations of the Oslo understanding by the Palestinians." This phrase caught my eye. In the 1990's I very much held the view that Israel was surrounded by enemies who would not negotiate- it was the events following the Oslo accord that first introduced some doubt in my mind. I clearly remember plaestinian spokespeople appealing to the international community to intervene when Israel violated the agreements made in Oslo. But all this tussling over stale history is the point isn't it?- while everyone argues over the interpretation of history nothing at all changes. The negotiations need to start now.