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.

They hate us

There is something terribly wrong in “liberated” Afghanistan:

The most senior British military commander in Afghanistan yesterday described the situation in the country as “close to anarchy” with feuding foreign agencies and unethical private security companies compounding problems caused by local corruption.

The stark warning came from Lieutenant General David Richards, head of Nato’s international security force in Afghanistan, who warned that western forces there were short of equipment and were “running out of time” if they were going to meet the expectations of the Afghan people.

The assumption within Nato countries had been that the environment in Afghanistan after the defeat of the Taliban in 2002 would be benign, Gen Richards said. “That is clearly not the case,” he said yesterday. He referred to disputes between tribes crossing the border with Pakistan, and divisions between religious and secular factions cynically manipulated by “anarcho-warlords”.

Meanwhile:

An Afghan government proposal to re-establish the notorious Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has raised concerns among U.S. human rights advocates.

Under the Taliban, the virtue and vice department enforced restrictions on women and men through public beatings and imprisonment.

Its agents “beat women publicly for wearing socks that were not sufficiently opaque; showing their wrists, hands or ankles; and not being accompanied by a close male relative,” Zama Coursin-Neff, of New York-based Human Rights Watch, told OneWorld.

It is time for a serious examination of the role being played by Australian troops in Afghanistan. Are they working with warlords? What are they achieving by being there? It’s time for them to return to Australia, before more are killed. The foreign occupation has achieved a litany of false hopes and the transfer of power from one bunch of despots to another.

59 comments ↪
  • orang

    I could say, "I've got an idea, why don't they fuck off back to Europe, or Russia or Essex…"

    But your earnest plea for understanding stopped me;

    "Hezbollah is not the sort of group you could sit down and talk with under a “cease-fire”.

    Oh really? No partner for peace here eh?

    You did try to talk to them then? You know discuss things of mutual interest. Why do I not believe this? I do not believe this because you have never talked to anyone before.

  • Addamo_01

    First of all, Israel is not trying to punish Lebannon or its people. The Israeli objective is only to restore security on its Northern border.

    Bullshit, they are bombing as far as Northern Lebannon. They are bombing Greek Orthodox churches. Milk factories. Power plants. All roads.

    This is just another deseprate example to spin that automatically, by some trick of the imagination, tries to convert Israeli atrocities to examples of how Israel is victimized.

    The reality is that a military establishment that drops a 500-pound bomb on a residential apartment building in the middle of the night and kills 14 sleeping civilians, as happened in Gaza four years ago, is not a military that operates by civilized rules.

    A military establishment that drops a 500-pound bomb on a house in the middle of the night and kills a man and his wife and seven of their children, as happened in Gaza four days ago, is not the military of a moral country.

    Unfortunatley, this comes at a heavy price for Lebannon, and its people – particularly when Hezbollah has a certain tendency to use and deploy them human shields.

    The rpice comes from Isreal's normally soudn intelligence failing miserably and havign no idea what to bomb, therefore misssingHezbollha entriely and killing civilian targets, while maintaining that Hezbollah used those deceased targets as human shields.

    As I said, Israel’s is meeting its obligations to the civilian populace under the rules of engagement by warning them to get out.

    And as I proven many times, this is complete bullshit. Israel did that with a groupd fo 20 villagers who were ordered to leave and them bombed in their cars as they did as they were told.

    Those who stayed, had to be either out of their minds or were probably forced to stay against their will by members of Hezbollah.

    Bullshit again. This is the same tactics as we saw in Fallujah. People stayed to defend their homes and proterty and were subsequently deemed insurgents. After all, veryone has seen what Israel do to you and your family when you leave.

    It wasn’t just the 10 Israelis who were killed or the voilation of Israel’s territory and subsequent kidnapping of two soldiers and killing of eight.

    Is is being reveqlved that there was no violation of Israeli trerritory but in fact, vilation of Lebanese terriroty.

    Since then, Israeli border towns and villages have come under barrages of rocket attacks

    And during that time, Israel have returned fire with ten times the number of shells, resulting in ten times the number of casualties.

  • Addamo_01

    What do you expect Orang?

    As KATHLEEN CHRISTISON, former CIA analyst writes,

    A nation that mandates the primacy of one ethnicity or religion over all others will eventually become psychologically dysfunctional. Narcissistically obsessed with its own image, it must strive to maintain its racial superiority at all costs and will inevitably come to view any resistance to this imagined superiority as an existential threat. Indeed, any other people automatically becomes an existential threat simply by virtue of its own existence. As it seeks to protect itself against phantom threats, the racist state becomes increasingly paranoid, its society closed and insular, intellectually limited. Setbacks enrage it; humiliations madden it. The state lashes out in a crazed effort, lacking any sense of proportion, to reassure itself of its strength.

    The pattern played out in Nazi Germany as it sought to maintain a mythical Aryan superiority. It is playing out now in Israel. “This society no longer recognizes any boundaries, geographical or moral,” wrote Israeli intellectual and anti-Zionist activist Michel Warschawski in his 2004 book Towards an Open Tomb: The Crisis of Israeli Society. Israel knows no limits and is lashing out as it finds that its attempt to beat the Palestinians into submission and swallow Palestine whole is being thwarted by a resilient, dignified Palestinian people who refuse to submit quietly and give up resisting Israel’s arrogance.

  • Ian

    he was hopeless on Lateline with his lie about Jew only roads –

    Hmmm

    It is very comfortable to be a Zionist in West Bank settlements such as Beit El and Ofra. The biblical landscape is charming. You can gaze through the geraniums and bougainvilleas and not see the occupation. Travelling on the fast highway that skirts barely a half-mile west of the Palestinian roadblocks, it’s hard to comprehend the humiliating experience of the despised Arab who must creep for hours along the pocked, blockaded roads assigned to him. One road for the occupier, one road for the occupied.

    — Avraham Burg
    Former Speaker of Israel’s Knesset
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/rel-burg.html
    (my emphasis)

    Here are a few more indications of how many Israelis view Arabs – and others too:

    According to Israel Shahak, author of “Jewish History, Jewish Religion-The weight of Three Thousand Years,” the term “human beings” according to Halacha refers solely to Jews.

    “If you saw two people drowning, a Jew and a non-Jew, the Torah says you save the Jewish life first,. If every simple cell in a Jewish body entails divinity, is a part of God, then every strand of DNA is part of God. Therefore, something is special about Jewish DNA…If a Jew needs a liver, can you take the liver of an innocent non-Jew passing by to save him? The Torah would probably permit that. Jewish life has an infinite value.”
    — Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh

    “God created them in the form of men for the glory of Israel. But Akum (non-Jews) were created for the sole end of ministering unto them (the Jews) day and night. Nor can they ever be relieved from this service. It is becoming to the son of a king (an Israelite) that animals in their natural form, and animals in the form of human beings should minister unto him.
    — Talmudic sages: Midrasch talpioth, fol. 225d

    In other words according to Talmudic teachings, non Jews are not men but beasts; even the best of us should be killed because we are unclean idolaters deserving of death.

    “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”
    — Rabbi Yaacov Perrin

    The Yesha Rabbinical Council calls on the IDF to “ignore Christian morals and ‘exterminate the enemy in the north and the south.'”
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1150885980653&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer

    For “Christian morals” read Geneva Conventions and international human rights conventions!

  • M.Mayes

    First of all, Israel is not trying to punish Lebannon or its people.

    understood but they also realise that in doing so they are flattening the country, crushing it economically and killing an amazing amount of civilians, think of life as equal for a sec, at the time of the invasion less than 10 Israeli's had been killed by the recent rockets attack and barely any structural damage was caused, now in the name of peace and security Israel has killed 400 or so people most of whom are civilians and 1/3 of which reportedly are women and children with I'm sure many more to die yet

  • Addamo_01
  • Addamo_01

    Intersting stuff Ian,

    It is very comfortable to be a Zionist in West Bank settlements such as Beit El and Ofra. The biblical landscape is charming. You can gaze through the geraniums and bougainvilleas and not see the occupation. Travelling on the fast highway that skirts barely a half-mile west of the Palestinian roadblocks, it’s hard to comprehend the humiliating experience of the despised Arab who must creep for hours along the pocked, blockaded roads assigned to him. One road for the occupier, one road for the occupied.

    — Avraham Burg
    Former Speaker of Israel’s Knesset
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/rel-burg.h
    (my emphasis)

    What better proof of the existence of Jewish road?

  • orang

    "It is becoming to the son of a king (an Israelite) that animals in their natural form, and animals in the form of human beings should minister unto him."

    So if you have sex with a goy, this is therefore……Waaahaaaa!!!

    This is worse than 70 virgins

    The boys over at Tim Blair's should hear about this one.

  • I think a little historical accuracy might be in order. South Africa was settled by whites 350 years ago, not 450! Roads in South Africa were certainly defined in certain areas, some being built for military purposes and thus being for whites only, and ALL the township roads were out of bounds for whites – except the white army and police (blacks in both services but in a very subservient role.

    South Africa bombed the shit out of the Angolans in a war which was none of South Africa's business, but of course it was there, and of course South Africa didn't need bombs and planes to bomb the townships, they were done with other military vehicles and equipment (a great deal supplied by Israel!) and were just as devastating in their effects.

    "Even at the height of unrest, when the country was in flames, blacks could still freely roam around white suburbs, well not freely, but more black people were to be found in white suburbs on any working day than white people. Blacks could drive where they please throughout it all. The worst they could expect was an impromptu road block designed to intercept arm smuggling.

    Now this was in the most repressive country on Earth, or so I thought at the time. Comapring Israel to Apartheid South Africa is a disgrace and libels Apartheid, if this were ever possible; which I now believe it is."

    This is the uttermost rubbish! Blacks could NOT freely toam around white suburbs. They worked as domestic servants for whites and had to carry their passbooks with them at all times or risk arrest and its consequences. Blacks could NOT drive through it all, and mostly blacks couldn't afford cars anyway.

    Comparing South Africa to Israel is NOT a disgrace, it is just how it is on the ground. Israel too has its second and third class citizens and they are, of course, not white Jews, but all sorts of other "untermenschen".

    Of course more black people were to be found in the white suburbs during the day – they were working as domestics while the "Master and the Madam and the Children" were either working or playing tennis or golf or cards or were at school.

    And just by the way, there are now, in 2006, still only about 500 million people on the African continent, not "billions"! Anf do type more accurately than before 19994 – we aren't anywhere near there yet!

    "In fact, as horrible as the White Nationalist were, they were never as evil as the Israelis,"

    The only reason being they were got rid of finally in 1994, and Israel has had another 12 years since then to become even more evil than white Nationalist South Africa!

    Whew! Got that off my chest at last!