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.

Thanks for the compliment

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Gerard Henderson displays an unsurprising lack of knowledge about the US Zionist lobby and then this:

Meanwhile, back in Australia, a similar debate is under way. Next week Antony Loewenstein’s book My Israel Question will be released. In the publishing blurb, Loewenstein is described as a “young Australian Jew”. He is but one of many Jews who are highly critical of Israel, including the American intellectual Noam Chomsky.

I’m so pleased Henderson places me in such esteemed company.

  • Be pleased, but to be honest his comment is a bit misleading. To me at least there are clear ideological differences between you and Chomsky. I can't see that Chomsky would've ever written something like your piece published in Crikey at the start of this conflict.

  • Addamo_01

    I can’t see that Chomsky would’ve ever written something like your piece published in Crikey at the start of this conflict.

    Think again Lisa.

  • To those that don't know, Gerard Henderson is the executive director of the Sydney Institute, a right wing think tank. His opinions are drearily predictable and predictably dreary. Anyone who professes any sympathy with progressive thought is instantly and simplisticly denounced as "the Left". By progressive thought I mean any ideas that aren't currently in vogue with or to the right of the Australian Liberal Party. Running down "the Left" from his ivory tower is Henderson's reason to get out of bed in the morning, his personal crusade.

    Henderson's attack on Antony is typical of the shallow, nitpicking approach to so-called debate that his articles rely upon. A large chunk of it centres on exactly who is allowed to drive on which roads in Israel. Yes Gerard, there are Arab Israeli citizens in Israel, but this is hardly evidence writ large of the benign, inclusive nature of Israeli society. In fact, they are discriminated against on a variety of fronts and simply do not enjoy the same rights as Israeli Jews. For all I know they may well be able to drive on Israeli only roads too, but what does this prove? These roads are only nominally related to "security" as Henderson claims. Instead they clearly function to carve up Palestinian territory (more facts on the ground) and hinder freedom of Palestian movement. That they are even built on Palestinian land at all would probably be a violation of the Geneva Conventions, but then so is nearly everything the Israelis do in Palestine and that has been going on for nearly 40 years. Oh yes, the Occupation, funny that, Gerard didn't mention that either.

    Defender of free speech that he is, Henderson might like to explain the ALP's Michael Danby's shrill demands to censor Loewenstein's book (sight unseen of course). He might like to explain why Australia now votes with the US and Israel to condemn any international agreements critical of Israel (putting Australia on a par with a handful of mighty nations such as Micronesia who also vote accordingly). He might like to explain why you'll never read a letter to the editor in the Sydney Morning Herald critical of Israel any more. Even ABC Radio National is pretty reluctant to say anything bad about Israel. You'll hear regularly from Israeli propagandists like Mark Regev, but you'll be struggling to hear a Palestinian viewpoint (can anyone prove me wrong there?). How pervasive is the influence of this lobby group on the Australian media? This from a few years ago: "After a series of broadcasts about Israel and the Middle East, Lane (Former presenter of ABC RN program Australia Talks Back, Terry Lane) declared that he would "never again" discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict on his radio program. He had received "so many vicious and menacing letters". He had been subject to "Harassment, vilification, threats and abuse". He would later explain, "The Zionist lobby in this country is malicious, implacable, mendacious and dangerous.…there is not one (radio station) manager or editor in this country who will defend an underling. We are thrown to the jackals. In the end the truly tolerant have no defence against intolerance. I surrender. To the Zionists I say you win. To the Palestinians forgive my cowardice" (Australian Jewish News, 4 December 1992)." (The Review February 2002: Lane ways – Terry Lane and Jews

    Henderson might want to answer Michael Massing's recent article in the Fin Review, "How to win friends and influence Washington" (it originally appeared in the New York Review of Books), which, while critcal of Mearsheimer and Walt's original article, clinically exposes the machinations of the Israel lobby in the US.
    And most perplexing of all, Henderson makes it sound a little like Chomsky agrees with him?!?!

    My final words belong to the brave Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery who neatly sums up the relationship between the US and Israel thus, "The dog wags the tail and the tail wags the dog. They wag each other." I feel that the current slaughter illustrates this notion well. Think of Australia as a flea on the dog and Henderson as what is left behind when the dog lifts up its hind leg…

  • Addamo_01

    WOnderful post Andrew. I hope to see more of those comming.

  • Thanks Addamo, I've given up trying to get something on to the SMH letters page, so I'm venting my spleen here instead!

  • Glenn Condell

    Good post Andrew. You neglected only Henderson's penchant for the term 'luvvies' to describe people who lean left or watch the ABC.

    I have asked in several forums who funds the Sydney Institute; no-one knows and the website gives nothing away. Posh digs in Circular Quay, entree to op-ed sopts Australia-wide. Who owns Gerard? Is the SydInt a little Aussie Horizon (the CIA planted lit-mag run by Cyril Connolly years ago) Does any of the largesse afforded the Rendon or Lincoln Groups find it's mazy way to Gerard's door?

    Gerard can sniff power a mile off, and he serves it assiduously, but he's pretty useless to the rest of us. Most of us could write his columns for him given a topic and a target word count.

    Avnery's phrase is fine, but more concise is 'Israel is the rider; America the horse', which I guess makes Tony Blair's Britain the cart being drawn along behind. I'm unsure where that leaves us, but we'd be the only ones who'd notice anyway.

  • Glenn Condell

    Andrew, me too with the letters. Perhaps we should start a blog of letters unpublished by the SMH. A sort of salon de refusals.

  • After Ted Matulevich had written to the SMH to say that he had had 100 letters published, and was it a record (probably)and was thinking of stopping writing any more letters (which he didn't – stop, that is!!!) I wrote to the SMH and said I had written 100 letters to the SMH, also in the last 10 years, and NONE had been published, and was that a record? There was, of course, no response.

    Anyway, the SMH is becoming as unreadable as The Age, its stablemate, and one just has to skip the Hendersons, Devines, and other related journalists, not forgetting the room given on the letters and opinion pages for politicians too!

    The best thing about the discussions on Antony's book is the publicity generated for it. As somebody was quoted as saying somewhere, all publicity is good, even bad publicity!

    By the way, with my own blog and web pages I can write what I like, and publish all those letters which the papers won't publish or which, if they are published, are well cut to leave out the salient points!

    Good stuff Andrew! Keep up the good work.

  • I was so pleased to see antony lowenstein on lateline recently ..finally an articulate jew who gives expression and insight into ..the malicious, implacable, mendacious and dangerous( Andrew Worssam's above words) jewish lobby.

    I havent been to a blog before ….a hangover from my publishing of a stockmarket chatroom ..where I found the only interest of the media in my plight was to peddle the line of my establishment detractors.

    I'll buy the book ..and watch this space with interest.

  • Hmmm, perhaps it's better to have a nom de plume like "Captain", you put your real name on something and you find you have some unsolicited correspondence in your In tray from some guy called Joseph Inkerman. There's nowhere to hide!

    Hi Andrew,
    Re: "He might like to explain why you'll never read a letter to the
    editor in the Sydney Morning Herald critical of Israel any more."
    Below are letter after letter after letter from SMH, critical of
    Israel, sympathetic of the Lebanese, sourced from the SMH letter
    achive from the last two weeks.
    For the record, I'm broadly speaking sympathetic to Antony's politics.
    The reason I have a problem with him and acolytes like you? You have a
    bigger sneer than Media Watch but are less intellectually rigorous and
    less honest than Today Tonight.
    Look how your factual slop triggered off subsequent slop so readers no
    longer know what's true.
    I challenge you to acknowledge your mistake in Antony's comments box.
    If you don't, please refrain from lecturing others about ethics and

    Regards, Joseph

    Sure mate, perhaps i've been seeing (in the Herald) what I want to see, but I'm big enough to admit that when they are all put together in one place they look reasonably numerous. But some of your examples are definitely a bit marginal. Call me Naomi Robson (is she the host of Today Tonight?) but I know quite a few people who write to the Herald on this topic and they rarely if ever get published. Even when the topic is the biggest news story of the day by far, what do we have:1, 2 or 3, maybe 4 letters tops, sometime nothing. Somehow I don't think that this is representative of the depth of feeling out there on this issue. One friend, a journalist himself, mentioned that his contact at the Herald told him that they dread publishing anything critical of Israel, on account of the what he called the "hundreds" of abusive phone calls and complaints they subsequently receive. One group of disgruntled letter writers has even resorted to launching an email news service to challenge this dismal state of affairs, targetting some 100 media and political contacts. Get in touch with if you are interested in being added to their list.

    E – readers, I'm sorry if I've confused you with my "factual slop", though I would like a few more examples highlighted before I feel truly humbled. Joseph, I think it's a little more polite to keep the discussion to the website, or am I being a little naive about all this? I'm relatively new to all this, what is the protocol here folks?

  • Glenn,

    I say bring on the Salon!


  • Er, sorry folks, I forgot to include the email address of ACTME in my post. It is ACTME stands for the Australian Committee for Truth in the Middle East. I promise I won't apologise again unless I've done something I really should regret.


  • Glenn Condell

    There are attractions in a nom de plume for sure.

    I pondered aloud here the other day, in a Lebanon discussion, that, while I would be happy to fight against Israel right now, I would rather go to jail than fight alongside it's soldiers.

    A certain Mr Blair picked this up; he has done this a few times, most notably when I called Doug Wood an arsehole during his honeymoon period. Blair got 150 odd comments on his sneer and some of these moppets made the old inbox groan for a while, as they did to defend Our Doug.

    You know, I have asked each and every one of these rather limited people to have a coffee with me and make their accusations face to face. In a field of well over a dozen, not one has even bothered to reply. They just skulk off.

    I too have media contacts who confirm the unwritten law re Israel. (It could be worse – we could be in Canada – google Israel Asper and Ben Kimber) I do feel a lot of them are chafing about it right now and some of seams are bursting under the pressure of images from Lebanon. It's hard to spin war crimes you can see on your TV. The fact of Antony's appearance the other night is a good sign and there have been others.

    Still, it would be nice if just one journo could summon the courage to ask the PM or Downer what he thinks of Israel's behaviour. You'd just get the usual palaver, but the question would at least be a start.

    The ACTME list is a good idea, but the George Fishmans of this world will continue to have a head start for some time to come you'd reckon.

  • Lloyd

    I sent the following letter top the SMH this morning, probably not one of my better efforts, they did actually publish one last week but my oh my how dreary was Gerard this morning. Why does he even bother when his arguments are so threadbare and the conviction so enervating. It's a tragedy that the SMH sees fit to publish such lightweight drivel.

    Oh, the letter……"How profound of Gerard Henderson to think that the Australian left takes its lead from those Americans that oppose the ruling elite in the US. I have spent many years searching for an original thought in Gerard's columns, one that is not simply a rehash of Republican or Liberal party talking points.

    I have yet to find one."

  • Addamo

    Glenn Condell,

    I noticed the thread at TB's blgo attacking you. What was all that about? Where did it originate?

    Do you have a column or a blgo somewhere?

    You are right about the limp wristed posters at TB btw. They so enjoy to fling mud at others, but heaven forbid should anyone try to stand up to them!! I foudn out this week that I have since been banned from there for nothing more than dissenting views.

    These moonbats so love war and to sling bile, but they have a incredibly weak stomach for debate.

  • Adam

    Some really good comments made here

  • Does Joseph Inkerman post on this site? Has anybody heard of this guy? I'm a little unhappy about his unwillingness to publicly justify his position, so I sent him the following email:

    Hi Joseph,

    Ok, my use of "never" was definitely ill-advised, but maybe I just got a little carried away. I've addressed that on Antony's site.

    Now perhaps you'd like to justify your slurs about "factual slop", the unfavourable comparison with Today Tonight, and so on. If you have nothing to say beyond what you have said already, well, I'll assume that you're guilty of what I'd accused Henderson of, namely nitpicking because you're unable to contest the broader argument.

    What's more, if you have the courage of your convictions, respond publicly on Antony's site, I'd prefer not to receive unsolicited emails from you unless there is a really good reason for you to address me in that way.


    PS I'd say the limited response to Henderson's article in the SMH letters page (the only other letter published on the topic was to denounce folks who hold dual citizenship) today basically backs my position…

  • Glenn Condell


    no blog, just comments here. tim blair lurks at the websites of his betters so he can pick up morsels of the humanity he and his acolytes lack. He throws them to his pack of hounds; they chew on it for a while but don't have the stomach for engagement, like their fearless leader. Henderson with fangs.

  • Addamo_01

    Thanks Glenn,

    That's incredible. So Tim Blair sends out hiw orks to troll through here and report back to the master of the precioussssss right.

    How incredibly pathetic! I took TP to have more integrity than that, but call me a fool for overestimating a right wing moonbat.

    Who is this Henderson guy anyway?

  • Barry

    Tim Blair is an embarassment to Australian blogs – he trolls around looking for people to attack who don't fit his simpleminded left 'baddies' /right 'goodies' tory worldview. I don't think he has ever written anything more than a paragraph of 'argument' which isn't invective or anything substantial anywhere….just cheap, cheap stuff.

    Henserson writes for the SMH here and is a regular on ABC Radio NAtional. Founder ( I think) of the right wing think tank the Sydney Institute. Considerably more able than the aformentioned.

  • Addamo_01

    Blair is a "colourful" character with a good sense of humour, but a very thin skin and very simplistic binary view of the world. What surprises me about he and his followers , is how pro establishment they are. It sums up a perculiar contradiction of the far right – they resent intellectuals, yet they vigorously defend big money.

    What surprises me is how many posts his Blog gets. I noticed that a good percentage of those that post are Americans, which makes sense. There is frequent mention fo blogs liek Little Green Footballs, so I suspect that the right wing blog world is much tighter and incestuous than the left.

  • orang

    Well Blair is ostensibly Australian, and he is frequently drooling over the US policies . Like minded Americans need friends.


    Some great stuff here today.

    By the way Glenn the Horse /rider /cart, analogy. I instantly saw John Howard and Downer walking at the back with shovels. Collecting the horse shit.

  • To venture back to the orignal topic, here is the ACTME (mentioned above, ditto their contact details) response to Henderson's article.

    regards, Andrew



    Welcome to a new Australian media information service. The name is self-explanatory.

    After decades of deceit surrounding events in the Middle East, ACTME believes it is time for truth. This service goes to about 100 media and political contacts.

    26 July 2006


    One of our favourite pin-up boys, Gerard Henderson, has come out in the Sydney Morning Herald (25 July 2006) to scotch once and for all the ridiculous myth that “American and Australian leaders are slaves to an Israel lobby”, to paraphrase the Herald’s write-off.

    What courage to say this when Mr Bush, Mr Blair and our own irrepressible Mr Howard go through the latest version of their pantomime, The Three Wise Monkeys, by pretending all is well in Lebanon except, maybe, for a few bits of housing and unwanted infrastructure that inexplicably fell over when somebody let off a cracker.

    To suggest there is a conspiracy driven by a domestic Israeli lobby that has our three brave monkeys by the short and curlies is, as Gerard points out, simply preposterous. No, the facts that the US gave Israel more than a week of open slather to execute its carefully planned attacks on Lebanon, using US aircraft, weapons and guidance systems, plus a lot of military gear either paid for or subsidised by the US, while Mr Blair and our Messrs Howard and Downer put their hands over their ears and mouths, cannot in any sense of the word be called a conspiracy. Neither can the fact that the US is rushing hundreds of 2.1-tonne “bunker busters” to Israel, to supplement the thousands of US-made cluster munitions that have been fired at or dropped on targets all over Lebanon. These cluster munitions have been declared to be weapons of mass destruction but why would we care? Nobody is dropping them on us. (They do have a bonus: one in seven of the 88 “bomblets” in each munition fails to explode on impact. This leaves nice little toys for the kids to play with years after the conflict. But, again, who cares?) Conspiracy? What a joke.

    It is all quite simple, says Gerard: “Successive administrations in Washington have determined that their support for the democratic government in Israel is consistent with US interests in the Middle East.” Yes, Noam Chomsky has referred to Israel as America’s “attack dog” in the region. At least it’s a democratic attack dog (if the 1948 “ethnic cleansing” of 85 per cent of Palestine's non-Jewish inhabitants can be overlooked). Millions of Israelis still vote for it. But given Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in the “territories”, not to mention its own Israeli Palestinians, regular aggression against other neighbours and spying and thieving further afield, this might not be the most illustrious example of a democracy Gerard could come up with. What he does NOT do is explain WHY the US has determined this, except to add cryptically: “In short, the US has its own interests that are independent of Israel.” Eh? Does Israel have massive oil reserves we don’t know about? Don’t tell us the US invaded Iraq at the urging of Israeli interests in Washington. We simply wouldn’t believe it. Just as “the US has its own interests” for stirring up Iran and Syria. Obviously the US wants to be hated and devoid of influence from Morocco to Pakistan and beyond.

    He goes on: “It is much the same in Australia. The Howard Government and the Kim Beazley-led Opposition support Israel’s right to exist and oppose those nations (Iran, Syria) and terrorist groups (Hezbollah, Hamas) [the latter created by Israel as a foil to the PLO, in case he has forgotten] that want to drive all Jews out of their homeland.” With propaganda like this, who needs a Zionist lobby? Homeland? Does he mean the homeland from which the Palestinians were expelled in 1948 by European Jews waving the perfidious Balfour Declaration (written mainly by Chaim Weizman)?

    Gerard continues: “This policy is deemed by the Coalition and Labor to be in line with Australia’s interests. It is not driven by any local version of an Israel lobby.” So why does the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council bother existing? We imagine it and the other pro-Israel organisations in Australia cost quite a penny to run. And all for nothing, according to Gerard. Why pay for all those Aussie journos’ junkets to Israel? (Has Gerard been on one of these junkets? Has he told us?) Who pays for AIJAC? The Israeli government? Australian taxpayers more likely, through donations to “charities”. Some charities!

    But Gerard is right on one point: Howard and the rest of the Australian “leadership” (we use that word with reservation) are not slaves to any Israeli or Zionist lobby. There is no slavery or other compulsion we are aware of. These leaders have submitted to Israel’s desires of their own free will. All we are waiting for is for someone to tell us in what way this country benefits from supporting killing, misery, instability and poverty in a potentially rich part of the world that, given an outbreak of peace and stability (not the enforced American kind), could be a valuable partner for Australia in advancing commercial and humanitarian causes. Does our government not understand that the greatest driver of “terrorism” in the region is our contribution to treating millions of people as second- or third-class humans – people who are expected to soak up all the bombs we want to drop on them without raising a finger in self-defence?

    Instead of soberly reciting, sometimes unwittingly, the Australian Government’s plagiarised, seriously biased and counterproductive claptrap, it might be time for the brighter sparks of the Australian media scene to ask some real questions.

    Here’s a challenge for Mr Henderson (and the rest of the media): Let us see how many mainstream media outlets review Antony Lowenstein’s forthcoming book, My Israel Question. How many of those reviewers will be “Middle East experts” who, just by coincidence of course, consistently support Israel and its half century of trashing the neighbours on one pretext or another.

  • Addamo_01

    Greta post Andrew,

    I only wish you had a wider audience.

    Speaking of junkets, most American senators have visited Israel more than their own constituents. Evidence of being Israel’s pocket? Of course not, move along.

    Bill Clinton, draft dodger extraordinaire and anti-war peace activist who refused to join the US armed forces, once said he would pick up a gun and go fight for Israel. Evidence of being Israel’s pocket? Of course not, move along.

    Then earlier today. In a letter to Maliki, the Senators wrote:

    Your failure to condemn Hezbollah's aggression and recognize Israel's right to defend itself raises serious questions about whether Iraq under your leadership can play a constructive role in resolving the current crisis and bringing stability to the Middle East.

    Don’t you just love the clarity here? All we have been hearing for three years is what a lovely democracy Iraq is becoming, and how sovereign and independent it is. The minute Maliki says boo about Israel, these Senators start to question his entire legitimacy.

    The signatories include Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Senator Charles Schumer of New York. Al-Maliki has called for a ceasefire and condemned what he called Israel’s “operation of mass destruction and mass punishment.”

    Several Democratic lawmakers, including Senator Hillary Clinton and Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi, have indicated they may boycott Maliki’s speech today unless he renounces his comments.

    Can anyone imagine this kind of Mother of All Dummy Spits had Maliki said that about any other country, ally or otherwise? Even if he’d said that about the US, they’d probably just shrug and say that he was entitled to his opinion. But daresay that about Israel and watch out!!

    Evidence of being Israel’s pocket? Of course not, move along.