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.

Bombing them into the wrong arms

While the Israeli army and air force break the Geneva Convention on a daily basis in Lebanon, Western tactics are unsurprisingly failing:

The ferocity of Israel’s onslaught in southern Lebanon and Hizbullah’s stubborn battles against Israeli ground forces may be working in the militant group’s favour.

“They want to shatter the myth of Israeli invincibility,” says Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a leading Lebanese expert on Hizbullah. “Being victorious means not allowing Israel to achieve their aims, and so far that is the case.”

Still, the intensity of the Israeli bombing campaign appears to have taken Hizbullah aback. Mahmoud Komati, the deputy head of Hizbullah’s politburo told the Associated Press, “the truth is – let me say this clearly – we didn’t even expect [this] response … that [Israel] would exploit this operation for this big war against us.”

The stakes are high for Hizbullah, but it seems it can count on an unprecedented swell of public support that cuts across sectarian lines.According to a poll released by the Beirut Center for Research and Information, 87 percent of Lebanese support Hizbullah’s fight with Israel, a rise of 29 percent on a similar poll conducted in February. More striking, however, is the level of support for Hizbullah’s resistance from non-Shiite communities. Eighty percent of Christians polled supported Hizbullah along with 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis.

Lebanese no longer blame Hizbullah for sparking the war by kidnapping the Israeli soldiers, but Israel and the US instead.

The latest poll by the Beirut Center found that 8 percent of Lebanese feel the US supports Lebanon, down from 38 percent in January.

Of course, if you’re an Israeli/Australian dual national and you fight for the Jewish state, you’re a patriot. If you’re a Lebanese/Australia and you fight for Hizbollah, you’re a terrorist. It’s good to see the Howard government supporting the good guys in the struggle.

32 comments ↪
  • Addamo_01

    The Arab states haev also pulloed their head in big time from 10 days ago and are now condeming the bombing by Israel.

    Blair and Bush are looking like a bunch of sofomores on a Uni Campus who missed out on being accepted into any fraternities.

    Here is a classic:
    http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Bush-Gregory-Bla

    Gregory: I’d like to ask you about the big picture that you’re discussing. Mr. President, three years ago, you argued that an invasion of Iraq would create a new stage of Arab-Israeli peace. And yet today there is an Iraqi prime minister who has been sharply critical of Israel. Arab governments, despite your arguments, who first criticized Hezbollah, have now changed their tune. Now they’re sharply critical of Israel. And despite from both of you warnings to Syria and Iran to back off support from Hezbollah, effectively, Mr. President, your words are being ignored.

    So what has happened to America’s clout in this region that you’ve committed yourself to transform?

    BUSH: David, It’s an interesting period because, ummm–instead of having foreign policies based upon trying to create a sense of stability, we have a foreign policy that addresses the root causes of violence and instability. For a while, American foreign policy was just, Let’s hope everything is calm — manage calm. But beneath the surface brewed a lot of resentment and anger that was manifested on September the 11th.

  • Addamo_01

    But beneath the surface brewed a lot of resentment and anger that was manifested on September the 11th.

    And now it's so much better because no one is pretending not to hate our guts anymore. That's progress people. That's what staying the course wil get you.

  • SupporterOfAntony

    It is clear that support for hezbollah is going to increase. This war has played right into the hands of countries like Iran and Syria. The support around the world for Israel has dramatically dropped. Friends I knew that supported israel are now cursing them. Its like israel is digging its own grave. You would think that a bunch of people that nearly got extinct would understand that death and destruction will get you no where but no. Their constant whining that they are 'gods chosen people' have resulted in them thinking that they can do whatever they want. Well actually its because you have the worlds most powerful country backing you, thats why. All empires that rise, will fall. It may result in a bloodbath when america struggles to keep its power, but in the end they will come crashing down, then it will be interesting to see what israel does when it cant get its urgent shipment of bunker busting bombs.

    What the middle east requires to bring back peace is the uniting of arab countries. Although unlikely, this i hope ill be the beginning of that. Muslims consider themselves as brothers no matter what nationality they are and thats how it is when you talk to everyday muslim civillians in the streets of the middle east and the world. However the corrupt and selfish arab governments are part of the problem and the reason why arabs are not as one. Hopefully this devestation and destruction will bring some sense into them.

  • John Miate

    Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition.

    "Killing innocent civilians is NOT an act of self-defense. Destroying a sovereign nation is NOT a measured response."

    A petition has been set up to Save the Lebanese Civilians (Note that the server may be under heavy load so if you cannot connect, try again later).

    http://julywar.epetitions.net

  • Progressive Atheist

    Dual-national Australian Lebanese who take up arms to fight alongside Hezbollah may be in breach of Australian law but those who fight for the Israeli Army are not, the Prime Minister, John Howard, said yesterday.

    This is the kind of unprincipled statement that was due to come out of the mouth of our excuse for a PM. He is a total putz.

  • Ian

    This is as good a place as any to explode another of the myths that regularly get claimed here as fact by the usual suspect.

    The "hiding among civilians" myth

    Israel claims it's justified in bombing civilians because Hezbollah mingles with them. In fact, the militant group doesn't trust its civilians and stays as far away from them as possible.

    Throughout this now 16-day-old war, Israeli planes high above civilian areas make decisions on what to bomb. They send huge bombs capable of killing things for hundreds of meters around those targets to destroy them, and then blame the inevitable civilian deaths — the Lebanese government says 600 civilians have been killed so far — on "terrorists" who callously use the civilian infrastructure for protection.

    But this claim is almost always false. My own reporting and that of other journalists reveals that in fact Hezbollah fighters — as opposed to the much more numerous Hezbollah political members, and the vastly more numerous Hezbollah sympathizers — avoid civilians like the plague. Much smarter and better trained than the PLO and Hamas fighters, they know that if they mingle with civilians, they will sooner or later be betrayed by collaborators — as so many Palestinian militants have been.

    http://salon.com/news/feature/2006/07/28/hezbolla

  • Don't you like all of the bullshit accolades for the Australian guy who died fighting for Israel in Lebanon? How is he different to David Hicks? Young, religious, went to fight in a foreign country… I guess Hicks never actually fired a shot in anger in Afganistan, based on the available evidence. Wasn't involved in firing on Australian citizens in Lebanon either. Wasn't part of an army that shot up a long established UN base. But who ends up the hero and who ends up being tortured and held without charge in Guantanamo?

  • Ian

    But beneath the surface brewed a lot of resentment and anger that was manifested on September the 11th.

    You mean it wasn't because they were jealous of American freedoms, yadda, yadda, yadda? Well waddya know!

    But tell me mr president dictator, how is again stirring up their "resentment and anger" by blindling supporting Israel's murderous invasion/bombinmg going to help?

  • Captain

    Its funny that you think that the Hezbollah hiding behind civilians is a myth. Jan Eglend specifically stated that this was the case. He said this on behalf of the UN. I know if must be distasteful to your Israel haters to think that the crew you are cheering for are routinely committing war crimes.

    Even the IRC are not happy Mohammed.

    Hey, of course the support for Hezbollah will increase. Killing Jews is very popular in the middle east. It was very popular in Nazi Germany as well.

  • Captain

    David Hicks a hero? Of course, he hates Jews.

    But Andrew, I am not going to be hard on you. I like your photos. I presume your attraction to the square means you are using 6×6. Hasselblad maybe?

  • orang

    "Even the IRC are not happy Mohammed"

    That's cute, they must be positively "really pissed off Abe" with the 10,000 they need to vist in Israeli jails.

    Your extremely thin veneer covering your racist soul is slipping.

  • "Its funny that you think that the Hezbollah hiding behind civilians is a myth. Jan Eglend specifically stated that this was the case. He said this on behalf of the UN."

    Captain, I find it interesting that you are quoting the UN. Hmm.

    Anyway, did you read the piece by Prothero? If so, which parts are you refuting?

  • Roonaldo

    Don't miss the Weekend Essay in the Financial Review today. It has a strongly argued piece on the question of anti-semitism and the way abuses of human rights and international law are countered with claims of anti-semitism.

  • Captain

    Yes, there are a lot of pal terrorists to visit. Funny that. I wonder why.

    Yes it is interesting that I am quoting the UN. Eglend's disgust for the actions of Hezbollah was a pigs will fly type occurrence.

  • Addamo_01

    Hey, of course the support for Hezbollah will increase. Killing Jews is very popular in the middle east. It was very popular in Nazi Germany as well.

    Except that like Bush, Israel's stratergy was that bombing the Lebanese wholesale would force the Lebanese to turn against Hezbollah.

    None of these idileogical nuts seem to learn from history do they, wvwn when it's happenening righ next door in Iraq.

  • SupporterOfAntony

    Its funny that you think that the Hezbollah hiding behind civilians is a myth.

    Thats because it is.Only the ignorant and those needing an excuse to kill civillians use it.

    David Hicks a hero? Of course, he hates Jews.

    Oh man, you really are showing your stupidity with that comment.

    Hey, of course the support for Hezbollah will increase. Killing Jews is very popular in the middle east. It was very popular in Nazi Germany as well.

    Sorry, but todays fad is to kill muslims or anyone who supports so called 'terrorists'.
    Just hold on to your fridge magnet Captain ignorant, that will keep you safe.Oh and dont forget to look under your bed, you never know where a sleeper cell may exist.

  • Captain

    Sorry, but todays fad is to kill muslims or anyone who supports so called ‘terrorists’.

    Oh that right, terrorism is a myth too. Very funny. I hope the people of Iraq come to terms with"so called terrorists" who keep killing other muslims, and don't forget so called terrorists in Bali, Spain, England and then there were the so called terrorists in the US on 9/11.

    How on earth did this "fad" of killing "so called terrorists" begin? And what of their fad of killing themselves?

  • Addamo_01

    Oh that right, terrorism is a myth too.

    Of course it's not a myth, it is a tactic thatgoes back for centuries and long before Bali, Spain, and England or 911. Remember that Israel was founded by terrorist organizations and terrorist leaders, Menachem Begin, who lkike Arafat, became statesmen and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Here is a UN report from 1948, specifically referring to Israeli terrorism.
    http://www.doublestandards.org/unbunche.html

    How on earth did this “fad” of killing “so called terrorists” begin?

    The fad is not of killing terrorists but of killing Arabs. Israeli terrorist are anctified/

  • Captain

    The Irgun did not target civilians. They did not hide behind their women and children. They were also at odds with the mainstream Israeli society and not embraced by them. Unfortunately pal leaders have shown a complete inability to change their ways and denounce terrorism. They prefer Jew killing to peace. That is very sad for their children.

    Conversely Israel has made painful decisions to leave Gaza, Sinai and Lebanon. Israel has actively engaged in negotiations even though the partners have been considered terrorists. Unfortunately this was reciprocated by electing Jew killers to represent them.

  • Addamo_01

    The Irgun did not target civilians.

    They were terrorists.

    They were also at odds with the mainstream Israeli society and not embraced by them.

    So were Hezbollah.

    Unfortunately pal leaders have shown a complete inability to change their ways and denounce terrorism.

    Have Israel denouced terrorist groups, like the Irgun, Haganah and the Stern Gang? Do you consider selebrtinghe bombing of the King David Hotel to be denouncing terrorism?

    They prefer Jew killing to peace. That is very sad for their children.

    No the prefer having their land back. Killing the killers fo their children is a predictable outcome.

    Conversely Israel has made painful decisions to leave Gaza, Sinai and Lebanon.

    That's how Israel liek to tell it.

    Lebanon was not theirs. That was not a consession, because they were never entitled to any parts of Lebanon, and besides, the have hung onto Shasba Farms. Besides, Isral left Lebanoin because Hezbollah kicked them out.

    Israel continue to annexx the Golan Heights, and have just returned to Gaza with plans to grab more of it.

    Israel has actively engaged in negotiations even though the partners have been considered terrorists.

    Israel is a country which as founded on terrorism, and by all definitions, is a terrorist state. It has no moral high ground in that regard.

  • Captain

    Israel was founded on terrorism? Funny that, I thought it was a UN vote.

    There is just no pleasing you.

  • Addamo_01

    That might explain why Israel has spat on the UN ever since.

  • M.Mayes

    Israel was founded on terrorism? Funny that, I thought it was a UN vote.

    A UN vote that was passed when the UN realised they had to do something because Zionist terrorists were 'blowin shit up.'

    Hence founded on terrorism.

  • M.Mayes

    The Irgun did not target civilians.

    No? well regardless of their intentions most of the 91 deaths from king david hotel bombing were civilian.

  • orang

    "The fad is not of killing terrorists but of killing Arabs"

    Yes, and I think they know.

  • Captain

    A UN vote that was passed when the UN realised they had to do something because Zionist terrorists were ‘blowin shit up.’

    sin qua non of antisemitism.

    This is just an ignorant statement. The Irgun was the UK's problem, not the UNs. The British mandate carved Palestine into Transjordan and Israel. The UN mandate tried to again carve Israel up but of course rejectionist pals wouldn't negotiate.

    As soon as Israel was created, it was attacked by every arab state. So yes I guess you could say it was borne of violence, Muslim violence. What an unusual phenomena.

  • M.Mayes

    This is just an ignorant statement.

    Almost as ignorant as thinking that the UN would have made Israel had there been NO pressure from zionists.

    As soon as Israel was created, it was attacked by every arab state. So yes I guess you could say it was borne of violence, Muslim violence. What an unusual phenomena.

    Which brings us back to a previous point, What is your view on the King David Hotel bombing? Really I'd like to know, because if that wasnt violence, I dont know what is.

  • Captain

    Almost as ignorant as thinking that the UN would have made Israel had there been NO pressure from zionists.

    There are a variety of pressures at the UN. Your claim was that Israel was formed by violence. I disproved that. Now you shift the goal posts again. Why don't you really say what you mean, you merely hate Israel.

    Of course the bombing of the King David Hotel was violent. It was repudiated by mainstream Israelis/Jews. Compare that with Hamas, a violent organisation with a stated objective of killing all Jews, elected to represent all pals. Hmmm, I wonder what that says about the pals.

  • M.Mayes

    Why don’t you really say what you mean, you merely hate Israel.

    If I dont say I hate Israel, its because I dont. I hate what Israel's government is doing to civilians in Lebanon.

    Your claim was that Israel was formed by violence. I disproved that.

    You disproved nothing. There was pressure from Zionist groups (some of which terrorist groups) for the creation of Israel. Israel was not Soley formed by Violence (but nor did I say that it was).

    Terrorism was used by the Irgun as a means to pressure the UK and the UN into creating Israel and getting out of 'their' town.

    Of course the bombing of the King David Hotel was violent. It was repudiated by mainstream Israelis/Jews.

    there thank you, was that so hard. Now, what do you think of the celebration of the KDH bombing?

    Hamas don't happen to be one of those One-Policy-Parties we unfortunately have in Australia, you have to look at them as a whole. Palestinians arent voting solely on their govt.'s position on Israel. So it says nothing negative at all about the Palestinians.

  • Addamo_01

    Great points M.Mayes

    If the bombing of the King David Hotel was repudiated by mainstream Israelis/Jews, tehn why is ti being celebrated by mainstream Israelis/Jews, and Netenyahu in particular?

    Now using the logic Captain applies to teh Palestians, does this not suggest that Israel is a terrorist state that endorses such activities?

    Of course not, But let's stop this rediculous argument that the Palestinaisn voted for vilence and eh dstruction of Israel when they elected Hamas. They boted for someone to effectively represent them, and not seel out to the ISrael or the US.

  • Addamo_01

    Haim Hanegbi expresses the Israeli condition this way:

    I am not a psychologist, but I think that everyone who lives with the contradictions of Zionism condemns himself to protracted madness. It's impossible to live like this. It's impossible to live with such a tremendous wrong. It's impossible to live with such conflicting moral criteria. When I see not only the settlements and the occupation and the suppression, but now also the insane wall that the Israelis are trying to hide behind, I have to conclude that there is something very deep here in our attitude to the indigenous people of this land that drives us out of our minds.

    There is something gigantic here that doesn't allow us truly to recognize the Palestinians, that doesn't allow us to make peace with them. And that something has to do with the fact that even before the return of the land and the houses and the money, the settlers' first act of expiation toward the natives of this land must be to restore to them their dignity, their memory, their justness.

    But that is just what we are incapable of doing. Our past won't allow us to do it. Even if Israel surrounds itself with a fence and a moat and a wall, it won't help. Because Israel as a Jewish state will not be able to exist.

    (Ari Shavit interview, in Ha'aretz, with Haim Hanegbi and Meron Benvenisti, August 28,
    2003, found on Znet)

  • orang

    Addamo, that quote from Haim Hanegbi is stunningly precise.

    "…the settlers’ first act of expiation toward the natives of this land must be to restore to them their dignity, their memory, their justness."

    I'ts hard to believe that this will ever happen. First they have to convince THEMSELVES that Palestinians are human beings.