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.

Immoral stain exposed

My following article appears in today’s Brisbane Courier Mail:

Antony Loewenstein worries about the cost to Israel of the war with Hizbollah

A country’s soul is uniquely exposed during times of war.

As the conflict rages between Israel, Hizbollah and the Palestinians, and civilians on all sides bear the brunt of the fighting, the world is starting to realise that Israel is fighting an impossible battle.

The Jewish state’s image has been immeasurably damaged by its excessive use of US-made military hardware against a defenceless Lebanese and Palestinian population.

In late July, Israel’s Justice Minister, Haim Ramon, said that “everyone in southern Lebanon is a terrorist and is connected to Hizbollah”.

A few days later, the Israeli military massacred dozens of Lebanese civilians at Qana. How many of these people were “terrorists?” Such matters don’t bother editor-in-chief of Israel’s largest paper, Yedioth Ahronoth. Rafi Ginat states Israel “should be allowed to feel good” about its military actions. “May their innocents die instead of ours,” he writes.

Left-wing journalist Gideon Levy argues in Haaretz that, “nobody is taking into account the amount of hatred we are sowing. In international public opinion, Israel has been turned into a monster, and that still hasn’t been calculated into the debit column of this war.

“Israel is badly stained, a moral stain that can’t be easily and quickly removed. And only we don’t want to see it.”

At base, this war has never been about the retrieval of the Hizbollah-abducted Israeli soldiers. That was just the trigger. Washington’s key proxy in the Middle East is attempting to decapitate the two nations not under Western control, Syria and Iran, and in the process prove to the Arab world that any military conflict with Israel will result in overwhelming force against its people.

The US and Israel have made many threatening noises towards Iran and its suspected nuclear program. The powerful Zionist lobby in Washington has kept intense pressure on the Bush administration to take strong action against the Islamic state.

US Vice-President Dick Cheney said in March that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons and that “the United States is keeping all options on the table in addressing the irresponsible conduct of the regime”.

The results of such aggression are clear to see and sadly confound the likelihood of peace any time soon. Israel’s disastrous invasion of Lebanon in 1982 – and its 18-year occupation – only resulted in further politicisation of Arab youth in the region.

Recent polling in Lebanon indicates relatively high support for Hizbollah’s capture of Israeli soldiers and a majority belief that the only way to secure the release of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails is through the capture of Israeli soldiers and a negotiated prisoner exchange.

Total victory, as outlined by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is impossible to achieve because Israel is fighting an opponent that was born to challenge Israel’s provocations.

Hizbollah has clearly committed war crimes in the past weeks – hurling Katyusha rockets into northern Israel is neither defensible nor justified – though the group cannot simply be seen as a terrorist group (despite the Howard Government’s insistence).

The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn recently explained the potency of the group in the Arab world: “Arabs conscious of their own leaders’ inertia, corruption and incompetence hailed the resolution of Hizbollah fighters.

“(Hizbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah’s blend of nationalism and religion was shown to be as potent in Lebanon as it had been against the Americans in Iraq.”

Nasrallah has become a symbol of Muslim pride, a man unafraid to stand up to Israeli aggression.

This isn’t how the US sees the situation, of course. Its position has infuriated a world community that has become attuned to Israel receiving overwhelming political, diplomatic and military support over any other nation.

It has allowed continued Israeli bombardment of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and infrastructure. Such imbalance makes a mockery of claims that Washington can ever be an “honest broker”.

When Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki criticised Israeli policy in late July, Democrats and Republicans slammed him.

Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean called him an “anti-Semite” and added: “We don’t need to spend $200 billion and $300 billion and $500 billion bringing democracy to Iraq to turn it over to people who believe Israel doesn’t have the right to defend itself and who refuse to condemn Hizbollah.”

Dean seemed bewildered that even a US-puppet regime wouldn’t support Israeli airstrikes on Lebanese civilians.

Al-Maliki had no choice. Any self-respecting Arab leader – and even the ones on the US drip-feed have changed their tune – now realise that blind US support for Israel contributes to destabilisation in the region. Some Arab commentators are calling for the repudiation of diplomatic ties with Israel, in a clear message that the current path is unsustainable.

A growing portion of the world’s population now shares this view.

Sydney based writer Antony Loewenstein is author of My Israel Question (Melbourne University Publishing)

9 comments ↪
  • orang

    Good on you – getting lots of work these days.

    You covered a broad range of issues and history but very necessary in order to educate the ones benumbed by the MSM.

  • Addamo_01

    Another excellent piece Ant.

    Howard Dean is the perfect example of someone who has come under the thumb of the Israeli Lobby. It's hard to imagine the guy making such mindless statements when he was runniing for the Democratic candidacy, but nonetheless, he has since sold his soul.

    Today we find that even IAF pilots are not buying the message that all Lebanese civlians are legtiimate targets and come are choosing to deliberately miss their targets.
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,183…

    Then again, perhaps they are not willing tobecome the scape goats for their deranged leaders.

    It also turns out that the much trumpeted invasino of the IDF into Lebanon was much more conservative that we were led to believe. In some instances, it never even took place.

  • orang

    Dean has joined the Conga Line of Suckholes. Remember when his supersonic launch to great heights coughed and spluttered after he made a statement, something like; "I believe we should treat both (Israeli/Palestinian) sides equitably." Judging by US politicians who obviously believe any divergence from the "If you're not for it(Israel), kiss your arse goodbye"

    For an up and coming Presidential candidate a word like equitable spells d-o-o-m.

  • Ian

    Then again, perhaps they are not willing tobecome the scape goats for their deranged leaders.

    You got the 'deranged' part right. Halutz, the IDF Chief is one serious psycho.

    When asked why the IDF dropped a 2 tonne bomb to kill 2 militants living in a Gaza apartment building he answered:

    "Because I didn't have two one-ton bombs." http://billmon.org/archives/002642.html

    Even some of the Knesset worry about him (note: Halutz killed the 14 civilians refered to when he personally bombed another apartment building):

    Yachad Party Knesset Member Yossi Sarid said Halutz’s nomination marks an historic event, “because for the first time the IDF is headed by someone who sleeps well at night after 14 innocent people have been killed.”

    and

    The appointment of Dan Halutz is a grave step that flies in the face of the current positive atmosphere, Hadash party Secretary General Ouda Bashrat said.

    "Whoever sleeps well after Palestinian children are murdered…should face justice at the International War Crimes Court and not be appointed as army chief," he said.

    So why did Halutz get the top IDF job, probably because:

    Former Education Minister Shulamit Aloni, meanwhile, said the Halutz's appointment “proves Mofaz intends to bomb Iran and instigate a war.”

    I guess that if you want to engage in insanity then giving the job to a psycho may be a good idea!

    (all quotes from http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3049496…)

  • orang

    “because for the first time the IDF is headed by someone who sleeps well at night after 14 innocent people have been killed.”

    Bullshit. They still want us to believe in this "Purity of Arms" and Nobility crap for their precious IDF. They all fucking sleep well at night.

    Do you think the "Man of Peace" had bad sleeps? Over Sabra and Chatilla perhaps?

    Wake up smell the coffee.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/barghouti08012006.htm
    "…the Command's Chief Chaplain writes:

    "When our forces come across civilians during a war or in hot pursuit or in a raid, so long as there is no certainty that those civilians are incapable of harming our forces, then according to the Halakhah they may and even should be killed Under no circumstances should an Arab be trusted, even if he makes an impression of being civilized In war, when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed and even enjoined by the Halakhah to kill even good civilians, that is, civilians who are ostensibly good. [7]"

  • Adam

    Ant, another fantastic piece.

    The reality is Israel has become a monster created, supported and trained by the west. It only knows how to oppress and abuse (including state level terrorism and war crimes) innocent civilians (including women and children).

    World war III has started once again but the difference is that Nazi-Germany has been replaced by Nazi-Israel and the Jews replaced with Arabs (from all different religions). World War III has been in the pipeline for a long time and full preparations have been made politically, financially, military. The only aspect of World War III remaining now is different nations choosing which side they want to be on this time.

  • nadia

    Great article Antony,

    I find it hard to understand how Israeli 'agression' is easily swept under the rug by western media and repackaged into 'fighting a war against terrorism.' (Does this sound familiar- War in Iraq for example) I struggle to make sence of the term 'terrorist', when it applies to some, yet conveniently does not apply to those who have a strong relationship with the US, no matter how 'terrorist like' their actions be. And are later labelled as 'acting in self defence' as a form of justification. If we take a look past this current war in Lebanon, and examine the constant terror, humiliation and violation human rights in Palestine, by the Israeli Army, the term 'terrorism', takes on a whole new meaning.

    For those of you who are intrested:

  • Glenn Condell

    Good piece Ant, clear-minded and balanced. That you can be characterised as far left is a good index of how skewed the official discurse has become.

    Addamo is right about the appalling Howard Dean. But it's the rest of them too the Democrats, gutless wonders almost to a man, or woman. Hilary Clinton's apparent animus toward Arabs is equally sickening, though the impetus comes more from the Lobby than from any innate prejudice. Even Ned Lamont, poised to put the sanctimonious Joe Lieberman out of business, to his eternal shame hews to the Israeli governmnent line re Lebanon. Cowardice in the face of such organised existential threats is bipartisan.

    BTW, where's our cap'n?

  • Glenn Condell

    Good piece on Lebanon by a Holocaust survivor (via AntiWar):

    http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opten04483