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.

Standing up for lies

This video is being sent by Haaretz around the world to its email subscribers.

It’s a shameless piece of Israeli propaganda, dressed up as “fact.”

Why is a leading Israeli newspaper promoting such material?

  • Suze

    So this could be first resource war.

  • Addamo_01

    As is often the case Suze,

    It will be largely to do with control of resources, but not entirely. Bush and the neocons are ideologically and militarily driven, Big Oil coporations and contractors are motivated by the bottom dollar, and realists liek Cheney and Kissinger will be motivated by peak oil.

  • Addamo_01

    I am amazed that Haartz, who bring us so many reports critical of Israel are resorting to this desperation. Clearly the real news needs to be rebranded to portray Israel in a good light.

    How ironic that just as this piece of Crap is being sent out to the world, this news came out today that some IDF pilots are refusing to strike at designated targets because they have lost faith in Israel’s Intel as to the accuracy of Hezbollah locations.

    At least two Israeli fighter pilots have deliberately missed civilian targets in Lebanon as disquiet grows in the military about flawed intelligence, The Observer has learnt. Sources say the pilots were worried that targets had been wrongly identified as Hizbollah facilities . . .

    Yonatan Shapiro, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot dismissed from reserve duty after signing a 'refusenik' letter in 2004, said he had spoken with Israeli F-16 pilots in recent days and learnt that some had aborted missions because of concerns about the reliability of intelligence information . . .

    Shapiro said: "Some pilots told me they have shot at the side of targets because they're afraid people will be there, and they don't trust any more those who give them the coordinates and targets" . . .

    Pilots are always being told they will be judged on results, but if the results are hundreds of dead civilians while Hizbollah is still able to fire all these rockets, then something is very wrong."

    If these reports are true, they're a credit to the "semi-refusniks" of the Israeli Air Force. I seriously doubt whether an American pilot would bat an eyelash before pulling the trigger or pushing the button or whatever it is that they pull or push — as we've seen repeatedly in Iraq.

    It's also illustrative to compare the attitudes of these Israeli pilots with that of their boss, Lt. Gen. Dan Hulutz (a.k.a. Col. Walter E. Kurtz), who was once asked how he felt when the bombs he dropped killed innocent civilians:

    I feel a light bump to the aircraft due to the bomb’s release, and a second later, it’s over.

    A few years ago, after the Israelis dropped a two-ton bomb on an apartment building in Gaza, killing both the militants who were the target of the raid plus dozens of Palestinian civilians who also lived in the building, Halutz was asked at a press conference why he had used a two-ton bomb.

    His reply:

    Because I didn't have two one-ton bombs.

    The problem is that there are many people in the IDF who are not cold-blooded murders, and by forcing them to choose whether to become such, Halutz and company have now put them in an increasingly intolerable position. And it appears to be hurting not just pilot morale but operational effectiveness as well.

    As for the 1 million Israelis displace, that’s beyond absurd. Most Israelis is Haifa are sheltering in bomb shelters. How many Isrealis have become homeless refugees? Lebanon has 1 million of them.

    It's laughable that anyone would mention Resolution 1559 ion light of the fact that Israel has flouted more than 60 UN resolutions.

    As for withdrawing from Lebanon, that is pretty much irrelevant. According to the UN, Israel has been making repeated incursions into Lebanon since 2000.

    Hezbollah only started firing rickets after Israel attacked Lebanon, so to insist that Hezbollah would continue attacking Israel after a metal agreed cease fire is rubbish. In fact, during the recent 48 hour ceasefire, Hezbollah were the ones that ceased firing rocket’s, while Israel broke the ceasefire after 12 hours.

  • Addamo_01

    [The Security Council] calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hizbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations . . . .

    US and French governments
    Proposed UN Security Council Resolution
    August 5, 2006

    Israel also continues to arrest Hamas members of the Palestinian government. On Saturday night, Israeli forces arrested Aziz Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, at his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah, bringing to 40 the total number of parliamentarians and ministers now being held by Israel.

    Washington Post
    Hezbollah Rockets Kill 12 Israelis
    August 6, 2006

    Please note the distinction: If you are a designated terrorist organization with advanced weapons, you can participate in the "democratic" process and even be recognized as a legitimate combatant by the UN Security Council. But if you are a designated terrorist organization without advanced weapons, and you try to participate in the "democratic" process, you'll get thrown in the slammer. No UN Security Council resolutions for you.

    I doubt the applicable lesson will be lost on other designated terrorist organizations and/or heroic resistance movements around the world.

  • Roonaldo

    Gee, so Captain had it right all along! Just 3 things missing from the movie:

    – The earth really is flat;

    – Sharon is a man of peace. George Bush told us so;

    – The tooth fairy exists.

    As propaganda, this is very poorly produced. Good propaganda will have at least some credibility – this has none. If they need to throw this junk around at this point, it just underlines how clueless they are. Nice American accent though.

  • shaggydabbydo

    "Why is a leading Israeli newspaper promoting such material?"

    Perhaps it was an honest mistake, like Reuters with the doctored photo's?

    We'll see if it is or not if they retract the video and issue an apology.

    I'm not holding my breath though. Israel is at war, and as such, a propoganda war is also on, thus, there will be elements within most large organizations which will do things against the organizations interest.

    The best we can do is inform Heretz, and see if they apologize.

    Regs, Shaggy

  • orang

    "Nice American accent though. "

    I thought it was creepy..sort of like a serial rapist talking his victims into the bushes.

  • Addamo_01

    Right on Orang,

    One was almost expecting the last line to end with, "who's your dady?"

    I bet that over at Tim Blair's parallel universe, they are touting this as the first example of truth rising to the surface.

  • Addamo_01

    Another explanatino for this act of desperation might be the fact that in spie of three weeks of attempts to take it out, Hezbollah's television station is still operating.,,251-22998…

    Israel have even arm twisted India to ban Arab TV channels to stop the "propaghanda" getting out.

  • Suze

    Here's a link to a full translation of some speeches by the Iranian president. While I think the argument about him not asking for the destruction of the state of Israel is very shaky, the argument that he does not deny the holocaust is somewhat firmer- he appears instead to say that since Europe was responsible for the holocaust it should find land in Europe Canada and US for Jewish people and not impose Israel on Palestine (a translation that in fact seems to confirm he would like to see Israel removed from the map). It is always good I think to read full translations of these things rather than potted quotes.
    Middle East Blogger has translated Nasrallah's latest speech. This is the direct link:
    (not sure if it will work so go to his blog otherwise)

  • Captain

    I thought it was creepy..sort of like a serial rapist talking his victims into the bushes.

    More antisemitism.

    Iran set up a Holocaust denial conference. But it would seem that the Iranian cheer squad are still in denial about this as well.

  • Addamo_01

    Wrong as usual Captain,

    At least you're consistent.

    Iran set up a Holocaust denial conference. But it would seem that the Iranian cheer squad are still in denial about this as well

    Iran called for a conferenc to investigate the Holocaust as a historical event. While they may question how many were killed and how, they have NEVER denied the holocaust.

    More antisemitism.

    So criticising serilal killers is now anti-Semitic too is it?

  • Jeez, so Ha'aretz is supposed to be the left wing newspaper in Israel… Pretty dismal stuff. The only thing they forgot was to invoke the Holocaust in some way.

    Regarding that speech by Ahmadinejad (you know, the one that every other commentator mentions when they want to scare Israelis and their supporters), please have a look at the following missive from ACTME:


    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 enlightenment. This service goes to about 100 media and political contacts.

    21 June 2006

    It Ain't Necessarily So

    Remember how the Iranian President, Ahmadinejad, was supposed to have said/called for/declared/explicitly threatened etc, etc:-
    "Israel must be wiped off the map": Leanne Piggott, The Australian, 1/11/05

    "wiping Israel from the face of the earth": Michael Costello, The Australian, 20/1/06

    "Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth": Barry Cohen, The Australian, 17/2/06

    "to wipe Israel off the map": Editorial, The Australian, 11/4/06

    "the destruction of Israel": Editorial, The Australian, 13/3/06

    Well, it's now transpired that something got Lost in Translation ( Or, if you want an Israeli site, go to Any journalist with Google skills can sort this out in five minutes flat.

    The Guardian's Jonathon Steele tells the whole sorry story (14/6/06) about how what should have been translated as "The regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" became "Israel should be wiped off the map." In other words, how a call for regime change has, with active misinformation from the Zionist propaganda machine, been transformed by some sections of the media into a call for mass destruction and genocide.

    We in ACTME, however, won't be holding our collective breath until The Australian and others issue a clarification. Instead, given the staying power of that other golden oldie – Barak's generous offer to Arafat – we expect there's heaps more mileage in Ahmadinejad's 'call' to wipe Israel off the map. We'll bring these to your attention as they crop up.

  • Suze

    "Iranian Cheer Squad"?

    Do you not see the short cuts your mind always takes- it is as if you do not want to take the time to understand all of the information, and keep resorting to empty insult and propaganda. The Iranian President is dangerous because, whatever his intentions in the region are, he appeals to his people on a point which is incontrovertible: the west takes an arrogant stance toward the arab nations, treat them as less than human and assume that they can redraw the region without even conducting diplomatic talks with Iran and Syria. The theocrats in washington won't talk to the Islamic nations. This is madness.

  • Addamo_01

    Speaking of redrawing the region,

    I recommend this very interesting article from Juan Cole, where he offers a very interesting scenario as to why Israel is really being so over the top with it's aattacks on Lebanon:

  • Has anyone come across this intriguing bit of information yet? (as reported on the CNN website)

    THOMAS RICKS, REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think it will be. But I think civilian casualties are also part of the battlefield play for both sides here. One of the things that is going on, according to some U.S. military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.

    KURTZ: Hold on, you're suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of it's fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?

    RICKS: Yes, that's what military analysts have told me.

    KURTZ: That's an extraordinary testament to the notion that having people on your own side killed actually works to your benefit in that nobody wants to see your own citizens killed but it works to your benefit in terms of the battle of perceptions here.

    RICKS: Exactly. It helps you with the moral high ground problem, because you know your operations in Lebanon are going to be killing civilians as well.

  • Suze

    If this were true- what chance have they- given the Iraq experience, I wonder? I know they don't like Chavez at all, do they- he accused US of trying to assassinate him and Venezuela is oil rich.

  • Suze

    (That relates to Addamo's comment above by the way)

  • Ian


    While the oil angle canvassed in the Cole article may be a strategic reason for Israel's huge over reaction to the kidnapping (or was it a citizens' arrest for trespassing) of the two IDF soldiers, I suspect there was an even more vital reason.

    The clue is where Israel wants the northern limit of the proposed buffer zone to be, the Litani River. It makes no sense given the proven long range some Hezbollah rockets to want a buffer zone only about 20k from the Israeli/Lebanese border (sections of the river are only 4km from the border). As a safety zone its ridiculous.

    But it would give Israel access to something even more precious in Israel than oil – water.

    Israel is guzzling it at a huge rate and its options are limited. It already steals most of the water in areas under its control. Indeed, one of the main reasons the Palestians rejected Oslo/Camp David II was because it gave Israel control of the aquifer under the West Bank in perpertuity with the Palestians being given only a small, fixed quota.

    The neat 'trick' in this deal could be that Israel won't have to pay a cent for protection over theft of the Litani's liquid gold. Its going to get other nations to keep any Lebanese protestors quiet.

  • Suze

    And that is why Lebanon has been asking that Israel's withdrawal be included in the ceasefire agreement I guess?

  • Suze

    Another link re: the oil and water angle

  • Addamo_01


    I agree the Litani River is an essential elemtn to this also. The Jordan River is drying up and Israel is running out of fresh water supplies.

    So all Syria need do is poisin the supply and Israel wil be up the creek so to speak.

  • Addamo

    Ronald Bleier wrote for the Middle East Labor Bulletin, Spring 1994:

    Zionist interest in the waters of Lebanon goes back as least as far as the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 when Chaim Wietzman wrote to the British Prime Minister explaining that because of its water requirements, a Jewish homeland in Palestine must include the Litani River.

    PRISON Copyright © 2002-2006 Alex Jones All rights reserved.

    Is Israel Allowing Hezbollah to Kill Its Citizens?

    Kurt Nimmo | August 7 2006

    For the honest historian, it comes as no surprise government either kills its own citizens or allows enemies to do the same in an effort to score propaganda points or as an excuse to commence hostilities.

    Examples are numerous, from FDR denying Americans passport and travel documents to let them flee the Japanese onslaught of the Philippines in the lead up to the Second World War (see US prisoners claim Roosevelt left them in Philippines deliberately) to Operation Northwoods, a plan drawn up by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to stage fake terror attacks in America (including assassination, airplane hijacking, and sinking of boats) in order to devise a pretext to invade Cuba.

    Indeed, some of us, routinely dismissed as tinfoil hatters, believe elements within the United States government engineered and executed the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, as a way to get the ball rolling on the “war against terrorism,” that is to say the war against Islam, currently heating up big time in the Middle East.

    Considering the above, and other examples, including the sinking of the Lusitania, a passenger ship loaded up with a secret cargo of munitions (a fact admitted by the decidedly less than conspiratorial Encyclopedia Britannica), which contributed indirectly to the entry of the United States into World War I, and the suspicious sinking of the Maine in the Havana harbor, used as a pretext for the United States to declare war on Spain in 1898, the allegation “Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of it’s fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war” should not be a startling or especially mind-boggling revelation.

    According to Tom Ricks, a reporter for the Washington Post, during an appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources, citing “military analysts,” Israel “purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they’re being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.”

    Or, put differently, if Hezbollah continues to rocket northern Israel, the IOF may claim “moral equivalency” and continue its push into Lebanon, once again to the Litani River, a plentiful source of fresh water that long ago figured into Israel’s calculations of its endangered water resources (see Angela Joy Moss, ICE Case Studies, Litani River and Israel-Lebanon), in fact a resource long coveted by the Zionists, going as far back as Chaim Weizmann in 1919 and, a few decades later, Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan, who advocated Israeli occupation of Lebanon up to the Litani River (see Stephen C. Lonergan and David B. Brooks, Watershed: the Role of Fresh Water in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict).

    Ronald Bleier wrote for the Middle East Labor Bulletin, Spring 1994:

    Zionist interest in the waters of Lebanon goes back as least as far as the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 when Chaim Wietzman wrote to the British Prime Minister explaining that because of its water requirements, a Jewish homeland in Palestine must include the Litani River.