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.

The loss they had to have

While Israel’s war is about to officially end and the Israeli people realise that their government has failed miserably in bringing future security to the country, Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy rightly states that failure is just what the Jewish state needs:

The bad (and predictable) news: Israel is going to come out of this war with the lower hand. The good (and surprising) news: This ringing failure could spell good tidings. If Israel had won the battles in an easy, sweeping victory of the kind Israelis prayed so much for, it would have caused enormous damage to Israel’s security policies. Another slam-bam win would have brought disaster upon us. Drugged with power, drunk with victory, we would have been tempted to implement our success in other arenas. Dangerous fire would have threatened the entire region and nobody knows what might have resulted.

On the other hand, the failure in this little war might teach us an important lesson for the future, and maybe influence us to change our ways and language, the language we speak to our neighbors with violence and force. The axiom that “Israel cannot allow itself a defeat on the battlefield” has already been exposed as a nonsensical cliche: Failure might not only help Israel greatly but, as a bonus, it might teach the Americans the important lesson that there is no point in pushing Israel into military adventures. 

This war has been a turning-point in global opinion towards Israel. Its military dominance is no longer supreme in the region. Its rhetoric has been shown to be bellicose, inaccurate and counter-productive. Furthermore, as Levy notes,:

If indeed the war ends as it is ending, maybe more Israelis will ask themselves what we are killing and being killed for, what did we pound and get pounded for, and maybe they will understand that it was once again all for naught. Maybe the achievement of this war will be that the failure will be seared deeply into the consciousness, and Israel will take a new route, less violent and less bullying, because of the failure. In 1967, Ephraim Kishon wrote, “sorry we won.” This time it is almost possible to say, it’s good we did not win. 

More worringly, however, Seymour Hersh explains the thinking in the Bush administration towards the conflict and shows a level of delusion that the Iraq debacle has not extinguished. Simply put, Iran is next.

23 comments ↪
  • Keith

    Gideon Levy seems so out of touch with reality. Who would ever quote him…oh….ofcourse, his groupies. Ddon't mention Hizbollah's idiololgy of extermination…It just gets in the way.

  • Addamo_01

    What's the matter Keith? Who woudl you rather have quoted? David Horowitz or Tim Blair perhaps?

    You are such an imbecile. Isrfael has killed ten times as many peopel as Hezbollah has and yet you maintain that it is Hezbollah who has the ideology of extermination.

    You belong to a cult, where up is down, clocks run backwards and war is peace becasue someone told you so.

  • orang

    Once they lose, then haul a few of them into a War Crimes court and then throw them in jail. – Including Sharon, drip and all.

  • Ian

    Hezbollah may have just saved Iran, and America!

  • Addamo_01

    I wish that were true Ian,

    But according to Sy Hersh's latest piece, lunatics like Rumsfeld and Cheney will read this with as some sort of vindication that Iran is doable.

    Or even worse, that rather than go in with ground troops (and lose a lot of Americans) that a couple of nukes will do the trick.

  • Ed Squire

    If I recall it was about a week of "the soldiers, the soldiers, Hizbollah, Hizbollah" because suddenly the whole narrative to a big turn and the 'war' started to be re-told by the Israeli government as an Iranian Conspiracy Of Gigantic Proportions.

    It's easy to see in the AIJAC opinion pieces – the AIJAC being proxy in Australia for the IDF – which flooded the country. We had to wait 5 days after the initial bombings by Israel (on the 12th) before the AIJAC got its marching-orders from Jerusalem … and see what they are constantly point towards:

    Iran, Syria wage war by proxy

    Australian Financial Review – 17 July 2006

    "Hezbollah's action was probably undertaken at the behest of Iran, which runs it as an adjunct of its own security forces. Iran is also the major patron of Hamas."

    Stemming the tide Israel fights terrorism on two fronts

    Colin Rubenstein

    19 July 2006 – Herald-Sun

    "The fingerprints of Iran are all over the crisis. Tehran founded, funds and equips Hezbollah in Lebanon. The arsenal of 13,000 rockets that the jihadists are firing into northern Israel all arrived, special delivery, from Iran."

    Israel justified in striking out at its enemies

    Colin Rubenstein

    Canberra Times – 20 July 2006

    Hizbollah mentioned 11 times … but Iran mentioned 12 times.

    Autonomy key to peace in Lebanon

    New Zealand Herald – 25 July 2006

    "Hezbollah, a terrorist organisation banned by Western nations, was founded, trained, armed, funded and, in part, directed, by the Iranian revolutionary guards. It amassed a huge arsenal of more than 13,000 Iranian– supplied missiles pointed at Israeli towns and in effect it controls a mini-state in southern Lebanon, including the border with Israel.

    It is a strong supporter of Iran's repeatedly articulated policy of destroying Israel, and uses terror and the missile threat to further Iran's agenda."

    Israel needs support to fight radical Islam

    COLIN RUBENSTEIN

    The Advertiser – 25 July 2006

    (Copying himself from 6 days earlier) "The fingerprints of Iran are all over the crisis. Tehran founded, funds and equips Hezbollah in Lebanon. The arsenal of 13,000 rockets that the jihadists are firing into northern Israel all arrived, special delivery, from Iran."

    Want Mideast Peace? Get the right ceasefire in Lebanon

    By Colin Rubenstein

    The Age Online – August 5, 2006

    "Iran and Syria have essentially paid no price for using Hezbollah to fight Israel"

  • Addamo

    Hezbollah, a terrorist organisation banned by Western nations, was founded, trained, armed, funded and, in part, directed, by the Iranian revolutionary guards.

    Don't you just love the completely misleading statement here? Western nations apparently does not include all of Europe. It also interesting that no mention is made of why Hezbollah war created in the first place, Israel's 1982 invasion, preferring to stick to the official islamofascist propaganda that from the very beginning, Hezbollah existed solely for the purpose of destroying Israel.

    supplied missiles pointed at Israeli towns and in effect it controls a mini-state in southern Lebanon

    Duh, Israel is the only group that has threatened Lebanon, so where else would these missiles be aimed? And while Hezbollah’s was only supported in southern Lebanon, that has changed thanks to Israel.

    It is a strong supporter of Iran’s repeatedly articulated policy of destroying Israel, and uses terror and the missile threat to further Iran’s agenda.

    And while we're at it, why not throw in a completely meaningless and baseless statement to round off a whole litany of bullshit?

    The arsenal of 13,000 rockets that the jihadists are firing into northern Israel all arrived, special delivery, from Iran.

    Hear that? Special delivery!! I wonder if UPS delivered them? Talk about being loose with the facts!!! Hezbollah also uses M-16 rifles, which are US made. Were they also sent to Hezbollah “special delivery”, from the US?

    Iran and Syria have essentially paid no price for using Hezbollah to fight Israel

    And hasn't it paid off? It’s not like Hezbollah as a reason to fight back now is it? Let’s forget why Hezbollah existed to begin with and see how many people we can fool into believing that Hezbollah is just the Shiite version of Al Qaeda.

    Israel and the US did everything they could to lure Syria into this conflict, including violating Syrian air space, buzzing presidential palaces and bombing the border. Consequently, because of their restraint, both Iran and Syria have come off smelling like Roses and Israel has become exposed and condemned internationally as a vindictive and irrational thug.

    Now these Zionist suck ups are pissed off that Syria didn't take the bait, and that no amount of spin will remove the stain of blood on Israel’s hands.

  • Addamo

    BTW. Latest polls in Israel show support for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s handling of the war is plummeting.

    40 percent of Israelis now disapprove of the war and less than half support Olmert’s handling of the war.

    Mayve Olmert will be given a position with the Carlyle Group, seeing as he'll soon be looknig for a new job.

  • Adam

    BTW. Latest polls in Israel show support for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s handling of the war is plummeting.

    Which is quite understandable as it is a natural reaction from people who had high hopes of a flash victory. To hide their shattered confidence, shattered trust and miserable results they will all turn around and say “I didn’t want this to happen, its all his fault

    40 percent of Israelis now disapprove of the war and less than half support Olmert’s handling of the war.

    I think this 40% figure is too high it most likely going to be around 0 or -1 but nothing more

    Mayve Olmert will be given a position with the Carlyle Group, seeing as he’ll soon be looknig for a new job.

    I think he only has two options, the first that he will become an egg Olmert for breakfast for the American Zionist who planned this whole conflict which obviously has back-fired, or the second to fall into a coma much like Ariel pharaon or sorry spelling error I meant Ariel Sharon and avoid the wrath of the world leaders.

    I have a burning question which I need to ask, what did the illegal state of Israel gain from all this death and destruction, the increased level of war crimes and mass holocaust committed againt the innocent civilians in Lebanon and Palestine?

    I mean the two alleged kidnapped soldiers in Lebanon terrortiry have still not bee recovered and Hezbollah has hardly been dented, and I believe these two were the main reasons why Israel drew the conflict. WHAT WAS THE POINT?

  • Adam

    Some facts which I came accross another blog which you can find here:

    Israel and Lebanon: What You Wont Hear on CNN
    1. Israel has occupied a number of Arab territories since 1967, pursuing an illegal colonial project thereon comprising, but not limited to, expropriating land, building settlements, and transferring its civilian population. These lands include the Palestinian West Bank, the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Lebanese Shebaa Farms.

    2. Israel occupied Lebanon for 22 years (excluding the occupation of Shebaa Farms, which continues to this day). During this period, Israel massacred civilian populations, such as the 1996 bombardment of the United Nations compound in Qana; targetted Lebanon's infrastructure, including power plants and highways; and raised a proxy army, the South Lebanon Army, helping it administer the notorious Khiam prison where hundreds of Lebanese were tortured and imprisoned for years without charge.

    3. During its occupation of Lebanon, Israel detained hundreds of Lebanese, often times by crossing over the border and abducting them. To this day, Israel continues to detain a number of Lebanese.

    4. Israel regularly invades Lebanon by flying over its airspace, coupled with sonic boom attacks over civilian populations.

    5. Though Israel departed from southern Lebanon in 2000, it left over 130,000 land mines which have killed and injured countless children. Israel refuses to disclose the location of all of these mines.

    6. Israel hosts one of Lebanon's most wanted fugitives, the ceritified war criminal Antoine Lahad. Lahad led Israel's proxy army in southern Lebanon, the South Lebanon Army. Lahad currently resides in Tel Aviv, where he runs a restaurant and complains of poor treatment by Israel.

    7. The Lebanese government has done nothing of substance to secure the release of Lebanese prisoners, the liberation of Shebaa Farms, a halt to the Israeli Air Force's frequent incursions, and a map of Israel's land mines.

    8. Lebanese militias have succeeded in the past, most recently in 2004, to obtain the release of Lebanese nationals in Israeli custody through prisoner exchanges.

    I think we all either forgot about these facts or had no idea about them.

  • Addamo

    I think much of it was hubris Adam. Israel fell for the US trap of believing in their invincibility and air superiority.

    There was likely more than one reason no doubt. They never forgave Hezbollah for driving them out of Lebanon the first time and wanted to clear the score sheet.

    There was the scarcity of fresh waster for Israel.

    Oil. Israel are working with the Kurds to move oil from Kirkuk in Iraq to Haifa, except that the pipeline needs safe passage. Right now, it has to pass through Syria – big problem there.

    The US wasn tot hit Iran, buit Hezbollah threatens Irael with its missiles. That threat needed to be removed first. Ironiclly, I don;t think Hezbollah even used it's long range missiles throughout the whole 5 weeks. Talk about discipline!!

  • M.Mayes

    Don’t you just love the completely misleading statement here? Western nations apparently does not include all of Europe.

    You see Addamo, the logic there is, just as AIJAC are 'the mainstream voice of Australian Jewry', the US is 'the mainstream voice of all western civilisation'.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    When you have had even 1/10th the education, life experiences and real "roll your sleeves" up contribution to radical politics perhaps THEN you will not look so foolish with all your keyboard bluster.

    Why don't you deal with your clear anger issues by buying a blowup doll!?

  • viva peace

    Well if you people think was a "war" or that is even begun, let alone finished, I have a bridge to sell you!

    And I defy any of you to explain how a foreign terrorist who takes over your country causing the deaths of 1,000 of your civilians and billions in damages is a GOOD THING.

    No doubt Mannie de Saxe will jump for joy for every dead gay he hears about!

  • Suze

    And I defy any of you to explain how a foreign terrorist who takes over your country causing the deaths of 1,000 of your civilians and billions in damages is a GOOD THING.

    Ahha- so you admit the IDF are exponents of terrorism. Well done.

  • Ian

    But according to Sy Hersh’s latest piece, lunatics like Rumsfeld and Cheney will read this with as some sort of vindication that Iran is doable.

    Fortunately/hopefully, the Pentagon brass do not share the delusion. They have stood up to The Black Prince and the Lord High Military Richard Cranium once on Iran, I trust they will again. Hezbollah has certainly given them more reason than ever.

  • Ed Squire

    More worringly, however, Seymour Hersh explains the thinking in the Bush administration towards the conflict and shows a level of delusion that the Iraq debacle has not extinguished. Simply put, Iran is next.

    Hersh defending his story.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    My god fo=good fellow, your incoherent doppelganger has returned and used your outer form to misrepresent you with incoherent blabber.

    when you have had even 1/10th the education, life experiences and real “roll your sleeves” up contribution to radical politics perhaps THEN you will not look so foolish with all your keyboard bluster.

    What on earth are you tiling about t my poor chap? One tenth and contribution as whom exactly?

    Why don’t you deal with your clear anger issues by buying a blowup doll!?

    Did it work for you, or did you get distracted along the way having too much fun with the blow up doll, you dirty boy?

    Well if you people think was a “war” or that is even begun, let alone finished, I have a bridge to sell you!

    Well, given how every one of your opinions on this war, including your special “sources”, has crashed and burned, you’d best stick to listening rather than giving opinions, wouldn’t you agree Viva? Ort are you enjoying this losing streak too much?

    And I defy any of you to explain how a foreign terrorist who takes over your country causing the deaths of 1,000 of your civilians and billions in damages is a GOOD THING.

    Wow Vivian you surprise me. I didn’t know you considered the IDF to be foreign terrorist, but dare say you have had an epiphany. After all, it’s a known fact that the only foreigners in Lebanon are the Israelis.

    No doubt Mannie de Saxe will jump for joy for every dead gay he hears about!

    Oh dear, we’re back to irrelevant arguments about gays again. Can’t say I blame you Viva, the situation for Juseofasicts is becoming rather dour isn’t it? When can we expect the issue of Holocaust denial to appear?

  • Addamo

    I am in Montreal, Canada at the momemnt, and it is quite remarkabel to see so many Lebanese flags everywhere. Strange that there are none of the Star of David. I guess the Israeli supporters are just extremely modest abtou the magnificent victory right Viva?

  • Addamo

    Don't you just love this guy's priorities? No wonder he just resided over th greaatest fuck up sin e the Yom Kipur fisasco. Looks liek he received all kinds of "support" and advice from Dick Cheney.

    From Billmon

    A Liar, a War Criminal and a Thief

    Just call him Gen. Enron:

    Senior sources in the Israel Defense Forces General Staff and field officers who took part in the war in Lebanon said on Tuesday that Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, who went to his bank branch and sold an NIS 120,000 investment portfolio only three hours after two soldiers were abducted by Hezbollah on the northern border, cannot escape resignation . . .

    As the country's political and military echelons met urgently to discuss the possible declaration of war, Halutz went at 12:00 P.M. to sell an investment portfolio, the Ma'ariv newspaper reported on Tuesday.

    In response to the report, Halutz confirmed to Ma'ariv that he sold the portfolio on that date and at that time, but denied it had anything to do with the possibility of an imminent war.

    When I was a financial reporter, we regularly used to call up CEOs who had sold large blocks of stocks in their own companies — typically just before a negative earnings report or a busted merger or some other piece of bad news came out. And almost invariably, they would say they needed the money for some kind of personal real estate transaction. It got to be kind of an inside joke around the newsroom. Whenever a company's stock would tank, we'd say: uh oh — looks like so and so is buying a house.

    Halutz bought the house while his soldiers bought the farm.

  • Addamo

    I think I foudn where Viva is getting his "inside" informtion.
    http://www.adl.org/Israel/ads_stop_hezbollah.asp

  • Suze

    Ha! The "boy you Lebanese must be angry at Hezballah for killing your people" propaganda has been doing the rounds of ME blogs. Funnily enough noone is buying it. Maybe the ADL is more in the market for one of Viva's bridges.

    Latest Viva meme to tank are the not-so-terrible mobile phone "terrorists"

  • M.Mayes

    Anti-defamation league HA the irony!