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.

Lead us somewhere

Unfortunately for the Bush administration – and lone voices still advocating the merits of the Iraq war – it looks like the “liberated” Iraqis aren’t very grateful to the American people:

Over the last two years, Iraqi political values have become more secular and nationalistic, even though attitudes toward Americans have deteriorated, according to surveys of nationally representative samples of the population conducted in November 2004 and April 2006.

The Iraqi surveys, part of the ongoing World Values Surveys, are a collaborative project between the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and Eastern Michigan University.

The percentage of Iraqis who said they would not want to have Americans as neighbours rose from 87 percent in 2004 to 90 percent in 2006. When asked what they thought were the three main reasons why the United States invaded Iraq, 76 percent gave “to control Iraqi oil” as their first choice.

But at the same time, significantly more Iraqis support democratic values, including the separation of religion and politics. 

Opposition to the war has never been higher and even Iraqis themselves are being treated like second-class citizens in the US. Leadership is a dirty word in the world’s only superpower.

  • Addamo

    One only need listen to Bush's latest press conference defending the Iraq war.

    Every argument he made was either self contradictory, or based on long since, completely debunked arguments.

    For example – he stated that Saddam had relations with Zarawi, when that assertion has been debuked by the CIA.

    No wonder the support for the war in the US is down to 33%. Bush still can't explain why he started it.

    There is also a rumour circulating that Bsuh is looking to replace Rumsfeld.

  • Ian

    An interesting account on how little the Bush administration knew about Iraq and what they were unleashing:

    Before 1993, the only country ruled by Shiites was Persian Iran. Shiites were marginalized and persecuted in the Sunni Arab world and disdained by Sunni fundamentalists as apostates. Then came the war in Iraq, which altered the power balance in the Middle East.

    When the United States toppled Saddam Hussein, it upended a regime whose Sunni leaders repressed a predominantly Shiite population. U.S. leaders thought Iraq was dominated by a secular middle class. They believed an Iraqi democracy led by elected Shiite officials would encourage Iranian Shiites to overthrow their regime.

    Reality bit hard. Iraq's Shiite majority was predominantly religious. Shiite political leaders, who had spent their exile years in Tehran, would not drop their ties with the Iranians.

    By removing Mr. Hussein, the United States made Shiite Iran the strongest power in the region. Urged on by their ayatollahs, Iraq's Shiite majority voted in the second Shiite-led government in the region, dominated by religious parties. This Shiite revival helped other minority Shiite movements in the region, such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, to strengthen their position.

    – – Shock over Lebanon could turn Shiites against U.S.

    There 'blowback' and then theres the Mother-of-All-Blowback

    Welcome to Mad King George I, King of American, Emperor of The Green Zone and Kabul's world, please extinguish your cigarettes and fasten your seat belts!

  • John Ryan

    In yesterdays OZ I think there was an article about the US installing a friendly dictator how interesting wonder if Saddam feels up to it,sorry just being cynical,I think

  • orang

    Oh I don't know, a shave and some better fitting suits..Nah he wouldn't fall for it a second time. Everytime you turn around the US ends up stabbing you in the back.

  • Ian

    Around the time of the invasion I remember someone, can't remember who, asking:

    Is Iraq the way it is because of Saddam, or

    is Saddam the way he is because of Iraq?

    I think the Americans now have an answer!