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 unreality of Greg Sheridan

My following article appeared in yesterday’s Crikey newsletter:

The Australian’s foreign editor, Greg Sheridan, has released a new book, The Partnership. It tells of the intimate relationship between George W Bush and John Howard.

Last Friday, former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett launched the book at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival. Not unlike many festival sessions, the crowd was predominantly over 50 and female, but around 85 people filled the venue.

The founder of the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue, Phil Scanlon, was present, along with foreign diplomats and Zionist lobbyists Ted Lapkin, Tzvi Fleischer and Colin Rubenstein.

Sheridan was running late and Kennett was unimpressed, starting his speech without him. “I’m not sure why I was invited to launch this book”, Kennett said, “as when I was Premier I didn’t really have much to do with foreign affairs.”

He spoke for 15 minutes about his distaste for Bush, admiration for Howard and praised the book as a valuable contribution to the public’s understanding of the US/Australia alliance.

Kennett argued that when the US decided to invade Iraq, Australia had little choice but to be involved due to the alliance, though Kennett expressed uncertainty about the rightness of the mission.

He said that the closeness between Howard and Bush was ably represented in Sheridan’s book, though wondered how objective the Murdoch writer had been, considering his very favourable interpretation of Bush and Howard. He could have asked what kind of journalist features a photograph of himself on the back cover grinning next to Condoleezza Rice.

Sheridan started by thanking various guests, including “my good friend Colin Rubenstein”. He said he had written the book because his three children were supportive of the alliance but little positive material existed ably to represent the relationship.

He railed against the works of John Pilger and Noam Chomsky – and falsely claimed that both men blamed the CIA for 9/11 – and said the Australian media was generally hostile to the alliance.

“The military alliance between Australia and the US is a force for good in the world”, Sheridan said. “The history of the 20th century showed that allies of the US did best.”

There is an air of unreality about Sheridan’s thesis. The Australian and US establishments have indeed never been closer, but they invaded a country, Iraq, that is now experiencing civil war. I wonder how Sheridan and his fellow travellers would spin this fact into a “force for good in the world”.

  • Addamo

    Who would have thougth I woud ever agree with something said by Kennet?

  • Glenn Condell

    The Talking Cardigan. He's even worse than Hendo, and that is a very big call nowadays. They could have crawled from the same womb the two of them, tweedle-dee and dumber. In their unseemly contest to see who can crawl furthest up the PMs rectum, they both cling on to the right ball, sharing a shiver at the thought of getting stuck on the left.

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  • Ian

    “The history of the 20th century showed that allies of the US did best.”

    Perhaps, though I challenge Sheridan to demonstrate how this was achieved beyond blind chance.

    Its also possible that the allies would have done even better if, for example in Australia's case, we hadn't blown massive quantities of treasure on the Vietnam failure and destroyed the lives of so many who served there.

    However, it is increasingly evident that in the 21st century it is those who don't kowtow to America who are doing "best."

  • Tom

    While I disagree that the Alliance is necessarily "a force for good in the world", the comment "but they invaded a country, Iraq, that is now experiencing civil war" that is used in a pejorative sense is not really very valid.

    Surely the going into Iraq is widely known as being in order to CREATE a civil war?

  • G.Sheridans friend seems quite clear -the Zionists – so what can we expect ?