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.

Iraq, a scorecard

With the fifth anniversary of September 11 thankfully over – can we now ignore the rantings of Dubya? – some true believers still cling onto the idea that the “war on terror” is going swimmingly. I guess you’ll never convince this collection of scared, little boys who dearly want protection from our governments. I’ll take my advice elsewhere (and at least the world’s media has treated the US administration with appropriate disdain.)

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Iraq is falling apart:

The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country’s western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.

The officials described Col. Pete Devlin’s classified assessment of the dire state of Anbar as the first time that a senior U.S. military officer has filed so negative a report from Iraq.

One Army officer summarized it as arguing that in Anbar province, “We haven’t been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically – and that’s where wars are won and lost.”

The Australian government has placed hundreds of troops in Iraq. Their mission? The media is rarely given access, but this Aussie soldier blogger provides some insights. His belief in the nobility of the mission is touching, though his knowledge of the carnage in the country is woefully inaccurate.

And could some Australian journalists please ask Prime Minister John Howard some serious questions about the war and its consequences? It’s past time for empty rhetoric. Last night’s ABC Four Corners exchange with Howard simply won’t suffice.

7 comments ↪
  • The Afghan scorecard is looking very similar, and there’s a famine looming, too.

  • Glenn Condell

    ‘And could some Australian journalists please ask Prime Minister John Howard some serious questions about the war and its consequences?’

    This is the emblematic failure of Australian journalism in recent years. We have morphed very quickly from a fairly febrile environment, a broad spectrum of views which included some genuine dissent even at the top MSM tables and crucially, an ability to disregard the pressure of political elites and the enmity of particular pollies in the pursuit of truth or even just a scoop – to a quasi-American courtier situation (well put by Tim Colebatch the other day) in which obsequey rather than obloquy, is the order of the day.

    Fair dinkum reps of genuinely dissenting views are struggling for a voice even at the margins. Just look at the 911 commemoration edition of the SMH – 3 commentators boldly featured in a centrepiece on the front page – Gawenda, Sheehan, Hitchens. Jesus fucking Christ – all card-carrying members of the War Party. Another index of the decline of balance and independence at the Herald.

    The reason Tony Blair is so much deeper in the shit than Howard is because the British press is not yet under control as ours is, and a critical mass of the polulace there actually seems to have a clue and to give a shit. Good on them, and ta-ta Tony, no doubt off to Silvio’s yacht before accepting a ‘make shit smell rosy’ sinecure at News. Nobody does it better.

  • Suze

    Great link from Lenin's tomb- someone's invented a programme to track edits on news sites and censorship of comment threads at the same- here

  • ta-ta Tony, no doubt off to Silvio’s yacht before accepting a ‘make shit smell rosy’ sinecure at News.

    I suppose you heard that former Spanish PM war-monger Jose Maria Aznar is now on the News Ltd board?

  • Glenn Condell

    It is a good link Suze; we're entering Max Headroom/Network territory now aren't we?

    Yes gandhi, I did know that. Unfortunately.

  • Bedhouin

    Do our politicians believe their own lies? They sure do expect us to.

    I find it sickening that our government is so doggedly determined that only their point of view is the correct one, and they will go to any lengths to force conformity. I honestly don't believe our leaders have any respect for dissenting voices or alternate views.

    We are in the middle of a concerted effort to erode civil liberties, and concentrate media control. We would always be a democracy, but the opposition would be purely representative in name only, and easily "managed".

    Sound familiar? What if we're heading towards a controlled democracy like Singapore and to a lesser degree Malaysia? You have the right to an alternative vote but you never exercise it, there are always a multitude of convincing reasons to toe the line and vote the same party into power again and again. When the ruling party manipulates the public vote through fear, media control, and economic reprisal, there is no point calling it a democracy.

    It's time to get these cretins out of office, not because the opposition is any better, but because we need to restore balance, and limit the amount of damage they do to our political system.

  • Addamo_01

    It's hard to imagine things gettign any worse for the war party, and sooner or later, the press in goung to have to grow a spine.

    Anbar is now lost and Tim Blair's mate, seior leaders aknoedleg that the USD cannot win in Iraq and Michael Ware was on TV the other day saying that 3 times as many US troops are needed to get Iraq under control.

    Also, thre are rumours floating around that the US death toll in Iraq is much higher than admitted. This week it came ou tthat teh Pentagon was omtitting Iraqi deaths from car bobs and mortar attacks to make the numbers more palatable.

    One can only imagine what they are cooking as far as US troop deaths go, given that they are far more politically explosive.