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.

Time for the media to offer the unvarnished truth

My following article appeared in yesterday’s Crikey newsletter:

In the months before the 2003 Iraq invasion, the mainstream media nearly wholly swallowed the premise that Iraq had WMD and only invasion and occupation would alleviate the threat. More than three years later, the country is suffering a civil war and the US-sanctioned leadership is incapable of bringing the nation back from the brink. Despite these bitter lessons, our political and media elites are now dragging us into an “inevitable” war with Iran.

The Bush administration is demanding the Iranians give up their supposed nuclear weapon’s program or pay the consequences (unsurprisingly, Australia is mirroring Washington’s position). Corporate media, such as Time magazine, are now openly war-gaming the possible military consequences of such an encounter and stipulating that the conflict is a matter of when, not if.

Furthermore, despite the humanitarian and strategic debacle of the Iraq engagement, Israel and its supporters are openly advocating military action against the Islamic state. Caution has been abandoned in the face of collective psychosis, and alleged truths have been accepted as fact.

The reality is far different. A senior representative of the IAEA said in mid-September that a US House of Representatives report on Iran’s supposed nuclear threat was “outrageous and dishonest” in trying to push for war. Furthermore, the IAEA contradicted US claims that Iran was making weapons-grade uranium when in fact it was producing material at a level far below what was required for nuclear weapons. This report received little coverage in the Australian media.

The answer is clear: Iran is the next “legitimate” target for regime change, and few media commentators have the bravery to question the accepted narrative (Ted Turner has been a notable exception).

Now is the time for our media to rediscover their critical faculties. Daniel Ellsberg, the former US defence analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, has called for officials within government to leak information about any conflict with Iran, including the cost.

The humanitarian, political and social consequences of a strike against Iran are impossible to calculate, though military action will not bring peace to the region. If the Iraq war taught our media anything, it should be that government-sanctioned intelligence was notoriously unreliable and politically malleable.

It seems that many corporate journalists and editors would rather be co-opted into the war machine than present the unvarnished truth.

8 comments ↪
  • Paul Walter

    Reference to Ted Turner has this writer thinking of the report in the OZ a few weeks ago about the ABC news executive John Cameron buckling under to intimidation from a Falangist senate nutbag called Ferravanti-Wells, as to the use of the word "freedom fighter" ( against the perjorative and emotive label "terrorist").

    ABC news must not use the term "freedom fighter" any longer ( even in circumstances when it's true? ). According to Cameron ( following the "party" line; so to speak ), the distinction involving " one person's terorist being another's freedom fighter ", coined originally by former CNN founder and boss Turner himself, is actually an "erroneous'( no reason given ) concept that needs to "educated" out of public affairs discourse.

    For my part, I'd acept the recent distiction between terrorist Al Quaida on one hand, and Hezbollah and Hamas on another which are arguably "resistance" groups representative of a large and demonstrably oppressed population grouping, as more likely valid.

    Otherwise, we ought to remember that in WW2, the Nazis always referred to various resistance; eg French, Jewish, whatever, as "terrorists".

  • Addamo_01

    What is so alraming about those puching for attacks on Iran, is their seemingly blatant disregard for the consequences.

    No one seems to have give any thought to how this will impact the rest of the world. The psycosis is such that any historical examples of blowback and outcome have been disregarded.

    Do these peoepl really believe the conflict will be over and done with in a matter of weeks?

    Do they really believe that Iran will sit back and take it's punichment like a good little boy?

    Do they honestly believe this wil not send oil prices skyrocketing, endanger troops in Iraq, not endanger Israel, not send the world economy into a nosedive?

    It's liek the world has lost it's mond competely. I onyl jope the Amadinejad's visit to the US will at least make people reconsider the false options they are being given by they criminal government.

  • Adam

    I think many people forget that attacking Iraq and now (without a doubt) Iran or Syria is not really to protect the USA (or its failed war against the Terrorist myth) but rather to protect USA’s little baby (the illegal state of) Israel. This illegal state needs to emerge as a super power in the Middle East, which will only increase the chances of its survival when all the other powerful states such as Syria and Iran would turn into the current Iraq scenario.

    Let’s be realistic and admit that Iran is lesser of a threat then is China or North Korea or even Venezuela. But in the Middle East the tides are changing for the Arabs and Muslims especially when Hezbollah hammered Israel on all fronts with its basic weapons against all the military might of Israel and it’s farther. The Middle East people know now that Israel can be beaten and are not as powerful as they say they are, so confidence in claiming back what is rightfully theirs is becoming easier and a possibility too. If the US put off attacking Iran then it increases the risk of another war in the Middle East in which Israel will become weaker than its recent defeat against Hezbollah.

    The Bush and Blair administration have caused chaos and total devastation at an unimagined scale so rather then repeating this destruction again in then next 50 years why not just add to it.

    There is more physiological game involved then it is a physical and the more we hear about death and destruction the more we tend to overlook or try not to read to much about it (especially if its every single day, as opposed to once in a while).

    The western bias media have totally stopped reporting on Israel defeat and its reactions since then, so the media have now focused more on Afghanistan, Iraq and Darfur.

    Attacking Iran is just another step forward in reshaping the Middle East and from Muslim point of view just another prophesy of Islam becoming reality.

  • boredinHK

    China isn't a threat – they are exporting world wide wage deflation , consuming whatever we and any other commodity exporter can get there and and pursuing the bourgeoise dream of a car in every garage and 2 chickens in every pot.

    Rememeber, capitalist countries don't attack one another.

    I'd be more comfortable though if people recognised the war in southern Lebanon as a disaster for all. Nasrallah is a politician and they are all scum. 1000's dead for his glory ? Victory speeches to mourning families . Israel suffered and their choices were desperate , their political elite are confused and yet not showing any contrition.

    What do reader here think of the claims by the president if Iran that he doesn't believe in meddling in the politics of other countries? That Iran hasn't supplied arms to Hezbollah? Why pursue this line ?

    Is the fracture between domestic and international audiences this great?

  • Adam

    the war in southern Lebanon as a disaster for all.

    For the west you mean, had it gone the way the illegal state of Israel wanted then it would have been a disaster for everyone bust the west and their lost illegal state in Middle East. The disaster was Israelis own doing sponsored by the west, it seemed that Condi’s remarks that “this is birth pains of a NEW MIDDLE EAST” was simply in the end a “Miscarriage”, or rather a rape on Lebanon by the west.

    Nasrallah is a politician and they are all scum.

    Does this include Western politicians and politicians from this illegal state of Israel?
    Would you classify Bush, Blair and Olmert as scums?

    1000’s dead for his glory ?

    You mean 1000's dead was better than 1000's dieing in Iraq every week, if Hezbollah did not defend the people of Lebanon then you might had to add few more zeros at the end of 1000.

    Tell me did you manage to work out how many 100's out of 1000's were children and women who were deliberately targeted by Israel air force, and how many more 100's were people trying to flee the south of Lebanon and were again attacked by Israeli Air Force when they were simply following instruction broadcasted to them (and the rest of the world) to leave south Lebanon?

    Victory speeches to mourning families

    Have you forgotten that Hezbollah instantly started to rebuild houses, hospitals, schools, Mosques, roads and highways when the peace was broken after the west were dragging their feet to find a solution? Indeed Hezbollah has the right to celebrate is victory which shuck this illegal state of Israel and with it the western world too. Hezbollah is the true force which has now been worldly been recognised.

    Israel suffered and their choices were desperate

    This is music to my ears. Israel did suffer and indeed badly and will continue to suffer emotional strain as an illegal state. The reality is that Israel’s choices were not desperate but rather over confident, arrogant and nothing more than war crimes added to the already increase list of previous war crimes. Attacking the infrastructure of the whole of Lebanon (including everything from Roads, aid supply routes, to service stations and water supplies), even blocking air and sea movement (as if Hezbollah had submarines and war planes).

    Israel with all its western military might could do nothing apart from bombing Lebanon to stone age (or at least it attempted). Even the Americans were laughing at the Israelis sissy fighting techniques. I really did thing that the Americans were bad.

  • Adam

    Sorry my last message came alittle mixed up, but if you read the message before my last you would get the pictures.

  • boredinHK

    Adam

    All politicians are untrustworthy.How could you ask this question?

    Re hezbollah providing social infrastructure – well , many well run administrations do this without resorting to sacrificing their citizens. I'm sick to death of "leaders" who get others to fight their ego trips. When Nasrallah comes out and leads from the front , and Olmert and Bush ,Blair and Howard then their words justify attention .

    Till then they are all failing their citizens and choosing sides is for the young ,the ignorant and those unfortunate many who have belief in a metaphysical calling.

    No one wins wars.

  • Adam

    I agree that no one wins war, but war does benefit the very few elite who make war happen.