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.

Was the Heathrow terror “plot” a political concoction?

My following article appears in today’s Crikey newsletter:

Two months ago, the British government told the world it had thwarted plans to blow up US-bound aeroplanes departing from Heathrow Airport. “Put simply, this was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale,” said Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson from the Metropolitan Police at the time.

British authorities alleged that liquid explosives were to be used, and the devices were to be assembled on the planes after departure. A number of suspects were arrested with connections to Pakistan and some Western governments used the potential catastrophe to justify their ongoing “war on terror”.

The only major Australian commentator to question the plot was Phillip Adams, who suggested it was difficult not to express scepticism because it was too convenient a distraction from the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A senior journalist at one of Australia’s leading newspapers told me last week that 9/11 had given far too many reporters and editors excuses not to ask questions in the “war on terror” because of “national security”. These media players have become comfortably subservient to state power.

Such questions are being asked by one of Britain’s finest young thinkers, Nafeez Mosaddeq, a lecturer at the University of Sussex and author of many books that outline the role played by Western governments in supporting Islamic terror.

His latest expose – ignored by virtually all the world’s press – interviews major security sources in the UK, all of whom question the veracity of the Blair government’s claims over the Heathrow plot. Explosives experts doubt whether the suspects could have assembled their devices on the plane and detonate their deadly cargo.

A bomb defuser in Northern Ireland, Lt Col Wylde, became a senior officer in British Army Intelligence in 1977 and he tells Mosaddeq that the alleged conspiracy did not “involve manufacturing the explosives in the loo,” as this simply “could not have worked”.

Perhaps the most disturbing of the allegations is that British authorities are deliberately not arresting Islamic extremists in their country due, in part, to the security services’ desire to recruit some of them as intelligence sources. Political expediency is being used to justify heightened security measures while known terrorists with connections to al-Qaeda are being left on the street to preach and indoctrinate.

Mosaddeq concludes on his site that the security services are being manipulated by their political masters, but what about the media?

“The media has been subject to a government D-Notice”, he writes, “one of those ‘advisory’ instructions suggesting politely to editors that they avoid any information that might, purportedly, prejudice the trial of the alleged terrorists detained in August. This has fatally skewered all reporting on the terror plot in favour of the government’s line, a prejudicial situation that seems of little concern to the authorities.”

4 comments ↪
  • Adam

    This is a massive story, one which I circulated via email (and referenced to this blog) to all my University colleagues and friends. No surprise to me the information did shock majority of the people if not all who read and investigated it further.

    This incident when it was revealed effected all Asian especially Muslims here in the UK and heightened already fragile tension between British Non-Muslims and British (born) Muslims.

    I just wish more information like this post by Ant would be available which would help me and the rest of the UK population to understand to what extent the Blair government would go to get their way and to divert the attention from their illegal international foreign policy. Which the terrorist attacks in the UK (and I assume in the US) are a reaction response to their own interference abroad mostly in the Muslim world.

  • It is also worth noting that there are several credible stories pointing out that it was the USA who pressured Britain into making the arrests prematurely, so whatever short-term political gain may have been garnered in the short term was mainly in Washington's favour.

    The Brits wanted to keep the suspects under surveillance until (or in case?) they actually did something. Same thing happened last time there was a big terrorist bust in the UK.

  • Addamo_01

    What's more, experts seem unanimous in their belief that the story is completely discredit. Of course, it is very convenient that the trial for those facing charges is a year away, which menas that the British government avoids havign egg on it's face until the story becomes consigned to the back pages of British tabloids.

  • Suze

    Lenin's Tomb has a post about the largest chemical explosives cache yet uncovered in the UK – the man charged was a member of a British fascist organisation