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.

Taking on the rogue state

The case of Australian Guantanamo Bay captive David Hicks drags on. The Victorian-based Human Rights Law Resource Centre has released a statement by a number of eminent Australian lawyers regarding the ongoing plight of Hicks. The verdict?

In essence, the lawyers have concluded:

* that the US proposal to try David Hicks before a freshly constituted Military Commission contravenes Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions in that such a trial is not capable of being regarded as a fair trial at international law;
* that the conduct of such a trial by the Military Commission is also inconsistent with the recent decision of the US Supreme Court in Hamdan, which declared a previous such Commission unlawful;
* that such a trial would be in contravention of the Australian Criminal Code;
* that government ministers are subject to the Australian Criminal Code; and
* that to knowingly counsel or urge that such a trial be conducted before a Military Commission constituted under the relevant US legislation would constitute a war crime under the Australian Criminal Code.

In substance, the lawyers say that such a trial is in breach of the Geneva Conventions because:

* The Military Commission is not an independent and impartial tribunal. It will be composed of officers appointed by the President through his delegate, the US Secretary of Defense, and will be serving under the command of and at the pleasure of those individuals. The Secretary of Defense controls the manner in which trial counsel and military defense counsel are appointed and also administers the prosecuting authority.
* The US Secretary of Defense can control issues such as the law to be applied and the type of evidence that will be admitted. Further, evidence may be admitted even where it was obtained by moral or physical ‘coercion’.
* The accused may never be made aware of the evidence that has been admitted against him as it may be withheld for security reasons and may include hearsay evidence.
* The US Secretary of Defence, as part of the Executive, also controls the detention of prisoners being tried.
* The procedures deny an accused person any adequate opportunity to present his defence. In addition, the lawyers say that such a trial has been excessively delayed and violates David Hicks’ right to a trial without unreasonable delay and that his continued detention also violates international law.

The Opinion has been signed by the Hon Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC (Former Judge Advocate General of the ADF, Honorary Professorial Fellow, Department of Criminology, University of Melbourne); Peter Vickery QC (Special Rapporteur, International Commission of Jurists, Victoria); Professor Hilary Charlesworth (Professor of International Law and Human Rights, ANU); Professor Andrew Byrnes (Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, UNSW); Gavan Griffith AO QC (Solicitor-General of Australia 1984 – 97); and Professor Tim McCormack (Australian Red Cross Professor of International Humanitarian Law, University of Melbourne).

The Opinion has been delivered to the Human Rights Law Resource Centre Ltd (‘HRLRC’) and to the Law Council of Australia. The Law Council of Australia has supplied the Opinion to the Federal Attorney-General, the Hon Philip Ruddock MP. The HRLRC is now undertaking a factual investigation and analysis of material to form a view as to whether, in fact, the conduct of any person or persons in relation to David Hicks may amount to a war crime. Contravening conduct could lead to prosecution in Australian courts under the Australian Criminal Code or before the International Criminal Court under the Rome Statute.

The Australian government may not be worried now, but they should be.

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