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.

Accepting defeat

News straight from the horse’s mouth:

Coalition forces in Iraq would stay “until the job is done”, United States President George Bush vowed yesterday.

At the same time, he pledged to consult Australia on any repositioning of troops.

After lunch with Prime Minister John Howard, Mr Bush stressed the importance of continuing foreign military support for the fledgling Maliki Government in strife-torn Iraq.

“I assured John that any repositioning of troops, if that’s what we choose to do, will be done in close consultation with John and his Government,” Mr Bush said.

“But I also assured him that we are not leaving until the job is done, until the Iraqi Government can sustain and defend itself.”

Mr Howard was likewise unequivocal about the prosecution of the war. “Any suggestion that the Americans are going to change their fundamental strategy and get up and go is as far away from reality as it is possible to be,” he said. 

In more shameless and meaningless propaganda, the Sydney Morning Herald scores this “exclusive”:

The US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has criticised as irresponsible the policy of the Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, to immediately withdraw Australian forces from Iraq.

Dr Rice said in an interview with the Herald that the US was unhappy with the lack of progress in Iraq and was taking “a fresh look”, but it would not be making any precipitate withdrawal of troops.

“We do not believe that an immediate withdrawal from Iraq is going to do anything but cause chaos in Iraq; and I think that responsible voices are saying that from across the political spectrum, whether people favoured the war or didn’t favour the war,” she said when specifically asked about Labor’s policy. “I think a precipitate withdrawal would be irresponsible. The Iraqis themselves recognise that.”

She said the US’s policy review would “recognise that, four years into the conflict, we do need to address problems in the way that this has evolved, and find solutions to what is a new phase with a new government that’s very determined to have a lot of responsibility for its own affairs.” 

John Howard says that if the US leaves Iraq in defeat, “that will embolden al-Qaeda, that will endanger countries like Saudi Arabia. It will make it even harder to achieve a settlement of the Palestinian issue, which I believe is emotionally at the heart of the ongoing difficulty that we have.”

So now our Prime Minister is committed to resolving the Israel/Palestinian conflict. I’m sure the Palestinians under siege in Gaza are relieved to hear John Howard’s heartfelt plea.

The tainted honour of which Howard speaks shows how disconnected he is from reality. The vast majority of Iraqis want the occupation to end and foreign troops out of the country. Talk of losing face or prestige is simply about US reputation and has no bearing on the Iraqi people (now a distant second in priority after American lives and politics.)

The real Iraq:

U.S. military tank fire killed scores of civilians in Ramadi, capital of Al-Anbar province, late Monday night, according to witnesses and doctors. Anger and frustration were evident at the hospitals and during the funerals in the following days.

Iraqi doctors and witnesses at the scene of the attack said U.S. tanks killed 35 civilians when they shelled several homes in the Al-Dhubat area of the city.

Ramadi, located 110 km west of Baghdad, has been beset with sporadic but intense violence between occupation forces and insurgents for several months.

On Tuesday, hundreds of people carried the 35 coffins of the dead to a graveyard in a funeral procession which closely resembled an angry demonstration.

“We heard the bombing and we thought it was the usual fighting between resistance fighters and the Americans, but we soon realised it was bombing by large cannons,” 60-year-old Haji Jassim explained to IPS at the burial. “We weren’t allowed by the Americans to reach the destroyed houses to try to rescue those who were buried, so certainly many of them bled to death.” 

Why does our media continue to provide “exclusive” interviews with individuals and officials whose reputation over Iraq alone was shattered years ago? Simply put, even at the most decisive moments in history – and when “our” side has caused untold misery on “them” – journalists are still willing to wave the flag.

2 comments ↪
  • Dear John got to the heart of it when he aid withdrawal from Iraq would hurt US "prestige".

    So that's why we're still there, George and Co. will feel emsculated if they leave. I'm sure all the famiklies of th edead appraciate this reasoning.

    When I heard this particularly stupid statement from Howard, I was reminded of the way the "Japs" were always put down via reference to their apparant irrational, un-European need to "save face".

    Seems there is a big 'face-saving' operation on the go in Iraq.

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