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.

Our gift to the Iraqis

While Iraq bleeds and the Western media obsess over the Bush administration’s (increasingly) limited options in the ravaged nation, what is happening on the ground? Al-Jazeera.info translates some articles from the London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi:

The first article is about a study conducted by the Iraqi Southern Research Center for Strategic Planning. It mentions that about 400 Iraqis are killed daily in Baghdad alone. The killing is sectarian aiming at cleansing East Baghdad from Sunnis and West Baghdad from Shi’is.

Perpetrators commit their crimes using car bombs, mortars, motorbikes, bicycles, and guns. They kill in day times with protection from security forces.

In another article, there are stories about Shi’i families forced to quit their homes in Sunni areas, and Sunni families forced to quit their homes in Shi’i areas by militiamen. Despite their plight, they are better off than the ones who are killed daily to complete this ethnic cleansing campaign.

About fifty families are forced daily to leave their homes from one area to another. About fifty more families are forced to leave Baghdad as a result of this campaign of ethnic cleansing.

In addition, extended families and neighbours exert pressure on men to divorce their wives from another sect. Thus, many Sunni women have been divorced by their Shi’i husbands, who usually take the children in their custody. Many Shi’i women are also being divorced by their Sunni husbands, who keep children in their custody, too.

The article tells some of these stories, with names of people and their locations.

A third article is about the opportunist Iraqi exiles, who were used by the Bush-Blair administrations to convince the public in the US-UK to accept the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

After completing their role, they and their families are now back in the wealthy London neighbourhoods. The article mentions names and locations of residence of these Iraqis who helped destroy their country. These include Iyad Allawi, Ibrahim Al-Ja’afari, Ahmed Chalabi, Adnan Pajahji, Laith Kubba, and Ali Bin Al-Hussain. 

The faux debate over “civil war” proves the shallowness of much Western discourse. We’ve unleashed ethnic cleansing.

12 comments ↪
  • Sol Salbe

    Antony,
    It's a good form of Netiquette to always indicate that Al-Jazeera.info is a separate entity which has nothing to do with the well-known Qatari international television network of a similar name. It is simply difficult to copyright the Arabic word for peninsula.

    Sol from Maidstone

  • What makes it especially criminal and tragic is that it isn't exactly the first time Western imperialism has resulted in civil war and general humanitarian disintegration in the South. Just take a look at Africa, South America and parts of Asia.

  • viva peace

    Iqbal Khaldun

    While Western imperialism clearly gave oxygen to the sectarian divides and clashing imperial ambitions that had been kept in check by Saddam's ruthlessness, we all must recognise that it is Islamic imperialism that is fuelling the civil war/attempted genocide.

  • Herindoors

    Yes indeed, point taken, but Iqbal Khaldun, did the COW have to be the ones who unleashed this seeming unstoppable nightmare? Based on lies and fear mongering; and in our name.

    That's my grief and shame.

  • Suze

    Sectarianism Viva, not imperialism.

  • The term 'Islamic imperialism' is a misguided if not racist one. It implies that there is just one broad category within which all the different elements involved in the civil war may be placed. It also implies that this 'category' is 'Islamic' because, well we all know that the only reason people would have to blow things up is because their religion (that's the Islam bit) tells them to do so. I mean what other reason would a man have to blow himself up other than the prospect of a heavenly garden filled with virgins, right?

    The term imperialism is misplaced because there isn't any empire-building happening. Lots of building-demolition, but not much empire-building. Actually the only ones doing both simultaneously are the Americans. So overall 'Islamic imperialism' is quite an uninformed statement.

    It is only because of the conditions created by 16 years of American war in Iraq (no infrastructure, lawlessness leading to law of the jungle, etc) that there is currently a civil war. Of course, if we look even further we'd notice that Iraq was carved out in such a way that would place several distinctly different ethnic groups into inevitable competition. In between then (the creation of modern Iraq after WWI) and now (the current civil war) there is the decades of American destabilisation of Iraqi democracy and support for Saddam. So nothing in my earlier post should be taken as hyperbole.

    Now it's important to note that hindsight plays an important role in our appraisal of the current situation. Which is to say it seems as though it was inevitable that Iraqis would turn on one another given half a chance (eg the removal of Saddam). But I don't think that's necessarily the case. For example, I don't think in the Balkan Wars it was automatic that the different ethnic groups (well initially just the Serbs, but soon followed by the Croats and Muslims) would start fighting one another. What seems to happen is that there is a trigger and things spiral down from there. The trigger in this case is America's military involvement.

    The irony for the Americans in Iraq is that they bombed it up so much (as in from after Saddam invaded Kuwait to the present) that when they finally decided to invade the only method of armed resistence was through asymetrical guerilla warfare. Of course it gets even more complicated than that because it appears a great deal of even this guerrilla warfare is being conducted by American proxies such as the Wolf Brigades, trained by the US and modeled on the Salvadoran paramilitaries.

    I really do think the Islamic element in and of itself is ancillary. Note ancillary doesn't mean not important. As an instrument for garnering popular and political support it is significant this is true. But as an instrument for creating an empire it's a pretty weak drawcard. Problem is in the West people often assume all Arabs are Muslims and all Muslims want more Islam in their political diet. If they vote for Islamist parties because they're the only ones left to 'fight' for their rights that hardly represents the creation of an Islamist empire.

  • viva peace

    Iqbal

    Newsflash. Iranians, Afghans, etc. are not Arabs.

    I hope this helps.

  • E. Mariyani

    For an excellent example of racism-as-historical narrative, see Islamic Imperialism : A History by Efraim Karsh.

  • Suze

    Ah so that's what he's been reading. I wondered where this new strand of lunacy sprang from.

  • Addamo_01

    Viva,

    I see you have not lost your gift for delusional ideas.

    Islamic imperialism did you say? Who invaded whom? Who has 700 bases dotted around the globe?

    Remember that Saddam came to power after being supported by the US in a CIA coup against Iraq's lectureship – just as they did in Iraq.

    As for "attempted" genocide, you chose your words well. It is the US after all that has applied the Salvador option so clinically in Iraq – backing and training the Shiite Death Squads, then backing and training the Wolfe Brigades.

    You demonstrated that as always, you remain completely out of touch.

  • Viva, don't get lost in semantics.

  • E Mariyani thanks for the link, I'll check it out. Karsh has an interesting entry in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efraim_Karsh