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.

The leaders don’t get it

Baruch Kimmerling, Haaretz, December 4:

At any given moment, when the bloodletting between the Palestinians and us appears to be lulling, opening possibilities for a political agreement, the “choruses of intimidation” begin to sound about the “existential threat” to the state of Israel.

These choruses can be divided into three main groups. First there are the settlers, for whom an agreement spells existential danger and an ideological-theological rift. Then there is anyone who would lose socio-economic status if an agreement were to be signed. These are cynical politicians and military personnel, the military industries and any others somehow connected to the war machine and the industry of occupation. They include “experts” and respected analysts who built their careers on explaining how the conflict cannot be solved, and the monstrosity of our enemies in the face of our purity.

There is no dialogue with these two groups, and there cannot be any. But one must systematically reveal what is behind their “patriotic” claims, which can so readily be used to whip the public into a frenzy. Indeed, it is the duty of military personnel, strategists and intelligence officers to warn, with professional integrity, of impending diplomatic steps that involve some form of security risk. These individuals must outline, alongside the statesmen, “the worst-case scenario,” and make the decision makers aware of it. (It is doubtful this was done before the decision to begin the last war.)

However, the duty of the third group, the statesmen, is totally different. They indeed must bear in mind security considerations, but they decide whether to further their policy – if indeed they have a policy – even if it involves taking risks, while weighing these against their plan’s chances of success. No scenario presented by these three groups that would involve a change in Israeli policy toward the Palestinians mentions a strategic existential threat to Israel. We must remember that any diplomatic move, particularly in the complex Israeli-Palestinian situation, involves some risk for both sides. Contrary to accepted thought, a non-policy is also fraught with dangers, and certainly does not offer a chance for change.

While Israeli leaders deliberately prevaricate and local Zionists claim the occupation isn’t the key issue to be resolved – there is no longer any justification for its continuation, hence the need to divert world attention – at least one Australian political party, The Democrats, are talking sense on issues of war and peace:

Democrats leader Lyn Allison will this week introduce a bill to stop Australia using or manufacturing cluster bombs. The Senator travelled to Lebanon in October to meet with the President, Prime Minister and Speaker for discussions about the damage caused by cluster bombs.

Cluster munitions are indiscriminate weapons whose use and continued possession is morally repugnant. Yet, around the world, cluster bomb stockpiles are rapidly growing, Senator Allison said. More than 98 per cent of victims from unexploded bomblets are civilians many of them children who mistake the bright objects for toys.

Israel dropped between 1 and 1.25 million cluster bombs in the course of the recent war, 90 per cent of them within the last 72 hours of the conflict, she said. The cluster bombs dropped were from old stocks, and Israel knew full well that their failure rate would be high.

The Cluster Munitions (Prohibition) Bill makes it unlawful for Australia to develop, stockpile, transfer or use cluster bombs. The bill will be co-sponsored by Labor and the Greens, and Im hopeful there will enough agitation from the Liberal backbench to get the Government behind it, too.

When it comes to Israel/Palestine, new Labor leader Kevin Rudd’s position is little different to the Howard government.

5 comments ↪
  • viva peace

    "The Occupation" is a pretty meaningless phrase. It is more a trope than a legitimate discourse. Sure, the Muslims want to push the Jews out and expand the Islamic empire, but this is hardly going to happen.

  • Suze

    Meaningless because? What- It doesn't exist? Lunatic.

  • viva peace

    Suze

    Well yes there is an "occupation," and that is Israel "occupying" part of the so-called Islamic waqf. And the Islamists will not rest until the Jews are pushed out. that is what the whole conflict is about you see: Israel's very existence.

  • Suze

    I see it's midnight in the land of reason again.

  • Addamo_01

    Indeed Suze,

    Viva's reactionary response it typical of those who have tried to re-define occupation with a warmer, fuzzier term like "disputed territories".

    Israel is acting like a completely sociopathic state and it's supporters continue to pretend that it's the fault of the Arabs and necessary because Israel needs to defend itself.