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.

Israel nuke slip no surprise, but what about Iran?

My following article appears in today’s edition of Crikey:

Israel’s nuclear capability has been an open secret for decades, so when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert inadvertently admitted this week in Germany the existence of his country’s nuclear arsenal, the world shouldn’t have been surprised.

We now know that Britain helped Israel’s nuclear program in the late 1950s, France provided extra help some time later and the US has given diplomatic cover ever since.

Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu – with whom I irregularly communicate and have discovered a determined but dispirited man who simply wants to leave Israel for good and start a new life in any country that will take him, something Israel refuses to allow – told ABC Radio’s AM yesterday that Olmert’s admission vindicated his brave decision 20 years ago to expose Israel’s covert nuclear program.

Olmert’s gaffe resulted in calls for his resignation. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has denied that Olmert meant what he said, and demanded the world focus on Iran’s supposed nuclear threat. Of course, this controversy is really about Iran, not the Jewish state (though the hypocrisy is not lost on many).

Israeli daily Haaretz has editorialised that the world must not stand silent while Israel is threatened by the Islamic regime:

It is too early to say the world is remaining silent in the face of the threat to destroy Israel, but it is not too early to say that the world is apathetic and yawning… What is on the table now is Israel’s war of survival against an open threat to destroy it. In the face of this increasingly clear possibility, everyone must unite, including those who believe, justly, that the Israeli occupation of the territories must end quickly and that the Palestinians’ suffering undermines Israel’s security rather than bolstering it.

A recent poll found Israelis split on the issue of whether military action should be taken against Iran. Although the Bush administration is bogged down in Iraq, I’ve long feared, like Seymour Hersh, that a military strike against Iran becomes more likely the worse Iraq descends. It may be the mother of all distractions or because as Bush has said, “saving Iran is going to be [my] legacy”.

The rhetoric against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is gathering strength. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that the Iranian leader is more dangerous than Hitler. Local Zionist lobby AIJAC urges military action against Iran, despite urging similar behaviour against Iraq for the same reasons in 2003 and not stopping to ponder the consequences of that cheerleading.

Throughout this period, little attention is being paid to the IAEA (whose views on Iraq have been vindicated.) The body has found some issues of Iranian non-compliance, but no evidence of nuclear weapons facilities.

Also forgotten in the current debate is the gross hypocrisy of the world allowing Israel to maintain a nuclear arsenal but no other Middle Eastern nation (a point made by yesterday’s SMH editorial). A nuclear-free region is clearly the goal, but it seems Israel wants to maintain its exclusionary position yet again.

one comment ↪
  • Keith

    from RWDB blog:

    Crikey has published the following correction in relation to the Bush quote you cite above:
    [Loewenstein] got it wrong — the observation should not have appeared in quotation marks or been attributed to the US President. We apologise for the error.
    Since the "error" was yours, shouldn't you also apologise?