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.

Will Iran be the new Iraq?

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

Nearly six years after 9/11, the Bush administration (ably assisted by Israel and a handful of acquiescent governments, such as Britain and Australia) appears to be softening up the public for a military strike against Iran.

The evidence for such a mission is partly rhetorical. One of Israel’s leading historians, Benny Morris, has written in the Jerusalem Post that, “the second holocaust will not be like the first…Israel has about seven million inhabitants. No Iranian will see or touch an Israeli. It will be quite impersonal.”

He argues as if an Iranian nuclear strike on Israel is a given and ignores the historical record, ably provided by Professor Zeevi, lecturer at the department of Middle Eastern Studies at Ben Gurion University, who explains that, “throughout the Islamic Republic’s years of existence, since 1979, it has not initiated a single war”. Advocates of war against Iran also ignore the assistance provided by Iran to the Americans after 9/11, especially in routing the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to lead the charge towards a seemingly inevitable military showdown – even though some of his public statements indicate that he hopes for a diplomatic resolution – yet cares little for the political manoeuvring within Iran against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Dissent is stirring in the US establishment. The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Democrat Senator John D Rockefeller IV, told the New York Times last week that, “to be quite honest, I’m a little concerned that it’s Iraq again.” He said there was little solid intelligence to match the administration’s almost-hysterical position against Iran. He blamed advisors who believed a militant stance would benefit America’s national interests.

The attempt to paint Iran as the world’s leading terrorist state (and a menace to its people and the world) is eerily reminiscent of wild claims about Iraq before 2003. The removal of the Iranian regime will not, despite the best intentions of war supporters, “stabilise” Iraq.

The US has demanded that Iran butt out of Iraqi affairs (perhaps not realising that Tehran already exercises vast control over the country) and ignored serious Iranian moves to negotiate with Washington. Soundly rebuffed, Iran has already signalled its response to a United Nations resolution against its nuclear program.

Such ominous developments pose important questions for the Howard government. What role, if any, would Australian forces play in a US strike against Iran (and are we already involved in planning?) Ultimately, a wider Middle East war will only accelerate the ultimate demise of the West’s favourite client state: Israel.

4 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    Everything we are told about Iraq by pro western governments is complete bunk. The Bush administration talks about Iran's nuclear weapons program as through it's existence was beyond dispute, when in fact not on single IAEA report or CIA report says there is any evidence to support this.

    For the neocons and Zionists, this is a chance to remove a competitor in the region in terms of influence. For Bush and Cheney, it is a chance to bury the miserable failure of Iraq for the short term at least.

    Netenyahu talks about Iran's plans for a genocide against the Jews, even though Ahmadinejad, who's popularity in Iran is dropping like a stone, never threatened Israel. This doesn't stop the usual suspects using a faulty translation to demonize all of Iran.

    This is going to be one massive tragedy and a huge disaster.

  • Suze

    Great article. There is a little more about former Colin Powell aide Lawrence Wilkerson who revealed Irans's offers to the US gov on Newsnight at No Quarter

  • Don Wigan

    The point is clear enough, even if it has had little attention, that Iran helped the US in the struggle to oust the Taliban. And the other one that the prof made: how many wars has Iran been in (apart from fighting off the Iraq attack) and how does that compare with Israel?

    While the sense of this admin, and its more extremist backers, can not be relied on, we must hope there are enough people with power to apply the brakes to such notions.

  • Suze

    Issandr El Amrani from the Arabist draws the conclusion that the GCC 2 are the new SADDAM