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.

Stand by your man

My following article appears in yesterday’s Guardian Comment is Free section:

In the days before the 2003 Iraq invasion, the Australian prime minister, John Howard, committed the country to war with a majority of citizens against the deployment. Howard said that, “the government strongly believes that the decision it has taken is right, it is legal [and] it is directed towards the protection of the Australian national interest.”

Nearly four years later, Howard is virtually alone internationally in his pro-war rhetoric. For him, standing by the US president, George Bush, is a sign of strength and mateship, even if the war was lost at least two years ago. Howard’s main argument for arrogantly maintaining around 1,450 troops in Iraq (against the will of the Iraqi people) is that, “you either stay or you go, you either rat on the ally or you don’t”.

Howard’s recent foray into the American presidential campaign, by criticising Democratic hopeful Barack Obama and claiming al-Qaida is hoping for his victory, is both counterproductive and displays a level of unnecessary hubris that leaves Australia increasingly isolated in the American capital.

Although a growing number of Australians feel distinctly uncomfortable with its closeness to Washington, Howard’s gaffe is aimed squarely at a domestic audience. The new Labor opposition leader, Kevin Rudd, is riding high in the polls and is the first serious challenge to Howard’s 11-year leadership (an election is due by the end of the year.) Rudd, while unconvincingly not setting a timetable for Australian troops in Iraq to be withdrawn, clearly states the view of Australia’s majority when he says that the country’s deployment is Australia’s greatest foreign policy failure since the Vietnam war.

Even Murdoch’s Australian newspaper, a long-time supporter of the invasion and “liberation”, has questioned Howard’s Obama misstep.

The defence minister, Brendan Nelson, talks of a US military defeat that:

“… will present my children with a vastly different, less secure world than they face today and under no circumstances should we allow ourselves, if you like, to lose morale muscular and to step back from this.”

Nelson argues for the Iraqi security forces to step up while ignoring the fact that the sectarian-ridden army is part of the problem.

Howard has forgotten that the Australia/US alliance is more than the Bush administration. His allegiance to the neoconservative, “regime change” agenda has shown Australia to be the most useless kind of ally: an obedient one.

4 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    Way to go Ant,

    Great to see your articles getting such a wide audience.

    A fellow expat made an interesting point the other day. Howard's embarrassing comments are probably motivated by a desire to please someone in return to curry favor.

    Like Blair, one gets the feeling that after he leaves politics, Howard will have a plum job with a fat paycheck awaiting him – most likely in the US.

  • Well said, you've hit the nail right on the head – Howard's slip up exposed him out in the open in regard to his personal loyalty to Bush and not to the alliance. Rudd has done well this week, I think, in drilling him.

  • If Howard has a job waiting with the Carlyle Group or News Corp, it's time he went and took it up.

  • Barfenzie

    John Howard is only doing what any Australian Prime Minister is beholden to do, and that is to support the American alliance. Australia is in a difficult position being at the bottom of the pacific with billions of third world people next door in Asia. Japan's ability to bomb Darwin and threaten Sydney brought this fact home and cemented Australia's submissiveness to the USA.

    Australia passed up it's opportunity to obtain nuclear weapons when the Brits were testing in Australia in the 1950's. Had Australia become a nuclear power its dependence on America for defensive support would be much less today. This subservient situation has placed Australians in the situation of being on the losing end of most of the wars it has fought.

    The cost now to re-arm and build a defense force capable of repelling any threat to the continent would be astronomical, and until Australians can find a way to make men civilised we are stuck with the alliance, like it or lump it.

    We need to stop blaming John and start look at how we can save face when the USA asks its allies to support its maniacal war machine. John unfortunately went overboard with his enthusiasm for wthe American way, now he's stuck with it and so are we. In order to move on John needs to go and a new face can put new spin on the alliance.