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.

Who is behind the car bombings in Baghdad?

There have been persistent but unverified reports that the car bombs we keep hearing about in Baghdad may not be entirely the work of whom we have been led to believe.

Last year, Robert Fisk reported that young Iraqi men were being trained to drive and unwittingly used as couriers to transport explosive laden cars into populated areas:

One young Iraqi man told us that he was trained by the Americans as a policeman in Baghdad and he spent 70 per cent of his time learning to drive and 30 per cent in weapons training. They said to him: ‘Come back in a week.’ When he went back, they gave him a mobile phone and told him to drive into a crowded area near a mosque and phone them. He waited in the car but couldn’t get the right mobile signal. So he got out of the car to where he received a better signal. Then his car blew up.

More recently, this scenario raises its ugly head:

Iraqirabita tell a story about an Iraq interpreter working in an American military base was sent to the city by his bosses to by computer hardware, he took the car but he stopped by friends.

He got suspicious because the Americans call him every now and then asking him if he already in the market, he parked the car in the middle of nowhere ans answered yes, few minutes after that the car exploded.

Now looking back a year to the bombing of Samarra’s Golden Dome Mosque, one has to ask, cui bono?

The blast is frequently pointed to as the event which transformed the conflict from an armed struggle against foreign occupation into a civil war. This change in the narrative has had some real benefits for the Bush administration by diverting attention from the nonstop fighting between American troops and the Sunni-led resistance.

Apart from the 140,000 US troops stationed in Iraq, there are 120,000 private military contractors that receive virtually no media attention. In fact, had it not been for the murder of 4 of these contractors in Fallujah, few of us would have heard of them. These companies essentially sell their services to the highest bidder, and are not constrained by the rules of war, or international law, which is probably why Donald Rumsfled was so fond of including them in Iraq. The other piece of the puzzle is the Salvador Option, and we are left with a compelling case that the sectarian strife ensuing in Iraq was not an accident:

There’s no doubt that the Bush administration is engaged in a secret war in Iraq. A great deal has already been written about “the Salvador Option” which involves the arming and training of death squads for spreading terror among sympathizers of the resistance. But it is also likely that many of the bombings we see are, in fact, false flag operations intended to pit Arab against Arab, and thereby undermine the greatest threat of all, Iraqi nationalism.

This begs the question, what does this achieve?

One cannot overestimate the depths of the ideological delusion that afflicted the neocons when they believed that the US would be greeted as liberators. Having been forced to swallow a healthy dose of reality, the neocons jettisoned the plan to democratize Iraq and opted for the age old recipe of divide and rule.

Four large permanent military bases having been illegally built in Iraq (illegal because there is no Status of Force Agreement between Iraq and the US) , and US oil companies poised to lift as much of Iraq’s oil as possible, is it any wonder that the occupation would rather have Iraqis fighting among themselves than resisting the occupation as a united front?

9 comments ↪
  • ej

    The destruction of the al-Askari Samarra mosque is the defining moment.

    Even from the conventional media accounts of the instigators, it was transparent that it was not a product of insurgency but an inside job. Its effect was of course monumental.

    This is genocide by our side. And the experts imposed on us in this same media egg it on.

    Western civilisation at work.

  • E.Mariyani

    One young Iraqi man told us…

    This sort of thing is vry real. I was speaking to an Iraqi escapee the other day. He said he has seen a (failed) false flag operation at work with his own eyes. He himself said he would never have believed it otherwise.

  • "genocide"? "Western civilisation"? No it looks like a US covert action program encouraging the various Iraqi sides to "waste" themselves fighting each other.

    Meanwhile the US/UK/Australia etc can get hold of the oil and keep it cheap for our cars and economy. Everyone is happy – except unfortunately for the Iraqi's.

  • Simon

    Pete

    Your skateboard may not actually use petrol, but my car does and I can tell you it is not actually all that cheap at the moment.

  • Azad Andish – Tehran

    Trying to exempt mullahs of Iran from their bloody role in Iraq is useless because the reality there is so vivid. I would like to remind you that it is now well known that the Ministry of INtelligence of Iran exploded a bomb in the holy shrine of Imam Reza ( PBUH) in Mash-had. This is the holiest place in Iran. It might be difficult to believe but the mullahs of Iran justify whatever means to meet their goals.

    It is strongly believed here that the referred shrine in Samarra was blown up by Moqtada Sadr and his Jaish-ol- Mahdi ( Army of Mahdi = the twelfth Imam of Shi'a muslims ) and the order was issued in Iran.

    It is very surprising that the US administration tries to hide the info in order that it is not criticized why it doesn't deal with mullahs of Iran seriously.

  • viva peace

    Who is behind the car bombings in Baghdad? Towelheads. Hullo?

  • Andre

    Interesting contribution Azad and welcome to the blog.

    What makes the bombing of the Samarra shrine so suspicious, is the fact that it was being guarded by coalition troops, and reports suggested it would have taken many hours to rig the explosives. That suggests that the bombing was likely the work of the coalition or parties in bed with them.

  • viva peace

    I suppose at some stage we all need to get honest and ask if there is anything we can really do to help these people. Perhaps it is time to just let them get on with killing each other. Still, we must make sure we keep the oil.

    I hope this helps.

  • viva peace

    Eddie

    Genocide? What a pompous drama queen you are. If anybody is committing "genocide" it is the Muhammadans themselves.