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.

American Kangaroo Court for an Ozzie

After 5 years in detention, solitary confinement, no charges, and limited access to legal representation, the best that the Pentagon could come up with is a plea deal from David Hicks resulting in 7 months imprisonment, only 9 months of which he has yet to serve.

The case of Hicks offers us a glimpse into the Kafkaesque netherworld of detentions, kidnappings, torture and show trials that is now, internationally, the shameful signature of the Bush administration. Hicks’ passage through this sham process affords us all an opportunity to demand the closure of Guantanamo and an end to these heinous policies. Conditions may soon exist to shutter the prison, with George Bush’s lame-duck status, the Democratic takeover of Congress, the possible departure of Guantanamo’s arch-defender and architect, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and, if recent reports are true, a desire to close the prison on the part of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. These bogus military commission trials amplify global contempt for the Guantanamo prison.

This Stalinist theater has probably done more to illustrate how baseless the charges were against Hicks, than any trial ever could. As part of the plea deal, Hicks would withdraw the claim that had been:

“Repeatedly Beaten, sodomized and forced into painful positions during interrogations”

and that he would not sue the US government.

The case against him must have been a real whopper. Luckily for Hicks, the Pentagon showed mercy and and compassion by agreeing not to present the evidence they had against him to the tribunal.

Oh, and by the way, Hicks also had to withdraw the claim that he was sedated while he agreed to these terms. Again, I’m sure the Pentagon did this to alleviate any stress Hicks may have been going through as he fessed up to his crimes.

Here’s what Hicks admitted to :

  • He heard a talk given by Osama Bin Laden, in Arabic, while at a training camp, and he told Bin Laden that there was a lack of “materials” written in English.
  • He attended at least three Al Qaeda training camps in January, April and late 2001.
  • He saw the September 11, 2001, attacks on a television while staying with a friend in Pakistan, and he had approved of the attacks.
  • He had returned to Afghanistan after the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, but he did not admit to having had “advanced knowledge” that terrorists were going to hit New York City and Washington, DC..
  • When the US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan in October, 2001, he volunteered to fight with Al Qeada to support the Taliban. Hicks guarded a tank near Kabul Airport and spent a total of two hours on the front lines of the war, near Konduz.
  • After two hours on the front line, Hicks then fled to Pakistan after selling his gun for the taxi fare.

Impressive hah? Five years in Guantanamo to come to a set of charges that Hicks pretty much confessed to through his letters home to his family.

So after 5 years, that’s one down and 499 to go for the wonderful tribunals at Guantanamo. Is it any wonder that Robert Gates says “the tribunals may lack credibility”?

Is it any wonder the plea agreement included a ban on Hitch speaking to the media for 1 year?

2 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    Four Corners made it pretty clear from AFP transcripts that they have always been aware that Hicks did nothing even remotely dangerous and that he was indeed being bombed and shot at by the murdering thugs in the so-called northern alliance.

    Nice folks like General Dostam, Gulbaddin Hekmatayr and every rapist and thug ever assembled in Afghanistan over the last 30 years.

    The AFP have long form with perverting the course of justice

    1. Setting up phoney people smuggling, stealing from refugees, sinking boats, training the Indonesia police to do their dirty work and handing refugees into the Indonesian police to imprison them without charge.

    2. Knowingly collecting phoney travel documents and then having them used against innocent refugees.

    3. Locking up people for years after they have dobbed in people smugglers, then hiring the people smugglers in sting operations.

    4. Perverting the refugee convention by preventing people from coming to Australia, illegal in Australian and international law.

    5. Clearly assisting in smuggling people out of Australia on false documents.

    6. Turning in the Bali 9 knowing they could be shot.

    the list goes on of the corruption in the rogue AFP and they should be and must investigated immediately by an independent body.

    These people are a danger to all Australians as they have the power to hold secret hearings to get control orders on completely innocent people.

    David Hicks was a nitwit but the AFP always knew he committed not one crime.

  • I think any sort of plea bargain that involves "dropping all alegations of torture or mstreatment" is obviously fair. Suppose it was Indonesia holding one of our citizens and pulling this kind of stuff? I wonder if Howard / Ruddock / Downer would have any complaints?