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.

A tale of two societies: Iran’s PR coup

For all the stage managed propaganda by the Iranians over the release of the captured British sailors, there is no way to overstate what a successful PR bonanza this has been for them. Karl Rove must be green with envy.

The feud started badly for Blair with the unavoidable comparisons between the images of sailors in comfortable surroundings and the all too familiar images of Iraqis being humiliated at Abu Graib. No orange jump suits, no razor wire, no hoods, no electric shocks, no dogs let loose on them, and no rape. The right wing punditry tried desperately to invoke outrage at the images of the female member, Faye Turney, wearing a head scarf. The efforts were in vain, ironically undermined by the images of Nancy Pelosi brandishing one, while treated as a guest during her visit to Syria.

Bill O’Reilly’s interview with retired Colonel Ann Wright, 29-year veteran of the US Army, perfectly summed up the decay of the British and US moral credibility. Wright has been training military personnel about international law and the Geneva Conventions for most of her career.

WRIGHT: “I want to make sure the United States treats people properly..”

O’REILLY: “Sure you do. Sure you do.”

WRIGHT: “I surely do. That’s what I spent 29 years of my life trying to do.”

O’REILLY: “Sorry. No you didn’t. You know what happened to you…somewhere along the line you started to dislike your own country….”

WRIGHT: “I served 29 years. How many did you serve? Where did you teach the Geneva Conventions?”

O’REILLY: “Cut her mic.”

Ouch.

The impotent saber rattling from the Blair government, was compounded by the shameless hypocrisy of Washington and London as they dared to cite the Geneva Conventions, a concept both have shown utter contempt for during the past 5 years. The public may have a short memories, but they haven’t forgotten how the embattled US Attourney General, Alberto Gonzales, referred to the Geneva Conventions as “quaint”. The United Nations Security Council showed little interest in providing anything more than cursory support for the release of the sailors, and things only got worse for Blair when the Bush administration decided to weigh in on the crisis with his predictable buffoonery.

What could have been resolved so easily within 48 hours, rapidly got out of hand for Blair, who initially seized on this crisis as an opportunity to mimic his clueless role model in Washington and whip up patriotic fervor in Britain. As it turned out, the public wasn’t in the mood.

The British press stopped short of calling Blair a liar. Letters written newspapers from the public suggested that the Iranian government was regarded as more trustworthy than Blair, and Washington further rubbed salt into the wounds by declaring that had they been American sailors, they would have fired back on their abductors.

The MSM keeps telling us how Iran is isolated, but what this revealed was how isolated and helpless Britain have become. For Iran, the victory here had many facets. It has been widely received as a triumph of quiet diplomacy.

The The Guardian described Wednesday’s press conference as:

“a sophisticated piece of political theatre, in which the president turned what had become a diplomatic disaster for Iran into something of a personal victory.”

The UK’s former ambassador to Tehran, Richard Dalton, said Britain had:

“found a ladder for Iran to climb down” through “real discussions of substance behind the scenes” which had been vindicated by the result.

..and that:

Iran was still “more rational actor than rogue, and diplomacy is still the best way forward,”

From the Independent:

“We may never know what bargain, if any, was struck to obtain their freedom.” But, the paper concluded, “jaw-jaw is still far, far better than war-war.”

Iranian’s image a a rogue state has certainly been given a welcome face lift, and dare I say it, undermined Washington’s and Israel’s campaign to justify an attack on Tehran. President Ahmedinejad extracted every ounce of humiliation for Blair, when at the press conference he said:

“On the occasion of the birthday of the great prophet (Muhammad) … and for the occasion of the passing of Christ, I say the Islamic Republic government and the Iranian people — with all powers and legal right to put the soldiers on trial — forgave those 15,” he said, referring to the Muslim prophet’s birthday on March 30 and the Easter holiday.

“This pardon is a gift to the British people,” he said.

Now that’s just cruel.

2 comments ↪
  • Yeah that President Ahmedinejad is the most dangerous President in the world! World enemy number One.

    How dare he seek to acquire nucleare weapons because his country is surrounded by nuclear weapons states – Israel, Pakistan, US, Russia, France, UK, India, and China all in range to hit Iran from various platforms.

    It is his duty to give up his oil in two weeks without nuclear defences – just like the Iraqis.

    Pete

  • viva peace

    It is pretty clear that the Persians will be at the centre of the outbreak of WW3. But they sure are playing a dangerous game by provoking on two fronts. Against the Sunni Arabs AND the Anglosphere!