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.

Everyone is guilty

Israel continues to suffer political turmoil after the release of the Winograd report on the Lebanon war. Major changes seem inevitable, even if nobody seems to be seriously discussing the morality of the war, merely the botched tactics.

Gideon Levy, one of Israel’s finest reporters, has written an essential column. Only in Hebrew, and translated by Sol Salbe for the Middle East News Service, it reveals the utter corruption at the heart of the Israeli political and media elite:

Why are they picking only on Ehud Olmert? Why are they tearing strips off Amir Peretz and Dan Halutz and no one else? True, this unholy trinity bears most of the responsibility by virtue of the positions they held. But at this time when they are justly being bled dry politically, it is impossible not to be reminded of the rest of the mob. The hands of the vast majority of us are covered in this war’s blood. The time has come to get even with this cheering, supportive majority who have been inflicted with selective blindness since the war’s first day. Olmert go home? What about the screaming band of eggers-on that accompanied him? Generals and commentators, opposition leaders and journalists – through the entire war, they demanded the infliction of more and more blows. The all wanted to sink further into the blood-drenched quagmire.  Those who advocated a ground offensive and the wiping out of villages should not get off scot-free. Any self-examination worth its salt needs to include the prevailing mood that pushed and supported that war. Otherwise the conclusions will be meaningless.

 

Israel embarked on a war whose outcome was known in advance — blind Freddy could have seen it. With or without a ground offensive, whether or not a proper protocol was followed, with or without the mobilisation of reserves — the aims of the war were unrealistic and the pretext clearly immoral. And what if everything had been perfect — the decision making process had been correct and efficient; the forces had been properly prepared; and the battle rations had been sufficient — what exactly would have happened? Would we have freed the kidnapped soldiers? Would we have wiped out Hezbollah? Poppycock and drivel. A state does not go to war over two kidnapped soldiers. An army cannot kill and destroy to that extent without a genuine casus belli.

 

An unjustified, hopeless war received the automatic and blind support of just about everyone from one end of the spectrum to the other. The commentators, who are now shamelessly drinking the Prime Minister’s blood, sat in the very same studios and told him to go deeper and harder into Lebanon. They kept on advising him to attack and occupy – do anything but stop the war. The 32 soldiers killed in the last battle were only some of those who died in vain in that war, and that’s before we start tallying the other side’s victims. There were so few who took a public stand against the war you could almost count them on the fingers of one hand. It was a popular war like no other, a genuine hit, with over a 90 per cent public opinion approval rating at its beginning. So who are they blaming now and where were they then?

 

Where were the learned commentators, reserve generals, reporters and the assorted claimants to the “Mr Security” title when all this was happening before our very eyes? If a case could be made that at the beginning at least there was insufficient evidence for the US war in Iraq, the same cannot be said here. Everything was crystal clear in advance. From the very beginning it was obvious that it was impossible to free the hostages or smash Hezbollah,

 

But the eclipse of reasoning that occurs here every time Israel declares war is not mentioned at all in the dozens of harsh pages of the Winograd Report. As expected, the commission dealt with the organisational, operational and command-structure failures but not with the worldview that underpinned it. It’s that the doctrine that allows Israel to use such a limited rationale to undertake such a broad operation. The Winograd Commission said nothing about this kind of selective blindness, the blindness which will afflict us again in the next war, with or without Olmert.

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