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.

The gifts that keep on giving


If the 2006 Israeli – Lebanon war was indeed the birthpangs of democracy, then these must be the seeds waiting to sprout.

What a pitty that Israeli children didn’t get to write loving message on these precious offerings? After all, the hang around so much longer than the 500 lb variety and some Lebanese children even get to play with them.

Israel has been heavily criticized for dropping 90 percent of the 2-3 million cluster bombs used throughout Lebanon during the last 72 hours of the war, after a cease-fire was agreed upon.

Not being ones to ruin the surprise of finding one of these, Israel has decided not to ruin the fun for the Lebanese population.

Thus far, 60 teams from UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) and private companies have cleared about 10 percent (110,000) of the unexploded munitions. Focus has been on population centers, but fields, forests, and grasslands are much harder to clear. The Israeli government has refused to turn over maps where cluster bombs were dropped, making clearing more time-consuming…and dangerous. Teams are also clearing 400,000 land mines; some are leftovers from previous wars, MACC reports, and some were planted last summer by Israeli troops.

As always, there are those who just don’t understand Israel’s egalitarian intent.

“What’s kept people in southern Lebanon for the past 60 years of neo-liberal policy,” he explains, referring to the time period since creation of the State of Israel, “is their profound attachment to the land. I believe it is Israel’s long-term strategy to create the conditions for displacement, just as they have done in Palestine.”

Well, I never…

15 comments ↪
  • BenZ

    If the 2006 Israeli – Lebanon war was indeed the bithpangs of democracy

    Bithpangs?

    What the hell did the Lebanon war have to do with Democracy anyway? It was simply a response to Hezbollah terror on the border with Israel. Do you actually know what you are talking about? Is it possible you got Iraq and Lebanon mixed up? Perhaps you are trying to top Antony Loewenstein's effort at putting Lebanon on the border of Haifa in his book. Who knows.

    I'm sure it's irrelevant as you only needed a brief introduction to make yet another tenuous point suggesting Israel is eeeevil.

    Nice picture too. I am sure plenty of Hamas types would love to strap some of these to their children… They are just the right size too.

    Here's a picture. http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/07/14/mi

  • Just another racist reply from BenZ. I'm getting used to it now. But seriously, can you at least read the article correctly next time.

  • Andre

    What the hell did the Lebanon war have to do with Democracy anyway? It was simply a response to Hezbollah terror on the border with Israel.

    Good question. Why didn't you put that question to Condoleeza Rice, for thinking up that slogan?

    Like I mentioned earlier, terrorism is the definition of Israel's enemies firing back. And if capturing IDF soldiers is an act of terror, then surely Israel is in a class of it's own, given it's penchant for kidnapping.

    Your argument is completely undermined by the fact that the IDF routinely violates the air space of Lebanon and Syria. Only recently, French-led UN peacekeepers came very close to shooting down an IDF plane because of it's violation of Lebanese air space.

    Israeli overflights of Lebanese air space are "extremely dangerous" because French-led UN peacekeepers on the ground could see them as hostile acts and fire in self-defense, France's defense minister said Friday.

    Were a fighter plane to violate Israeli air space, you could bet your bottom dollar that they would be blown out of the sky without hesitation. You might be reminded BenZ, that the war took place in Lebanon, not Israel.

    Is it possible you got Iraq and Lebanon mixed up?

    No but the two are conflicts bear many similarities. Both countries were invaded on false pretenses. Like Iraq, the Lebanon assault had been planned months in advance, and the sol called "kidnapping" incident, was simply a causus belli.

    I guess you missed that bit huh?

  • BenZ

    Why didn’t you put that question to Condoleeza Rice, for thinking up that slogan?

    It's interesting that having googled for that quote, the only sites I can come up with are other blogs, including "mparent777" and a few other favourites of yours all referencing each other. I can't say for sure if it's true or not but I find it odd that it wasn't reported at all in the MSM considering their over-coverage of that whole area.

    Having said thet I would be interested in you posing the question to Rice just to see if there's more chance of Condoleeza Rice posting a comment here, than Antony Loewenstein responding to the challenge in comments here:
    http://antonyloewenstein.com/blog/2007/05/08/bush

    Like I mentioned earlier, terrorism is the definition of Israel’s enemies firing back.

    Whose definition is that? A moron's?

    What, pray tell, were Hizb'alla "firing back" against? Israel was not in any area of Lebanon and it was clear provocation.

    Is it possible you got Iraq and Lebanon mixed up?

    No but the two are conflicts bear many similarities

    You mean Islamist terror groups who behead innocents and launch rockets and bombs at civilian areas deliberately to kill civiilians, having a cheer squad here? Well yes, there is that.

    Andre, how about you do a piece on "Farfur" the Palestinian mickey mouse. I would be *most* interested to see your take on it.

  • BenZ

    Woops. Nearly forgot to reply to "antifascista":

    Just another racist reply from BenZ. I’m getting used to it now.

    Errr… How do I actually reply? He hasn't said anything, other than shouting "racist" at me. Not exactly a compelling argument.

    Andre tried calling me an "extremist" in another thread to distract everybody from Antony Loewenstein's censorship hypocricy.
    http://antonyloewenstein.com/blog/2007/05/08/bush

    Call me whatever names you want, although isn't it usually the left-wing who cry and sob "ad-hominem" every time someone calls them nasty names?

    Moreover, is it not a common tactic around here to insist (falsely) that Jews call all critics of Israel 'anti-semites'? And yet, here you are trying to silence me by shouting "racist" and "extremist" simply because you don't agree with my views (and are largely incapable of addressing them). Antony has a much better way of silencing people of course.

  • Andre

    BenZ,

    It appears that staying on topic is proving to be too much of a challenge for you. And I had such high hopes for you.

    What, pray tell, were Hizb’alla “firing back” against? Israel was not in any area of Lebanon and it was clear provocation.

    Little wonder this stuff is news to you. You really need to invest some time in getting up to speed with current events.

    For your benefit, it was Israel that actually started the bombing, not Hezbollah. As for the skirmish that took place on the border, and that it justified an all out war, that is pure nonsense. Not only has it been proven that the attack on Lebanon was in the works for months before the inciting incident. but these battles have been taking place since 2000.

    Hizbullah's capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 was a direct result of Israel's silent but unrelenting aggression against Lebanon, which in turn is part of a six-decades long Arab-Israeli conflict.

    Since its withdrawal of occupation forces from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Israel has violated the United Nations-monitored "blue line" on an almost daily basis, according to UN reports. Hizbullah's military doctrine, articulated in the early 1990s, states that it will fire Katyusha rockets into Israel only in response to Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians or Hizbullah's leadership; this indeed has been the pattern.

    In the process of its violations, Israel has terrorized the general population, destroyed private property, and killed numerous civilians. This past February, for instance, 15-year-old shepherd Yusuf Rahil was killed by unprovoked Israeli cross-border fire as he tended his flock in southern Lebanon. Israel has assassinated its enemies in the streets of Lebanese cities and continues to occupy Lebanon's Shebaa Farms area, while refusing to hand over the maps of mine fields that continue to kill and cripple civilians in southern Lebanon more than six years after the war supposedly ended. What peace did Hizbullah shatter?

    Israel's version of events does not stand up to scrutiny. They did not respond by trying to rescue their captured colleagues, but chose to punish all of Lebanon in the hope of marginalizing Hezbollah.

    As for where the event took place, there were numerous reports that contradicted Israel’s version of events.

    AFP reported,

    According to the Lebanese police force, the two Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanese territory, in the area of Aitaa al-Chaab, near to the border with Israel, where an Israeli unit had penetrated in middle of morning."

    The French news site <a href="http://www.VoltaireNet.org” target=”_blank”>www.VoltaireNet.org reiterated the same account on June 18:

    In a deliberated way, [Israel] sent a commando in the Lebanese back-country to Aitaa al-Chaab. It was attacked by Hezbollah, taking two prisoners.

    The Associated Press (broken link) reported that:

    The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them," reported Joseph Panossian for AP on July 12. "The forces were trying to keep the soldiers' captors from moving them deeper into Lebanon, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity.

    And the Hindustan Times on July 12 conveyed a similar account:

    The Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah movement announced on Wednesday that its guerrillas have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon. 'Implementing our promise to free Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, our strugglers have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon,' a statement by Hezbollah said. 'The two soldiers have already been moved to a safe place,' it added. The Lebanese police said that the two soldiers were captured as they 'infiltrated' into the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border.

    MSNBC online first reported that Hezbollah had captured Israeli soldiers "inside" Lebanon, only to change their story hours later after the Israeli government gave an official statement to the contrary.

    The National Council of Arab Americans, based in Lebanon, also raised suspicion that Israel's official story did not hold water and noted that Israel had yet to recover the tank that was demolished during the initial attack in question.

    The Israelis so far have not been able to enter Aitaa al-Chaab to recover the tank that was exploded by Hezbollah and the bodies of the soldiers that were killed in the original operation (this is a main indication that the operation did take place on Lebanese soil, not that in my opinion it would ever be an illegitimate operation, but still the media has been saying that it was inside 'Israel' thus an aggression first started by Hezbollah).

    This is not to say either report is conclusive, but there is sufficient doubt to question the official story.

    You mean Islamist terror groups who behead innocents and launch rockets and bombs at civilian areas deliberately to kill civiilians, having a cheer squad here? Well yes, there is that.

    Yeah, all of which was happening before the invasion right?

    Care to comment how how many innocents have been beheaded by stray 500 lb bombs? Ever stop to ask whether the same outfit that gave us breaking news like the Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch fairy tales might be lying every time they claim to have killed x numbers of insurgents on any particular day?

  • BenZ

    For your benefit, it was Israel that actually started the bombing, not Hezbollah.

    Geez Andre, even the most ardent anti-Israeli writer or Hizb'alla propagandist has more idea than you of what happened – the Israeli attack began after a Hizb'alla unit kidnapped 2 Israeli soldiers and murdered another few in Israeli teritory. This was further to a large number of Katyusha rockets and mortar shells fired over the border into Israel's Northern towns.

    That's when it all began bigtime.

    Don't take my word for it, of course. Go and look it up and get back to us.

    Your knowledge of facts and history is a real concern. Have you considered writing about Israel? Perhaps you can run a blog…

  • Andre

    his was further to a large number of Katyusha rockets and mortar shells fired over the border into Israel’s Northern towns.

    Firing of mortar shells was far from unusual from either side. My link to the article from the Chrtisn Sciene monotor explains that Israel had been violating the United Nations-monitored “blue line” on an almost daily basis since 2000 and killed a 15-year-old shepherd in southern Lebanon in February of 2006.

    Hezbollah only started to fire rockets after heavy Israeli attacks against Lebanon.

    The debate over the inciting is an interesting one.

    Following the election of Hamas, Israel announced to the world that it woudl punish the Palestinians. In June 24, Israel abducted two Palestinian civilians from Gaza, which was not widely reported. those brothers have not been heard from since. This in turn, provoked the abduction of Corporal Shalit, which was widely reported. Israel's reaction to Shalit's abduction was predictable disproportionate.

    Of course, the capture of soldiers is not illegal, while the capture fo civilians is.

    I provided half a dozen links already that prove you're barking up the wrong tree. You might also want to check out the Winograd report that proves the war was in the planning months before the border skirmish took place.

    I appreciate your concern for my knowledge of the facts (and evidence to back it up), but we stand it's 6 – 0 in my favor.

    Get busy, You have a lot of homework to catch up on.

  • BenZ

    Firing of mortar shells was far from unusual from either side

    Utter crap.

    Israel showed masterful restraint not responding earlier than they did.

  • Andre

    Israel showed masterful restraint not responding earlier than they did.

    So that answer's my question. You haven't heard about the Winograd report after all.

    BTW. Before you might want to rethink the use of masterful and restraint with regard to Israel.

    a) Israel not only got their buts kicked by an opponents with inferior military capability, but in spite killing 1300 Lebanese civilians, they were not able to disrupt the broadcast of Hezbollah's own TV station throughout the conflict. In other words, Israel were anything but masterful.

    b) I response to a question as to whether Israel were using disproportionate force, Dan Halutz responded with "your damn right our response is disproportionate". He also said that nothing in Lebanon would be safe. Furthermore, need I remind you of the shameful action taken by Israel in dropping millions of cluster bombs in civilian parts of Southern Lebanon during he last 72 hours of the conflict, when they had already agreed to a ceasefire?

    Take my advice and go do some reading BenZ. You'e just embarrassing yourself.

  • BenZ

    Define "getting their buts [sic] kicked".

    You’e just embarrassing yourself.

    One of your funnier 'typos' today…

  • Jon Rosenberg

    BenZ, you really are the most unbelievably tragic BARKING MOONBAT troll.

    Totally lost for answers and resorting to picking up on spelling mistakes .. when your own comments are so utterly devoid of rational fact and are littered a cornucopian bounty of your own spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

    *rolls eyes*

  • Jon Rosenberg

    "teritory"?

    *chortle*

    "Katyusha"?

    *snort*

    "bigtime"?

    *titter*

    "thet"

    *guffaw*

    Need more?

    .. and I wont even touch on just what your almost (but not quite) unique spelling 'Hizb’alla' reveals about where you soak up your twisted brand of historical revisionism.

  • BenZ

    I wont even touch on just what your almost (but not quite) unique spelling ‘Hizb’alla’ reveals about where you soak up your twisted brand of historical revisionism.

    It is an anglicisation of the Arabic for the group's name – Party of Allah.

    Anglo versions such as "Hezbollah" are less than ideal for the same reason they do not should "Ollah Akhbar" before killing children.

    I am still tremoring in the presence of your awesome rebuttal though. Gosh, how can I possibly compete against such knowledge of the region…

    "Rosenberg" is it? Sure…

  • Jon Rosenberg

    "… for the same reason they do not should …"

    🙂