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 Good American

Scott Ritter does a superb job of debunking the propaganda that the occupation is in Iraq for the sake of the Iraqi people.

“Little Johnny” may write home about what he says is a “just war” that “needs to be fought,” but before one embraces the words of someone in harm’s way in desperate need of self-justification for the things he has seen and done, re-examine the area of operations your loved one is serving in or, worse, has perished in. Are they “living among the Iraqi people,” as some would have you believe? Or are they sequestered away in base camps or fire bases, forced to conduct patrols out among a population that for the most part hates them and wants them gone from Iraq? Does “Johnny” himself call the Iraqis ragheads? Does he give a frustrated kick at the Iraqi male he just apprehended, not because of any crime or offense committed, but simply because he was there? Does he point his rifle and scream expletives at the mother or wife or daughter who cries out for a loved one? Does he break a lamp or table to emphasize his point? Or does he do worse, allowing his emotions and frustration to break free as he beats, shoots or rapes those he now hates more than anything else in the world? Freedom? Get real. The mission of our military in Iraq is survival, and that is no military mission at all.

The war in Iraq is as immoral a conflict as the United States has ever been involved in. Past wars were fought in a day and age where information was not readily available on the totality of issues surrounding a given conflict. One could excuse citizens if they were not equipped with the knowledge and information necessary to empower them to speak out against bad policy. Not so today. For someone today to proclaim ignorance as an excuse for inactivity is as morally and intellectually weak an argument as can be imagined. The truth about those who claim they simply “didn’t know” lies in their own lack of commitment to a strong America, one founded on principles and values worth fighting for, and one where every American is committed to the defense of the same. Ignorance is bad citizenship. In this day and age, bad citizenship carries ramifications beyond the environs of our local communities. Given America’s dominant role in the world, bad American citizenship has a way of manifesting itself globally.

4 comments ↪
  • Well said. I can think of American exploits in places like the Philippines which also lead to wholesale destruction. There is even the not so old memory of Vietnam. But Iraq must surely make those conflicts pale in comparison. Not because the crimes are more brutal. No, a crime is a crime is a crime. What makes Iraq unique is that America's crimes have occurred under a constant media presence and a general public understanding, even amongst those who support it, that the occupation has led to the death of 100,000s and the destruction of an entire national society.

  • gottcha

    Iqbal

    Whatever you say about the invasion of Iraq fair enough, but to claim that an 'entire national society' was destroyed is ridiculous. The brutal inequity of Iraqi society was legendary as was the torture and destruction wreaked up on the Kurds and the common Iraqi population by Saddam Hussein and his henchmen.

    Stop propaganderising. The USA war on Iraq is bad, but so was the gassing of 30, 000 Kurdish women and children by Saddam Hussein.

  • Yes well the slaughter of the Kurds was committed under US aegis so really it's quite hypocritical to some how put that up as some point in favour of what the US is doing in Iraq now.

    I am no fan of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. But prior to the First Gulf War, Iraq was the most developed Arab nation in the world with an enviable record on a range of OECD indicators like access to health care, life expectancy, etc.

    Iraqi society has been destroyed. And not just since 20 March 2003 (when the Second Gulf War commenced). In response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the US, along with its allies, began to systematically dismantle Iraq. When I say dismantle I speak of dams being bombed, roads destroyed, thousands killed. Basically, the aim was to knock out Iraq as a viable independent actor in the Middle East.

    This program of destruction continued after the First Gulf War in a number of important ways. First, there was the uprising against Saddam's rule after the First Gulf War. The US told insurgents within Iraq to rise up agains Saddam, but basically sat back and watched as Saddam brutally crushed the rebellions.

    Second is the infamous blockade of Iraq by air, sea and land with devastating consequences for the civilian population.

    Both of these measures (not supporting the rebellions and blockading Iraq) served to strengthen Saddam's rule and magnify his repression. Even if this was not an intentional consequence of US policy, which is not necessarily the case, it amounts to serious criminal negligence.

    And lastly there is the most recent invasion and occupation and the consequences of that.

  • Andre

    Gottcha,

    The inequity of Iraqi society may have benefited the coterie surrounding Saddam, but even given that Saddam was a vile thug, he was a mass of contradictions.

    Women in Iraq were arguably the most liberal in the Arab world. Health care was free and education was not only free, but mandatory.

    And while much is made of the numbers killed by Saddam, even if you include those that were killed during the Iraq/Iran war, the average (taken over the 30 years of his rule) is still less than those bing killed by the occupation alone.

    The Lancet study has been vindicated by advisors to the Blair government, and that 30% of that total have been attributed to the coalition forces. This means that at least 200,000 deaths are the direct result of US violence. Do the math and you will see that the US is killing double the number of Iraqis per annum than Saddam was responsible for.

    Indirectly, there are the murders attributed to the activities of the death squads, which few seem to realize, have been operating under the sanction of the occupation. Not only are they operating out of the Ministry of the Interior, but are manned by people wearing Iraqi military and police uniforms, travel in government vehicles and manage to pass unencumbered through US manned check points.

    In fact, the US military has been brazen in demonstrating how they are using the death squads/militias to do their dirty work in Sunni neighborhoods.