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.

Amnesty gives the Israel and the US an F

Yesterday, Amnesty International published a report dealing with Israel and the Occupied Territories. It is a very comprehensive report and is a must read.

Ynet published THIS about the Report, without comment. The Jerusalem Post made an attempt at comment, but not much could be said to counter what Amnesty had to say. Israel’s response has been to ignore the report. Apart from that, the first thing Israeli forces did was arrest 30 leading members of Hamas, including government ministers.

Amnesty International accused both Israel and Hezbollah on Wednesday of committing war crimes during the Second Lebanon War last summer, saying both were guilty of indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas.

Looking at ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES section is very revealing.

Increased violence between Israelis and Palestinians resulted in a threefold increase in killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces. The number of Israelis killed by Palestinian armed groups diminished by half.

Some 650 Palestinians, half of them unarmed civilians and including some 120 children, were killed by Israeli forces. This toll was a threefold increase compared with 2005 (i.e before Hams came to power).

Amnesty were equally scathing of the US.

Amnesty slams US for trampling on human rights

AMNESTY International yesterday launched a scathing attack on the United States, accusing it of trampling on human rights, and using the world as “a giant battlefield” in its “war on terror”.

The human rights group charged that the war in Iraq and the politics of fear being spread by the administration of US President George W Bush around the globe were fuelling deep international divisions.

Washington was also guilty of “breathtakingly shameless” double speak, claiming to be promoting human rights while at the same time brazenly flouting international law, the London-based group claimed in its 2007 annual report.

16 comments ↪
  • Adrian

    Already the apologists gather for their muster. Ive read numerous newspaper reports about this AI report and have seen many right wing blow hards characterise it as anti american or inherently wrong because it "compares Howard to Mugabe" (which it does nothing of the sort I might add). It just draws attention to the fact that both Mugabe and Howard have used divisive means to shore up their power in their respective regions. It doesnt say Howard supports Mugabes methods or approves of wide spread mass murder). Focusing on this aspect is a distraction from the items in the report which are truly damning, such as the data you bring up regarding the increase of Palestinian deaths at the hands of the IDF, which no major newspaper has even mentioned.

  • BenZ

    More Palestinians have been shot at by other Palestinians this week, than by Israel.

    In Lebanon, Palestinians are also involved in gun battles.

    About this, you say nothing.

    Why am I totally unsurprised?

  • More Palestinians have been shot at by other Palestinians this week, than by Israel. -BenZ

    I can say something about that – it's notable, primarily for being notable.

    About this, you say nothing.

  • BenZ

    Well, it looks like those "pathetic" fluffy little harmless pink Quassam rockets killed a 35 year old woman and severely wounded a further two yesterday. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/861946.html

    As Andre previously said though, when dismissing the rockets as "pathetic" “A half decent hail storm would have done more damage “.

    Here come the excuses for why Israel should do nothing…

  • Andre

    As Andre previously said though, when dismissing the rockets as “pathetic” “A half decent hail storm would have done more damage “.

    Indeed they are pathetic. How many Qassam's needed to be fired before someone was killed?

    Looks like the car took a direct hit. You have as much probability of being struck by lightning.

  • Carrie Lewis

    I'm sure that you're aware AI has almost no professional researchers and accordingly many of the "factual" claims in these reports were provided by "eyewitnesses,” Judging by the obsessive and unjustified singling out of Israel, with frequent use of terms such "disproportionate attacks", "war crimes" (without proper trial of course), and "violations of international humanitarian law", I think I have a fair idea of the political affiliations of those eyewitnesses.

    If AI makes judgements based on hearsay – and it does that routinely in the case of its reports on Israel, then where is your respect for truth and the rule of law, a principle that is enunciated regularly in defence of the legal rights of people like David Hicks? You seem to apply it all the time in the case of Hamas and Hezbollah but never when the Jews are accused.

    Furthermore, surely the worst crime against humanity is what Hamas and Hezbollah have stated they do as their principal modus operandi i.e. fire from a civilian area against a civilian area to deliberately maximize civilian casualties on both sides? (of course, your callous disregard of the trauma that rocket fire can cause in the case of the qassam missiles suggests that you may not be aware of this and that you only care for casualties on one side).

    While AI's Mideast section summary for 2006 refers to the Israeli attacks that resulted in the deaths of Palestinians there was no mention of why the military action was being undertaken in the first place. It seems to me that this is a gross oversight in human rights terms at best and at worst a highly political act of obscenity.

  • Andre

    That's best answered by * Larry Cox. Executive director of Amnesty International USA.

    Well, there’s nothing unusual about these kinds of attacks. We’ve been getting these kinds of attacks from governments all around the world every time we criticize their human rights violations. We don’t engage in ideology. We engage in facts. Now, we have, unfortunately, a very sad collection of facts about the United States. The United States has openly admitted having secret detention sites, even said it boastfully, and that it will continue to have secret detention sites, where people are kidnapped and taken. No one knows where they are. These are not things that Amnesty International has invented. These are the words of the President of the United States.

    We know that if we criticize strongly what a government is doing when a government is doing something wrong, that we’re going to get these kind of attacks. There’s nothing really new about them. It’s just a very sad comment that instead of responding to these concerns, which are not Amnesty’s concerns alone, but virtually every UN body — every other independent human rights organization around the world has raised the same charges. So you have to attack the entire body of human rights experts around the globe if you’re the United States, because we're all saying the same thing.

    Similarly, Israel's stated aim has been to destroy Hamas and punish the Palestinian population for electing Hamas to power. All you , Viva and BenZ are doing is using the tried and tested fall back position of justifying Israel's conduct on the basis that they are others doing it too.

    The issue that sets Israel apart is the 40 year occupation, which my any standards, constitutes a permanent act of war. Any effort to isolate violence that materializes in Palestine is thus an exercise in futility.

    It is why you lost the debate so long ago.

  • viva peace

    ROFLMAO.

    Who the fuck thinks Amnesty has any credibility as the self-appointed Moral Police. Puhleez. They are sooooo the bitches of the Islamists it is not funny.

  • Vista

    In my view, the only way this situation will ever be settled is by negotiation.

    The only way the parties will negotiate is if they are forced to.

    The only sane way to force them is through economic pressure.

    The country that can exert the most economic pressure is the US.

    The US is in bed with Israel and has lost its credibility around the world. This is bad for the US, bad for Israel, bad for the Arab world and bad for peace.

    As an American, I can tell you this is not what the American people want. Politicians make the policy. And all American politicians have one common characteristic:They want and need money for their campaigns. The Israeli lobby in the US makes sure they get the money they need and in doing so, they get to tell the politicians what to do, and when to do it. The Israeli lobby determines our foreign policy.

  • Governments from places such Saudi Arabia, Egypt,the Congo, Zimbabwe, China etc (as well their pathetic apologists), are in complete argeement with you viva.

    Maybe you can all get together and have a party.

  • Carrie Lewis

    The issue that sets Israel apart is the 40 year occupation, which my any standards, constitutes a permanent act of war. Any effort to isolate violence that materializes in Palestine is thus an exercise in futility.

    Wrong,the occupation came about as a result of an act of war in 1967 by the Arab States that were occpying the West Bank and Gaza. The PLO leader of the time was advocating the extermination of every Jew in Israel while the Palestinian land was being occupied by their bretheren, the Egyptians and the Jordanians.

    You can still use the occupation as a crutch but it would be al over if the PA honoured its international commitments which it won't do.

  • Carrie Lewis

    It is why you lost the debate so long ago.

    I thought this was about human rights abuses and not about winning a debate (although I realise that callous people like yourself are always willing to scramble over the corpses to prove a point).

    You haven't responded to any of the points made by anyone here and nor has that lengthy quote from AIUSA's Executive Director added anything new.

    Fact is that half a million black people in Darfur have died in the last three years at the hands of Arab militias and AI hardly blinks, preferring to constantly Israel often on the basis of dubious so-called eyewitness reports. Why is that?

    And will AI condemn the Lebanese Army which is firing indiscriminately into a Palestinian refugee camp to oust Fatah al Islam insurgents? Will it condemn the insurgents? What about the Syrians who arm them and Hezbollah? Are the Syrians paragons and protectors of human rights in the region?

  • BenZ

    Indeed they are pathetic. How many Qassam’s needed to be fired before someone was killed?

    People have already been killed by Qassams, Andre. Not that I'd expect you to know what you are talking about.

    Exactly how many Jews need to be murdered before you will accept that Israel shouldn't politely put up with it.

    Does it frustrate you, as much as it does Hamas, that the Israelis refuse to simply die like good little Jews?

  • Andre

    Viva,

    Who the fuck thinks Amnesty has any credibility as the self-appointed Moral Police. Puhleez. They are sooooo the bitches of the Islamists it is not funny.

    Always the false bravado when ISrale gets a failed report card. That propensity to laugh must be a reflexive response that goes with your permanent state of denial. It's so amusing when Viva, the self appointed Czar of credibility derides the credibility of others. The sad fact is is the US is more than happy to cite Amesty reports when they criticize the "right" governments. Much like the way Israel suddenly decided the UN was credible when they coughed up UNSCR 1559.

    Carrie,

    Wrong,the occupation came about as a result of an act of war in 1967 by the Arab States that were occpying the West Bank and Gaza.

    Wring. The 1967 war came about because Israel wanted one. It was Israel that fired the first round, and Israel has made no effort to hide this fact. One only need look at Iraq to realize that ccupation is never the consequence of war, but the aim of it. Without the occupations, the expansionist Israeli settlements woudl have been impossible to achieve and who can pretend this was not the desired aim all along?

    As for the PLO, let's be reminded that it was the endorsement of the 2 state solution by the PLO that led to the 1982 Disraeli invasion of Lebanon. So you see Carrie, Israel has a history of using both peace and agression as a justification for war.

    You can still use the occupation as a crutch but it would be al over if the PA honoured its international commitments which it won’t do.

    You can deny that occupation is an act of war all you like, but the there is no people or state in the world that has responded peacefully to military occupation. Again, see Iraq. See Northern Ireland. For that matter, see Israel and the bombing of the King David Hotel.

    Not only that, but Robert Pape conducted a study (and wrote a book, "Dying to Win"), partially funded by the DOD, that found that terrorism is overwhelmingly the consequence of territorial disputes or occupation.

    Fact is that half a million black people in Darfur have died in the last three years at the hands of Arab militias and AI hardly blinks, preferring to constantly Israel often on the basis of dubious so-called eyewitness reports. Why is that?

    Just like clockwork, we’re back to the tried and test method of mentioning Darfur when Israel is under the spotlight. I gather that you consider the reports dubious because they are being made by Arabs Carrie?

    AI cold also have mentioned the plight of Somalia, where hundreds fo thousands of refugees has resulted from the actions of the US backed Ethiopian military. Again, another example of US foreign policy.

    “And will AI condemn the Lebanese Army which is firing indiscriminately into a Palestinian refugee camp to oust Fatah al Islam insurgents?”

    Oh this IS rich. Notice how they are not terrorist, but “insurgents”, even though they are Saudi backed radicals who were let into the country by the Lebanese government to hopefully become a thorn in the side of Hezbollah. So now you have suddenly found empathy for the Palestinians right Carrie? In one breath you negate them as credible witnesses, while in another, you discover empathy for their plight as victims of aggression.

    The AI report lambastes the US for it’s foreign policy and the manner in which it has applied such a broad brush stroke to the Middle East for execute it’s Global War on Terror. Lebanon is just another example. With the US rushing large caches of arms to the Lebanese military.

    “Will it condemn the insurgents? What about the Syrians who arm them and Hezbollah? Are the Syrians paragons and protectors of human rights in the region?”

    And now you expose your massive ignorance. Any notion that Sunni radicals like Fatah al Islam are being armed by Syria may be accepted by the Red Neck belt in the US, but you Carrie, I would have expected to be a great deal more informed. That Zionist sentient program is really kicking.

    Hezbollah are armed by whoever wished to sell them arms. Sure, Iran and Syria are two such parties, but Hezbollah also are known to use US made M16 rifles. Are you suggested that the US is arming them too?

    The outpatients are out in force tonight aren’t they?

  • Carrie Lewis

    Andre,

    Thanks for the laugh. It's always intersting reading your fractured histories right down to the Disraeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the reasons behind it.

    Just when did the PLO endorse the 2 state solution?

  • Andre

    Carrie,

    You continue to display such a profound ignorance of recent history of the Middle East.

    In 1981, Israel were being pressured to reach a diplomatic settlement in the Israel-Palestine conflict. They chose to invade Lebanon in order to crush the P.L.O., because the P.L.O. was on record supporting a two-state settlement.

    Avner Yaniv, an Israeli expert on national security affairs, wrote in his book, Dilemmas of Security,

    The main problem for Israel was, the P.L.O.'s peace offensive. They wanted a two-state settlement. Israel did not.

    Israel subsequently crushed the P.L.O. in Lebanon. The P.L.O. went into exile.

    During last year's 35 day war, Patrick Cockburn wrote an interesting report.

    In 1982 Israel had a problem. Yasir Arafat, headquartered in Beirut, was making ready to announce that the PLO was prepared to sit down with Israel and embark on peaceful, good faith negotiations towards a two-state solution.

    Israel didn’t want a two-state solution, which meant – if UN resolutions were to be taken seriously – a Palestinian state right next door, with water, and contiguous territory. So Israel decided chase the PLO right out of Lebanon. It announced that the Palestinian fighters had broken the year-long cease-fire by lobbing some shells into northern Israel.

    Palestinians had done nothing of the sort. I remember this very well, because Brian Urquhart, at that time assistant secretary general of the United Nations, in charge of UN observers on Israel’s northern border, invited me to his office on the 38th floor of the UN hq in mid-Manhattan and showed me all the current reports from the zone. For over a year there’d been no shelling from north of the border. Israel was lying.

    With or without a pretext Israel wanted to invade Lebanon. So it did, and rolled up to Beirut. It shelled Lebanese towns and villages and bombed them from the air. Sharon’s forces killed maybe 20,000 people, and let Lebanese Christians slaughter hundreds of Palestinian refugees in the camps of Sabra and Chatilla.