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.

Behind the eyes of the warmongering US hawks

Military interventionists are still cynically manipulating public opinion, says Matthew Carr

While the foreign policy think-tank Chatham House declares Iraq to be on the point of total collapse, the intellectual architects of pre-emptive war continue to attract surprisingly respectful media attention.

One can be revolted – but not surprised – at the spectacle of Bush and Blair, the Laurel and Hardy of the War on Terror, congratulating each other on their strategic vision from the White House lawn. But whose bright idea was it to let Richard Perle, the US hawk known as the ‘prince of darkness’, make a PBS documentary arguing that the world needs more military ‘interventions’? And what explains the ubiquitous media presence of John Bolton, the troglodyte former US ambassador to the UN?

Only last week Bolton was interviewed by John Humphrys on the Today programme.

Listening to that conversation was a grim experience that was not unlike being trapped with the Kevin Spacey serial killer character from Seven.

It wasn’t just that Bolton’s arguments were bizarre and illogical to the point of insanity, such as his description of Humphrys and the millionaire philanthrophist George Soros as members of the ‘extreme left’. Or his ludicrous assertion that the invasion of Iraq has laid the basis for a more stable and peaceful Middle East. It wasn’t even his fanaticism, his arrogance and his utter contempt for the opinions of the non-American world. What is striking about Bolton is the savagery and homicidal intent that shows through the statesmanlike patter.

In the same week that Bolton was explaining why ‘we’ should act against Iran, the son of Andrew Bacevich was killed serving in Iraq. An ex-US Army colonel and a political conservative, Bacevich has been a passionate and outspoken critic of the Iraq war from the beginning.

Having served in Vietnam, Bacevich knows war at firsthand and wrote a book analysing how the American public has become ‘seduced’ by a fantasy version of cost-free militarism.

This process of seduction is partly due to the tireless efforts of war trolls such as Perle and Bolton. To the imperial mindset of these desktop warriors, foreign policy always boils down to the cathartic killing of America’s enemies, generally of the darker-skinned variety. No matter how great the carnage, they are unrepentant and utterly indifferent, dismissing the destruction of entire societies as strategic victories.

These men are cynical, shameless and without honour. Asked by a distraught young American widow whose husband had died in Iraq why the administration went to war, Perle replied without batting an eyelid that the information on ‘our desks’ kept saying that Saddam had WMD. Perle does not mention that such information was essentially commissioned – a manoeuvre that enables men like him to lie without actually lying.

Perle, Bolton and co often pontificate on the unique moral evil of terrorism. But in their contempt for human life and their appetite for war they are not that different from Osama bin Laden. Unlike Osama, they will not be found in the Hindu Kush carrying a Kalashnikov. They are war trolls, endlessly manipulating the public from TV studios. In this sense they are more like the Roman senators who grew rich and fat while the legions went out to ‘create a wasteland and call it peace’, as Tacitus once put it.

The war trolls would have us believe that they are the grown-ups, defending us from the coming barbarism. But watch out next time you see them on Newsnight. Behind the oily gravitas of the prince of darkness lies a different kind of barbarism. And look closely at the gleaming eyes of the ex-UN ambassador with his walrus moustache. You might just detect a big kid, living out a fantasy of violence and control, while he operates the PlayStation game that just happens to be the world the rest of us live in.

The next time you hear these people being interviewed, try and keep a mental note of how many lies they use to support their arguments, not to mention the fact that every one of them is benefiting financially from the war state.

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