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.

Risks of staying

Glenn Greenwald has written yet another superb piece that not only challenges the wisdom behind the apparent dangers of withdrawing from Iraq, but what motivates those who maintain this argument.

Conventional wisdom has led to the acceptance that withdrawing from Iraq would lead to even worse bloodshed that we are witnessing now. The peculiar thing about this position is that it has been, by and large, brought to us by the same people who were wrong about every aspect of the war (pre and post invasion). These are the same people who pre invasion, warned us of the dangers of not invading, while insisting that the setback would be minimal.

It is abundantly evident that these pundits have ulterior motives.

Here are just a handful of quotes:

But these same pundits who dole out lectures about how Seriousness requires an acknowledgment of risks focus — just as they did when advocating the invasion — on only one side of the risk ledger. These Serious War Pundits studiously ignore the risks of keeping 150,000 troops in the middle of that region under the control of George Bush and Dick Cheney. There is virtually no discussion of the risks of that course of action.

—————————————————————————————————————

The most glaring of these risks is the prospect of military conflict with Iran — the by-product not of some deliberative democratic debate over whether to go to war with that country, but rather a natural outgrowth of our occupation of Iraq.

—————————————————————————————————————

Lt. General William Odom argues that the risks of leaving are being exaggerated by withdrawal opponents as a rank fear-mongering device to scare people out of supporting withdrawal — in exactly the same way these same advocates exaggerated the “threat” posed by Saddam in order to scare people into supporting the war.

—————————————————————————————————————

One of the most under-discussed facts with regard to Iraq is that the very people who conceived of the invasion and who are the architects of our current military strategy have always believed, and still believe, that we must go to war with Iran. Our current strategy in Iraq was designed and, to a large degree, implemented with that goal in mind.

—————————————————————————————————————

What they seek — by their own acknowledgment — is a conflict with Iran and Syria, and they want to stay in Iraq because that is how that goal can be achieved. Joe Lieberman published an Op-Ed at the end of last year declaring that America’s real enemy in this “war” is Iran. Charles Krauthammer and John Podhoretz last year both proclaimed — excitedly — that U.S. war with Iran was inevitable, and that (according to Krauthammer) it would be less than a year away.

—————————————————————————————————————

But what if, as appears clearly to be the case, that is not really the goal of the people in charge of what we are doing in Iraq? What if the real goal in staying, as seems to be the case, is to maximize the possibility of war in the Greater Middle East? And/or what if, as Avedon Carol persuasively argues, the real goal is to establish a permanent military presence in Iraq, such that we are never really going to leave, because we don’t actually want to leave?

—————————————————————————————————————

But willful recklessness is no excuse. Purposely shutting one’s eyes to the likely consequences of the course one advocates does not exonerate anyone from responsibility for those consequences. And the severe risks of staying Iraq — beyond the guaranteed loss of thousands of more lives and billions and billions of dollars — have simply been erased from our current debate.

—————————————————————————————————————

And there in lies the rub. When these people insist we support the troops, what they really mean is that we should support their war. Ignoring the fact that the US military is overstretched already, their position is that so long as the US has a military presence in Iraq, the likelihood of an armed confrontation with Iran and Syria is increased.

no comments – be the first ↪