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.

A coup d’état by an elected government

The recent developments in Gaza have set off panic in Washington to such an extent that Condoleezza Rice was forced to resort to pretending that the 2006 election of Hamas never happened.

“President Abbas has exercised his lawful authority as president of Palestinian Authority and as leader of the Palestinian people. I’d remind everyone, he was elected in 2005 by a large margin and we fully support him in his decision to try and end the crisis for the Palestinian people and return to peace and a better future.”

What authority might Condi be referring to?

Clearly this delusional statement is incumbent upon the idea that the American public has not been paying any attention to the Middle East over the past year and a half, and was clearly intended for domestic consumption in the US. No one in the rest of the world would buy it. The statement of course is justification for the Bush White House policy of boosting aid to Abbas while allowing Gaza to slip into further despair in order to weaken Hamas’ popular standing. In other words, Washington is working to stifle democracy, not facilitate it…..as is usually the case.

None of this is new after all.

And so today, we are supposed to talk to our faithful policeman, Mr Abbas, the “moderate” (as the BBC, CNN and Fox News refer to him) Palestinian leader, a man who wrote a 600-page book about Oslo without once mentioning the word “occupation”, who always referred to Israeli “redeployment” rather than “withdrawal”, a “leader” we can trust because he wears a tie and goes to the White House and says all the right things. The Palestinians didn’t vote for Hamas because they wanted an Islamic republic – which is how Hamas’s bloody victory will be represented – but because they were tired of the corruption of Mr Abbas’s Fatah and the rotten nature of the “Palestinian Authority”.

We love Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, whose torturers have not yet finished with the Muslim Brotherhood politicians recently arrested outside Cairo, whose presidency received the warm support of Mrs – yes Mrs – George W Bush – and whose succession will almost certainly pass to his son, Gamal.

We adore Muammar Gaddafi, the crazed dictator of Libya whose werewolves have murdered his opponents abroad, whose plot to murder King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia preceded Tony Blair’s recent visit to Tripoli – Colonel Gaddafi, it should be remembered, was called a “statesman” by Jack Straw for abandoning his non-existent nuclear ambitions – and whose “democracy” is perfectly acceptable to us because he is on our side in the “war on terror”.

Yes, and we love King Abdullah’s unconstitutional monarchy in Jordan, and all the princes and emirs of the Gulf, especially those who are paid such vast bribes by our arms companies that even Scotland Yard has to close down its investigations on the orders of our prime minister – and yes, I can indeed see why he doesn’t like The Independent’s coverage of what he quaintly calls “the Middle East”. If only the Arabs – and the Iranians – would support our kings and shahs and princes whose sons and daughters are educated at Oxford and Harvard, how much easier the “Middle East” would be to control.

Will the solution will be the tried and tested one that has worked with such spectacular success all these decades.

So what will we do? Support the reoccupation of Gaza perhaps? Certainly we will not criticise Israel. And we shall go on giving our affection to the kings and princes and unlovely presidents of the Middle East until the whole place blows up in our faces and then we shall say – as we are already saying of the Iraqis – that they don’t deserve our sacrifice and our love.

But all is not black and white. There are signs that the realists in Washington may be having some influence.

Bush administration officials said Thursday that they had been discussing the idea of largely acquiescing in the takeover of Gaza by the militant Islamic group Hamas and trying instead to help the Fatah party of the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, retain its stronghold in the West Bank.The State Department insisted that the United States had no plans to abandon Palestinians living in Gaza.

This may not amount to any measurable progress on this occasion, but the mere fact that Washington may be contemplating the acceptance of the Hamas government is significant. It would have been unheard of a year ago.

3 comments ↪
  • section9

    Well, no. Your Bushhitlerhate blinds you to something more pressing-the division in the Pallie Community. Fatah is much stronger in the West Bank, while Gaza has always been more pious, Islamist, and home to the shahid in all men.

    Rice is no more contemplating accepting Mashal's government than fly to the moon. Mashal is in bed with the fascists in Tehran and Damascus. Hamas itself is a brownshirt organization which intends to resume missile strikes against the Israeli homeland by using their primitive Kassams.

    Opening up relations with Hamas would be akin to inviting Himmler to a B'nai B'rith meeting-not quite apropos. Besides, Rice's diplomacy is all about making sure that if the fascists in Iran want war, they shoot first. No more preemptive crap.

  • al loomis

    can someone explain how there came be a jewish state on land that was about 80% moslem?

  • Andre

    Section9,

    Drunk on the neocon cool aid, you’ve managed to set some kind of record for squeezing just about every ad hominem and AEI bumper sticker talking point into so few words, while also slipping in a Hitlarian comparison, while deriding Bush critics for doing the same.

    Fatah is only stronger in the West Bank because of the massive support they are getting from the US and Israel. Even so, it is Israel, not Fatah that is in control of the West Bank. Fatah are another example from the bromide the West have used to prop up their puppet dictators throughout the Middle East, yet you have the unashamedly ignore that by insisting that Hamas’ raison d’etre is Tehran and Damascus.

    Of course, no wingnut post would be complete without the absurd claim that Tehran is waiting in the wings, ready to wipe Israel of the map, in spite of the memo Tehran sent to Washington in April of 2003, which included an offer to recognize Israel. The same memo that was rejected because your hero in the VPs’ office and his cabal are so obsessed with gong to war with Iran.

    The same rationale was given then that you have used to argue for not speaking to Hamas – that we don’t talk to terrorists. The problem for you my friend, is that WE DO talk to terrorist when it suits us. Al Qaeda groups in Northern Lebanon and Pakistan are enjoying support from Washington and Saudi Arabia and ironically, the only terrorist group that Saddam did support, the MEK, is also in Washington’s good books.

    How you can pretend that pre-emptive strikes are off the table boggles the mind. The US have 2 carrier groups in the Gulf, numerous bases surrounding Iran, and plans to build a “missile shield”. The worst kept secret in Washington is that the US have assets on the ground in Iran as we speak, both intelligent and paramilitary. The MEK have been setting off bobs in Iran for the past 2 years and the Sunni Jihadist groups on Washington’s payroll are actively working overthrow Iran’s leaders.

    The pre-emption has already started. If these actions were being carried out against the US, it would be regarded as an act of war, as we have heard from bottom feeders like Joe Lieberman this week. If Iran fight back, as Cheney and his neofascist cabal is hoping they will, then the gloves will come off.

    Meanwhile, with all this going, all but 2 of the presidential candidates are refusing to rule out pre-emptive nuclear first strikes against Iran, who has no nuclear weapons capacity.

    All in all, a truly impressive display of Bush bizzaro Orwellian truthiness Section9. It’s been while since we have a member from the flat earth society on this blog, so I big you a welcome. I hope to see you stick around.