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 Hamas doctrine

News just in!

The United States is pressing Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain to become a special envoy to the Middle East, representing the diplomatic “quartet” of world powers, administration officials said Wednesday.

The appointment would be the most visible attempt at laying the groundwork for a Palestinian state since President Clinton wrangled with Yasir Arafat and Ehud Barak during the waning hours of his administration in 2001.

If the proposal, endorsed by President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, goes forward, and if Mr. Blair, who leaves office next week, accepts, he would work on behalf of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia to help the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, build the institutions and apparatus necessary for a viable state.

Blair is about as respected in the Middle East as rotting fruit. Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon in 2006 contribute to the impression of a man who simply doesn’t understand this part of the world (and rather likes dropping bombs on “terrorists” and thousands of innocent civilians.)

Two major articles were published yesterday in the US press that deserve comment. Both were written by Ahmed Yousef, political adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya. First, the New York Times:

The events in Gaza over the last few days have been described in the West as a coup. In essence, they have been the opposite. Eighteen months ago, our Hamas Party won the Palestinian parliamentary elections and entered office under Prime Minister Ismail Haniya but never received the handover of real power from Fatah, the losing party. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has now tried to replace the winning Hamas government with one of his own, returning Fatah to power while many of our elected members of Parliament languish in Israeli jails. That is the real coup.

From the day Hamas won the general elections in 2006 it offered Fatah the chance of joining forces and forming a unity government. It tried to engage the international community to explain its platform for peace. It has consistently offered a 10-year cease-fire with the Israelis to try to create an atmosphere of calm in which we resolve our differences. Hamas even adhered to a unilateral cease-fire for 18 months in an effort to normalize the situation on the ground. None of these points appear to have been recognized in the press coverage of the last few days.

And the Washington Post:

The Palestinian National Authority apparently joins the list of elected governments targeted or toppled over the past century by interventionism: nations that had the courage to take American rhetoric at face value and elect whomever they would. No doubt some in Washington persist in the fiction that the United States is following a “road map” to democracy for Palestinians, just as others believe the Iraq war has been a sincere exercise in nation-building. Neoconservative strategists have miscalculated, however, and Hamas is stronger than ever.

For the first time in months, Gaza is secure. This may be a momentary peace as Israel prepares an attempt to retake parts of Gaza. Yet neither blunt force nor U.S. subterfuge will extinguish Palestinian aspirations for self-governance, free from outside interference.

The message was clear, though the vast majority of the Western elites will ignore it. Hamas is a force to be reckoned with, and respected, for no other reason that it won a legitimate election last year and speaks for a sizable portion of the Palestinian population. He continues:

The Bush administration never intended to honor the outcome of fair and transparent elections in the occupied territories. The embargo, designed to punish the electorate for its choice, was the first step toward crushing new democratic institutions. The second has been to find collaborators for the American agenda and to supply them with advisers, funds and weapons for their campaign of destabilization. The final step will be to truncate Gaza from any proposed Palestinian state and make it a de facto prison for all “undesirable” aspects of Palestinian nationalism. This will culminate in provocations designed to trigger a military response from Israel, which will “justify” a war on Gazans. This would be tragic for all concerned, and the international community, especially the Arab League, must not allow such an outcome.

What can be salvaged from the wreckage of the multiparty system? Those who have dissolved the government and joined with the occupiers are embraced by the Bush and Olmert administrations, which have released Palestinian tax revenue and taken other steps to shore up the Abbas government’s legitimacy and proclaim it the future of a Palestine shorn of troublesome Gaza.

Yet it remains that Hamas has a world in common with Fatah and other parties, and they all share the same goals — the end of occupation; the release of political prisoners; the right of return for all Palestinians; and freedom to be a nation equal among nations, secure in its own borders and at peace. For more than 60 years, Palestinians have resisted walls and checkpoints intended to divide them. Now they must resist the poisonous inducements to fight one another and resume a unified front against the occupation.

We urge the Bush administration not to repeat the mistakes that have become hallmarks of its actions in the Middle East. Allow the Palestinian people to chart their own course, free from the influence of those who seek little more than to perpetuate the status quo. The alternative is unacceptable.

Are Washington, London and Canberra listening? Of course not. They’ll continue to live under the delusion that Mahmoud Abbas can be propped up indefinitely. The reality of Hamas will be ignored. The will of the Palestinians will, as ever, be cast aside. But, the rules of the game are changing and Washington’s influence is declining. Likewise Israel’s. The fight to end the occupation will continue, long after Fatah and Hamas have patched up their differences. And resistance to the occupation should be both expected, and encouraged.

3 comments ↪
  • I know, the Blair idea is crazy. He's not even respected in the UK. Some dude who was being knighted for services to lingerie has refused the knighthood over Blair's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's how bad it (he) is!

    Seriously who the hell are these crazy people running the world? What kind of fantasy land do they live in…

  • al loomis

    when you have the biggest army, the other guy is fantasizing.

    my fantasy is: the whole world turns on the usa, saying "go home, stay there, don't drop bombs on people."

    even i know i'm fantasizing.

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