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.

Iraq’s debt of gratitude

You have to hand it to Mike Whitney. He never fails to hit the mark.

The war is in its fifth year, and still, Bush has not produced anything even vaguely resembling a political solution. He is utterly clueless. The world’s oldest civilization is being destroyed before our eyes—its cities laid to waste, its people slaughtered by the tens of thousands. Saddam never could have dreamed of devastation on this scale. We’ve ruined everything. Truckloads of dead men are delivered to the Baghdad morgue every morning where they are processed and then dumped in mass graves in abandoned soccer fields or schoolyards. 20% of the population has either been internally displaced or forced to flee into Jordan and Syria. In Falluja alone, 65% of the buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of its citizens are left living in tent cities scattered across the desert–exposed to the elements, living on crusts of bread and foul water. The number of refugees has risen rapidly; 2 million in Amman, Damascus and Cairo. They go wherever they can to avoid the bombing and find safety or shelter.

Little wonder that Bush refuses to agree to benchmarks, even non-binding ones. Simply put, he knows full well that he would fail to meet any of them.

Consider this article which appeared on uruknet.info this week. It provides photos of 24 “special needs” children who were found naked, starving and lying on concrete floors, in their own excrement—their bodies covered with sores. All of them were chained to their cribs. Some of them were near death. This is the Nazi-like terror we have unleashed on Iraq under the rubric of “democracy”. This is what “neoconservatism” looks like when it is stripped of its ideological pretense and we can see its true face—pure, unalloyed evil. It is no different than Hitler’s fascism.

Nor does Bush want to discourage his neo-con lackeys from dreaming up more ways to unleash these horrors. Meanwhile, contrary to the spin, US foreign policy remains unchanged from before 9/11 (minus the veneer of humanism), and shows every likelihood of producing a similar outcome.

We continue to prop up the Middle East’s most brutal dictators and support those leaders who lose in democratic elections, while righteously pretending that our invasions, occupations and bombing campaigns are about spreading democracy (we’re delivering “God’s gift to every man, woman and child”). And the raging debates in our country are over the extent to which we should torture people and how many more Muslims we should lock away for life with no charges of any kind.

The next time there is a terrorist attack, we can all sit around bewildered, scratching our heads and solemnly asking: “Why do they hate us?” And the only answer that will be allowed — a rule to be piously enforced by the Owner of 9/11 himself, Rudy Giuliani — will be the extremely honest and illuminating: “They hate us for our freedoms.”

one comment ↪
  • al loomis

    well, it's good you've noticed. the americans are doing what humans always do: anything they can get away with. perhaps they'll evolve upward to a swiss-like peaceable nature, but it's unlikely unless the federation is dissolved, and the usa joins the ussr in history. even then, mexico would have to sign a treaty of mutual defence with california, to keep texas in line.

    no doubt the usa will exhaust itself in time, then we can worry about china spilling into the middle east in search of whatever oil the usa hasn't burned.