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.

Media hyperventilate over London “car bomb”

Judging by the headlines, you’d think that London police averted the detonation of a nuke.

BRITISH police have defused a car bomb in the heart of London, a week before the second anniversary of the city’s deadly July 7 bombings.

A police spokesman confirmed the device was a bomb, and that it was found after a member of the public reported a suspicious vehicle shortly before 2am (11am Melbourne time).

Explosives officers defused the device, found in a car parked in The Haymarket, a central London street, London police said. “They discovered what appeared to be a potentially viable explosive device. This was made safe.

So what was this mysterious device?

Larry Johnson was hardly impressed:

So I turn on the telly this morning and find breathless CNN anchors hyperventilating over the nuclear suicide car weapon of mass destruction discovered smoldering outside of a London nightclub. One report from the scene notes that:

London police were contacted when witnesses saw a Mercedes being driven erratically near London West End night club Tiger Tiger, and the driver jumped out of the automobile and ran away. The car was reported to have two gasoline canisters and be full of nails.

CNN adds:

Explosives officers discovered the fuel and nails attached to a “potential means of detonation,” inside the vehicle. Officers “courageously” disabled the trigger by hand, he said. Security sources told CNN that the “relatively crude device” in the first car contained at least 200 liters, or about 50 gallons, of fuel in canisters.

You know what you call a vehicle with 50 gallons of gas? A Cadillac Escalade. The media meltdown over this incident is simply shameful.

For starters, gasoline is not a high explosive. If we were talking 50 pounds of Semtex or the Al Qaeda standby, TATP, I would be impressed. Those are real high explosives with a detonation rate in excess of 20,000 feet per second. Gasoline can explode (just ask former owners of a Ford Pinto) but it is first and foremost an incendiary. If the initial reports are true, the clown driving the Mercedes was a rank amateur when it comes to constructing an Improvised Explosive Device aka IED. Unlike a Hollywood flick the 50 gallons of gas would not have shredded the Mercedes into lethal chunks of flying shrapenal.

The fact that “officers courageously disabled the trigger by hand” coupled with the report of the smoke in the car leads me to believe that the mad London “bomber” tried to construct a Molotov cocktail of sorts and lit a cloth fuze. Fortunately he left the windows in the car up and there was not enough oxygen to really get the fire going. Looks like the brave British police reached in and snuffed the flame.

Judging from the overreaction to this non-incident I think we can safely conclude that Osama Bin Laden will remain holed up in Pakistan and let the fear mongers at CNN, MSNBC, and FOX do the dirty business of scaring the shit out of people.

8 comments ↪
  • BenZ

    Typical Andre.

    Just as he was convinced that the deadly and destructive Qassam rockets did less damage than a hailstorm, he's now convinced that carbombs are harmless.

    Anything to excuse Islamic terrorism for Andre.

    Of course, if an Israel gets into a punchup, well that's just appalling, but if Islamofascists plant explosives? Well, they're really just firecrackers aren't they?

  • Andre

    Islamofascists planting explosives BenZ?

    By all mean, do share the evidence with us. Or does any random act of violence become the work of Al Qaeda these days?

    Johnson is a CIA employee. If he doesn't buy this crap, it's probably for a good reason. Why would the Islamofascists waste their time on something as innocuous as a glorifies Molotov cocktail?

  • Dylan

    …except it wasn't gasoline – it was closer to propane gas cylinders. The UK (like Australia) does not refer to gasoline as 'gas' but as 'petrol'. The US reports suffered from bad translation – try Sky UK for a better take on it.

  • This event just smells of all MI6 set-up, as the news of dead soldiers in Iraq keeps coming in the MI6/Government do need a smoke screen. Well this is it.

    Its amazing how the Media (known for their exaggeration) give this event the same media attention as what 9/11 got.

    Let just wait for United Kingdom "Family Jewels" to come out into the open, the unfortunate thing is that we might have to wait for over 60 years.

    This is now getting boring, the constant deliberate reminder by the government of the police state and to be in fear all the time (or at least what the government wants us to be like).

    Lets focus on the real issue, the illegal war in Iraq and a solution for the biggest Palestinian concentration camp in Palestine. The source of all the problems we face in the west.

  • Ardent

    It is amazing that the media immediately attached the event to Al-Qaeda. The device must have had 'Made by Al-Queda' on it or had Bin Laden fingerprints on it.

    It is amazing that Al-Queda are giving out their business cards and drumming up so much membership, yet the CIA, Mossad and MI5 are unable to catch this elusive and dangerous figure.

  • BenZ

    Islamofascists planting explosives BenZ?

    Yes. Sorry. What was I thinking. Who ever heard of that…

    The CCTV footage emerging was actually of a pissed-off Buddhist monk. The whole thing was simply a parking dispute. Right Andre?

  • Andre

    Dylan,

    Even with the mistranslation, propane is still primarily an incendiary compound that produces nothing close to a blast you would get from Semtex, nail or no nails. While the purpose of the car bomb is clear, this was no sophisticated operation, though the government and the media in the US and Britain, are trying to these incidents to the IED's being used in Iraq.

    BenZ,

    What CCTV footage? Have you seen it?

  • BenZ

    What CCTV footage? Have you seen it?

    Do you actually read the news? Or are you too busy finding ways to excuse terrorists and vilify Israel.