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.

I spent a week in Iraq and now I’m an expert

By The Angry Rakiakasan via No Quarter.

This is how it happens: A desperate Republican goes to Iraq looking for something—anything—to justify the continuing presence of American troops there. The Republican stays for a week (give or take), and then returns home as if he or she were Moses coming back from Mount Sinai, carrying to the American people stone tablets engraved with The Ultimate Truth About Iraq.

And of course, this Ultimate Truth About Iraq is learned by the Republican in the chow hall, on the secure base, with the hand-picked soldiers sitting at the table.

This is what Senator Jim Webb rightly called the “dog and pony show.” For those who don’t know, that’s an old military expression used to describe how troops are often forced to put on a “show” for visiting politicians or VIPs to convey just how swell everything is going on the front lines.

Politicians or VIPs who’ve served in a combat zone know this. Sadly, the rest visit the troops in a state of blissful ignorance.

Before I started listening to the long and distinguished list of Republicans who took The Trip to Obtain Ultimate Moral Authority on Iraq, I had no idea that this level of enlightenment could take place within a week. But then I started researching it and learned otherwise. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable instances of this:

1. Lindsey Graham

The other day on Meet the Press (while Jim Webb was dismantling him), Senator Graham insisted that troops were re-enlisting at the highest numbers ever because they supported the mission in Iraq. Of course, Graham knew this because, as he was quick to let everyone know, he has been to Iraq seven times. Never mind the fact that Webb is a Vietnam veteran whose son served in Iraq. Never mind that Graham’s trips don’t last longer than two or three days. Graham was perfectly content to smugly retort to Webb: “Have you been to Iraq?” He asked this as if he were the expert—and as if Webb were the neophyte. And why not? Graham has visited the troops seven times. He may only be a never-deployed lawyer in the Air Force Reserves, but his trips to Iraq have given him The Knowledge.

2. Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin couldn’t stand the fact that she didn’t have the moral authority to run her mouth about her Iraq. She’s still young enough to enlist, but apparently that’s just not her thing. Michelle figured out she could just do it the easy way—by taking The Trip to Obtain Ultimate Moral Authority on Iraq. That’s right: She decided to go for a whole week.
By the time she’d returned from the journey, she was qualified to talk down to just about anyone on the subject of Iraq. In fact, she mocked other journalists like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann for not being as courageous as she was being. She said this:

In fact, one of our hosts at Forward Operating Base Justice said they would be happy to welcome Keith Olbermann as an embed. And Chris Matthews (last heard smearing U.S. troops as participants in “ethnic cleansing”), too. The rooms at The Tiger’s Lair (pictured above) are spartan, but toasty warm. How ’bout it, boys?

Classy.

3. John McCain

John McCain also knows what daily city combat in Iraq is like. His expertise as a naval aviator in Vietnam has given him more knowledge on urban guerrilla war in the Middle East than any combat-tested American Army generals—like John Abizaid. But more importantly, Senator McCain has been to Iraq “many times over the years.” Going to Iraq “many times,” for periods of 24-48 hours in the Green Zone, is like reaching the Nirvana of ground combat experience and knowledge. It enables one to buy rugs safely in the market, and to say confidently, “Never have I been able to drive from the airport. Never have I been able to go out into the city as I was today.” He can say these things because, like the infantryman who patrols the darkened Baghdad streets every night, locked and loaded, for 15 months at a time, John McCain knows what it’s like.

4. Joe Lieberman

And we can’t forget Senator Lieberman. I mean, this guy once spent 10 days traveling in the Middle East! Who needs to spend a career studying urban light infantry tactics for use in a guerrilla war when you can gain all that knowledge in less than a week and a half? Joe knows what it means to serve. And he knows what a war with Iran would like. And wars don’t get much easier than that one looks to be.

And this brings me to my point: Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution is a clown. He’s number five:

5. Michael O’Hanlon

Even though he works for the politically liberal Brookings Institution, O’Hanlon (an old friend of David Petraeus) has been going around this week spouting off about his recent eight-day trip to Iraq. He took the trip so that he too could Obtain Ultimate Moral Authority on Iraq. And I must say: Michael really needed to go. Because he’s been really wrong about. . .ummm. . .pretty much everything on Iraq from the beginning. Just look at this compilation of crazy nonsense he’s said about Iraq in the past.
O’Hanlon even said this in today’s New York Times:

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Perhaps someone took O’Hanlon to Fort Irwin, California to meet soldiers—and maybe they just told him he was in Iraq. Because that’s not the same stuff I’m hearing from the troops. And I talk to them daily as part of my work with VoteVets.org. For instance, here is an excerpt of an email I received just two days ago. It’s from an Army captain stationed in Mosul:

(My) decision to get out was solidified by the loss of soldiers, the loss of friends and the poor command leadership . . . (I) should be back by March 2008 with more reasons to be embittered by the war, the effects it is having on soldiers and the millions of US tax payer dollars that we see wasted here.

Obviously this Army officer wasn’t hand-picked to eat with O’Hanlon at the chow hall when he was there.

Perhaps these Bush enablers like O’Hanlon will never learn what life is really like on the ground in Iraq. And it’s clear that they’re really not even trying to pay attention. Take for instance the most recent Republican talking point about the surge: That it’s working because July has seen a sharp decrease in the number of coalition casualties. Mmm. Good thinking guys. I’m sure O’Hanlon buys into it, even though no one has yet stopped to realize that it’s 130 freaking degrees in Iraq right now.
In reality, July is typically a slow month for insurgents because it’s simply too hot to operate. If these Bush enablers like O’Hanlon really wanted to analyze the data, they’d notice that this July has been the deadliest July for American troops since the war began. Don’t believe me? Here are the numbers for every July since 2003:

2007 73
2006 43
2005 54
2004 54
2003 48

Don’t believe these charlatans like O’Hanlon, Graham, Malkin, McCain, or Lieberman. They are ignorant and have no frames of reference on which to build their assertions concerning Iraq.

2 comments ↪
  • Adrian

    lets not forget our very own Andrew "green zone" Bolt who made such a trip and swears that its the leftist media who want us so badly to lose that they never report ANYTHING good about the war. Andrew is quick to remind us that there is indeed, some good coming from this miserable adventure.

  • viva peace

    Sounds like "My Israel Question."