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.

Michael O’Hanlon: this is your life

General David Patraeus is not the alone these days when it comes to destroying his own credibility by way of the litany of contradictory statements he has made since the Iraq war began.

As you may have heard, Michael O’Hanlon from the Brookings Institute, is back from his tour of Iraq. He’s been appearing on talk shows throughout the US, telling the world that the war is going brilliantly at this point, and that this is significant because he has been such a staunch and consistent critic of the war.

This appears to be a new tactic of the war propaganda machine. Roll out lackeys, but present them to the world as steadfastly impartial (like Petraeus) or as opponents of the war, as is the case with Hanlon.

To begin with, not only was O’Hanlon a signatory to Bill Kristol’s Project for a New American Century, but he was among the first to be informed of the surge strategy by AEI member, Fred Kagan, of the surge strategy and gave it ringing endorsement.

Following Kagan’s presentation, Michael O’Hanlon provided commentary. O’Hanlon supported the overall strategy elaborated by the AEI team.

Now feast on the harsh critiques he has made about the Iraq war, the strategy and the way the Bush administration has handled it.

On October 5th 2003, he wrote a piece for the San Diego Morning Tribune, in which he claimed that:

The US led mission in Iraq is still quite likely to succeed over a time period of roughly 3 to 5 years. The lack of any unifying ideology for the resistance there, makes it unlike we will face a snowballing mass insurgency.

NPR Interview, September 28, 2003:

… the counterinsurgency effort is going fairly well.

…..the counterinsurgency mission seems to be going well in that we are taking out a lot more people than we’re losing and I believe we’re using force fairly selectively and carefully on balance.

But you’re talking about specific, isolated acts just like you would get in an American city.

September, 2003, O’Hanlon published another progress report

The administration should want to do this, because on balance the Iraq mission is going fairly well . . . But most indicators are now favorable in Iraq . . . .

As for Baathist remnants of Saddam’s regime, they are diminishing with time as coalition forces detain and arrest them.

In these counterinsurgency operations, American troops are following much better practices than they did in Vietnam . . . .

But these mistakes are being corrected, and future such attacks are unlikely to be as devastating.

Before the House Armed Services Committee in October of 2003 and titled his report “A Relatively Promising Counterinsurgency War: Assessing Progress in Iraq.”

In my judgment the administration is basically correct that the overall effort in Iraq is succeeding. By the standards of counterinsurgency warfare, most factors, though admittedly not all, appear to be working to our advantage.

That said, on the prognosis of Iraq’s future, the Bush administration is at least partly and perhaps even mostly right.

On April 9, 2003, he published a piece for the Brookings Daily War Report entitled “Was the Strategy Brilliant?”

Will war colleges around the world be teaching the basic coalition strategy to their students decades from now, or will the conflict be seen as a case in which overwhelming military capability prevailed over a mediocre army from a mid-sized developing country?

Whether the overall concept deserves to be called brilliant is debatable. But it does appear to have been clever in several specific ways, most notably in the special operations campaign of the war’s early days and in the recent battles for Basra, Baghdad, and other cities. . . .

On April 30, 2003, O’Hanlon went to The Baltimore Sun and wrote gleefully about how Dick Cheney could mock the ex-general war critics because Cheney had been so vindicated:

… the problem never threatened the basic integrity of the war plan.

Vice President Dick Cheney had a nice rebuttal to the retired officers when he understandably, and humorously, took a moment to gloat shortly after Baghdad fell.

Japan Times on June 19, 2003:

Tip your cap, at least halfway, to Rumsfeld; despite his initial ideological blinders on the subject, he is keeping the postwar U.S. presence strong enough to get the job done as it becomes clear that the job will be hard.

The Financial Times, March 18, 2003:

The war could be over within a month . . .

…. the battle for Baghdad will almost surely not last more than a week or two. And its hero will be the American and British soldier, not fancy technology or awesome battle plans.

The Washington Times, December 31, 2002:

Saddam Hussein may be poised to bring the battle to American cities via terrorism.

Washington Times column from February 5, 2003:

Yet, the president was still convincing on his central point that the time for war is near.

Since his U.N. speech of Sept. 12, 2002, Mr. Bush has adopted a firm but patient Iraq policy.

Alas, Saddam is not eliminating his banned weapons of mass destruction voluntarily, and hence we soon will need to lead a military coalition to do the job ourselves. The case is that simple.

It is now time for multilateralists to support the president.

O’Hanlon on February 17, 2004:

“Coalition and Iraqi security forces will ultimately defeat the rejectionist remnants of the Ba’ath Party, as well as foreign terrorists who have entered the country. These dead-enders are few in number and have little ability to inspire a broader following among the Iraqi people.”

O’Hanlon on March 19, 2004:

That said, there is plenty of reason for hope, and much going right today in Iraq as well. .

At that pace, one might think the war should be won by summer. . . .Overall, the glass in Iraq is probably about three-fifths full.

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