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.

Lies, damned lies and Michael O’Hanlon

Remember the two so called “war critics” that were transformed by their investigative trip to Iraq? Read what happens to one of them when subjected to scrutiny.

By TRex

I’ve been waiting for what seems like ages for Glenn Greenwald to publish the column detailing the results of his interview with feted “war critic” turned Iraq War cheerleader Michael O’Hanlon, and boy howdy, it doesn’t disappoint. You can read Greenwald’s column here with a full transcript of the conversation available here.

One by one, my man G2 demolishes the pillars supporting the conventional wisdom about O’Hanlon and Pollack’s wildly mendacious Op-Ed, “A War We Just Might Win” until finally, poor O’Hanlon must have desperately wanted to curl up and hide, whimpering, underneath the table. This is why over at Sadly, No! they call Greenwald, “Glennzilla”.

The lies are so thick on the ground around this issue that it’s hard to know where to begin, but let’s start with one of the more glaring falsehoods, that O’Hanlon and Pollack (both from the pro-Iraq-War “liberal” think tank, the Brookings Institute) were “fierce critics” of the president’s catastrophic invasion of Iraq.

I have to doff my hat to Greenwald for taking the time to wade through O’Hanlon’s verbal dreck, by the way. Clearly, Michael O’Hanlon has caught on to the think tank practice of using as many words as possible to say as little as you can conceivably get away with.

Greenwald asks, “Don’t you think it was a little disingenuous to describe yourself as a ‘war critic’?”

The answer to that question would be “yes” or “no” in a perfect world.

O’Hanlon:

First, I think that to an extent, at least, it’s certainly fair to go over a person’s record when that person themself is being held up as playing a certain role in the debate. So while I’m not entirely happy with some of the coverage I’ve received here [on this blog] and elsewhere, I agree with the basic premise: that if I’m being held up as a “critic of the war”, for example by Vice President Cheney, it’s certainly only fair to ask if that is a proper characterization of me. And in fact I would not even use that characterization of myself, as I will elaborate in a moment.

The guy makes Dan Gerstein look concise. But of course, as a “scholar” in the Foreign Policy Cult of “Serious” Thinkers, O’Hanlon knows that he has to lay down a thick layer of obfuscatory grease on any point that he makes, especially when faced with as tenacious an inquisitor as Glenn Greenwald. Maybe he thought that if he launched enough fallacious assertions, we’d all glaze over at the number of targets and stop paying attention.

Greenwald’s post puts the lie to the “war-critics” meme by pointing out that O’Hanlon was wildly in favor of the invasion, offering (at best) tepid criticisms in the minutiae of strategy back in 2004, reservations only slightly less voluble than Bill Kristol’s at the time. Then comes the fact that, contrary to Pollack and O’Hanlon’s assertion that they met with a wide range of “American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel”. Under direct questioning, O’Hanlon sheepishly admits that the entire junket was sponsored, orchestrated, and choreographed by the Department of Defense. Pollack and O’Hanlon met almost entirely with individuals hand-picked by the US military. This was a dog and pony show, plain and simple, and anyone who tells you otherwise is quietly clapping their hands under the table and believing in fairies.

In short, this “remarkable”, “eye-opening” Op-Ed is every bit as spurious and intentionally misleading as Judy Miller’s “scoops” in the NYT about Saddam’s WMD’s. Unfortunately, our national media is so trained to roll over and play dead on command that this patently false representation of the current situation in Iraq was paraded through the city gates and greeted with cheers and accolades and is still being used as a dray horse in the war debate.

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, will they ever learn?

no comments – be the first ↪