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.

No really, the surge is working

Iraq Update

More that 600,000 Iraqis have abandoned their homes since the surge began.

The Iraqi Red Crescent Organisation said the total number of internally displaced has jumped from 499,000 to 1.1 million since extra US forces arrived with the aim of making the country more secure. The UN-run International Organisation for Migration says the numbers fleeing fighting in Baghdad grew by a factor of 20 in the same period.

Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland suggests that the Vietnam comparison is unecessary, because Iraq will go down in history as a failure in its own right

“For Americans, the most important comparison will be this one: As Vietnam did, Iraq has become a failure even on its own terms — whatever those terms are at any given moment,” Hoagland writes in the most-read story on the Post’s Web site Friday morning.

“Bush’s comparison of the two conflicts rivals Richard Nixon’s ‘I am not a crook’ utterance during Watergate and Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,’ in producing unintended consequences of a most damaging kind for a sitting president,” he writes.

Washington has decided that democracy is not such a big deal after all.

The U.S. effort to install a democracy in Iraq within three to five years was a flawed strategy with little chance of succeeding, U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra said Friday.

In spite of Bill Kristol insisting that GOP Sen. John Warner will stay on message, there are suggestions he wall back a Democrat bill for troop withdrawals.

GOP Sen. John Warner, who wants U.S. troops to start coming home from Iraq by Christmas, said Sunday he may support Democratic legislation ordering withdrawals if President Bush refuses to set a return timetable soon.

The Pentagon is having to pull troops from Japan to make up numbers in Iraq. Those recruitment drives don’t seem to be working.

As the British have pulled out from Basra, Sadr’s men have apparently taken control.

Shiite militiamen from the Mahdi Army took over the police joint command center in Basra on Sunday after British soldiers withdrew from the facility and handed control to the Iraqi police, witnesses said.

Who would have thought that a speech given to the National Guard calling for US withdrawal from Iraq would produce a standing ovation?

A call by Puerto Rico’s governor for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq earned a standing ovation from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen.

Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila said Saturday that the U.S. administration has “no new strategy and no signs of success” and that prolonging the war would needlessly put guardsmen in harm’s way.

“The war in Iraq has fractured the political will of the United States and the world,” he said at the opening of the 129th National Guard Association general conference. “Clearly, a new war strategy is required and urgently.”

Acevedo said sending more troops to Iraq would be a costly blunder.

The numbers of violent deaths in Iraq is going up, not down.

This year’s U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.

Remember that the death rate had, according to the Lancet survey, doubled every year since the occupation began.

The latest NIE makes a mockery of any suggestion the surge is working.

The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate has effectively discredited the dominant American hypothesis of the past seven months: that safer streets, secured by additional troops, would create enough political calm for Iraq’s leaders to reconcile.

They have failed to do so in part, suggests the report, which was released Thursday, because the security gains remain too modest to reverse Iraq’s dynamic of violence and fear. Baghdad after all, remains a place where women at the market avoid buying river fish for fear that they’ve been eating bodies.

British troops say the war in Iraq cannot be won.

A belief that Iraq is unwinnable, fears that Afghanistan could go the same way and an overwhelming feeling that the government has not looked after the Armed Forces properly in return for the sacrifices they make.

2 comments ↪
  • olivebranch

    I don't think the CBS report about Sadr taking over Basra is entirely accurate, or atleast the inference in its wording isn't.

    Sadr is far from in control of Basra; not to say that anyone is in control or that the British pullout was a good move- personally i've always thought the whole fucking invasion was a series of bad moves one after another. But Sadr's forces are far from in control, they are locked in a battle for dominance over the local shia population with SIIC (beter known as the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, al-Hakim's men). SCIRI (SIIC) make up the local police force and have their own huge militia, the Badr Brigade which was a long time ago legally incorporated into the security infrastructure of Iraq's Shia south.

    Doesn't make them the good guys either. They were trained by Irani revolutionaries on the most part; well their proffessional top-end were and though their goals are a little less extreme that an Irani regime across all of Iraq, their methods betimes are no better than those of Sadr. They have been responsible on large part for the assasinations of hundreds of thousands of former Baathists – both Sunni & Shia, in all walks of life from teachers, politicians, scientists to doctors.

    Sadr & Hakim will be locked in this battle for a long time to come and neither side is going to come out on top in any short period of time.

  • Andre

    The rivalry between Sadr and Hakim is had probably been exaggerated. Sadr has been made strong overtures to rival factions to create an anti-coalition alliance.

    With the new strategy by the US of supporting Sunni militias, the Hakim clan may well take Sadr up on his offer. This will especially be true if and when the US attacks Iran. Hakim after all, did say that the Badr brigade would do it's duty in the event of such an attack ie. go after the US forces.