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.

Howard and Rudd show their love for Israel

My following article appears in today’s edition of Crikey:

Before every federal election, Australia’s leading Zionist lobby, Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), poses questions to the Prime Minister and Opposition leader. In 2004, both John Howard and Mark Latham discussed Israel, the UN, Iraq, terrorism and immigration.

This year AIJAC has again engaged the leaders and the answers reveal two men determined to outdo the other in terms of displaying uncritical love for the Jewish state and toughness in the “war on terror.”

In relation to the Israel/Palestine conflict, both Howard and Kevin Rudd have taken their talking points from the Bush administration. The words “occupation” and “settlements” are entirely absent. They are determined to support the international isolation of Hamas-controlled Gaza, despite the over one million Palestinians living there in squalor.

Howard and Rudd demand that Hamas “recognise Israel”. A fine rhetorical point, but which Israel is Hamas being asked to recognise? The 1948 borders, 1967 borders or all of the West Bank settlements? When the Saudi Foreign Minister recently asked Israel to cease building more settlements to show its “seriousness” before the proposed November peace conference, it was ignored. When Israel hasn’t itself decided its own borders, why should any Palestinian group be asked to recognise anything?

The Iraq war is unsurprisingly defended by Howard as a “key front of the global war on terrorism” and again he refuses to implement a timetable for withdrawal (AIJAC was a key cheer-leader for the war and is now making similarly bellicose pronouncements against Iran.) Although Rudd advocates removing the 520 combat troops from southern Iraq, there is no acknowledgement of the real Bush administration agenda, namely a long-term presence in the country, akin to other Arab client states.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the AIJAC interview is the response from Rudd about Iran’s “undesirable activities.” While Howard merely mouths that his government is committed to the “diplomatic” route – investigative journalist Seymour Hersh told CNN a few days ago that the White House had received “expressions of interest” from Australia to support a military strike against the Islamic republic – the Labor leader calls for the initiation of “legal proceedings against President Ahmadinejad on charges of incitement to genocide.”

It’s an extraordinary suggestion, not least because it shows a profound ignorance about the ways in which Iran functions (namely that the Revolutionary Guard and Supreme Leader hold the keys to military decisions, not the President). Furthermore, by citing former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton as a key participant in the legal manoeuvres – a man who again called over the weekend for the bombing of Iran – Rudd is aligning himself with the “crazies”, those neo-conservatives and Zionist lobbyists itching for a fight against Tehran.

The recent best-selling Israel Lobby book correctly states that candidates for the US presidency “will go to considerable lengths to express their deep personal commitment to one foreign country – Israel.”

Our political leaders are not immune from the same disease.

6 comments ↪
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  • Leo Buddha

    Ant,

    You might consider writing your next book about "The Islamic Lobby" or The Arab Lobby or The Arab Lobby.

    Lots of material available. And you may even be annointed with a real Fatwah as a result.

    — Uncle Leo

  • Paul Walter

    Good, neat summary; all rings bells. Good enought to have brought in a circling local zionist troll, at any rate.

    The nonsense from Rudd concerning Ahmadinejad sent a spasm of aggravation through this writer, although I thought more in terms of abject sucking up to America as much as the Jewish Lobby or Israel.

    Other circumstantial evidence as to Labor also emerges. They made it known to AFR that they don't beleive the economy has any place in improving people's lives and Rudd has had meetings concerning spending cuts once in government. Face it, there is no way we get through a day with out some manifestation of American interference in this country anyway, although it usually covert and you only get to see where the fly has been.

    Consider also Garratt cheersquadding Turnbull.

    Finally consider the old descriptor: a single party dictatorship controlled by one or other of two conflicting identical splinters.

  • Joseph Bryan

    Hi Antony,

    thanks for this and all your contributions to this 'debate'.
    May I suggest re "recognising right to exist" that it could be pointed out that Israel clearly does not recognise Palestine's right to exist.

    Cheers,
    Joseph
    Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine

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