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.

A nonexistent Iraq

My following article appeared in yesterday’s ABC Unleashed:

More than five years after the start of the Iraq war, the country remains mired in conflict. The Washington Post highlighted the quagmire this week:

Attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces soared across Baghdad in the last week of March to the highest levels since the deployment of additional U.S. troops here reached full strength last June, according to U.S. military data and analysis.

The vast majority of the Western media has marked the anniversary of the invasion with analysis of the ways in which the war was fought, rather than an examination of the legality or morality of the action.

Propaganda becomes accepted truth. “We” are winning. The “surge” is working. Iraqis are “pleased” with our presence.

Nowhere were Iraqis featured. Their voices were deemed irrelevant. Armchair commentators, most of whom had only seen Iraq through the eyes of American soldiers, pontificated about the country’s future and Iran’s allegedly malign influence.

The fact that 160,000 American troops and over 160,000 private contractors occupy the nation was ignored. The country remains largely controlled by militias backed by Iran or Washington, Sunni and Shiite death squads tasked for ethnic cleansing.

Editor and Publisher‘s Greg Mitchell writes that the fifth anniversary could have been a moment of serious media reflection on its own discredited role in the invasion. But alas:

In the thousands of articles and television reports marking the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, nearly every important aspect of the war was probed. Fingers were pointed at the usual suspects—Rumsfeld, Bremer, and Cheney; stubborn Republicans and weak-willed Democrats, among many others—but conspicuously absent from the media coverage was any soul-searching on behalf of the press, as if there had been no major media slips or tragic omissions over the past five years. With months to plan for the commemoration, the media were ready to take stock of everything—but themselves.

The recent battle in Basra between US-backed Iraqi forces and cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army was labelled by George W. Bush as a “defining moment in the history of a free Iraq”.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took responsibility for the struggle to crush al-Sadr’s militia. It was a dismal failure and Washington quickly backed away from its initial support.

“After five years of massive US training and equipment”, argues commentator Robert Dreyfus, “the Iraqi armed forces weren’t even able to take control of Iraq’s second-largest city.”

Transparency group Wikileaks just released a secret US document that revealed a top Iraqi police general provided al-Sadr’s militias with American-made weapons and intelligence.

Washington has spent years demonising the Mahdi Army as an Iranian proxy. The Western media rarely explain the complex tribal loyalties of the various Iraqi factions. The “good guys” are not the ones being funded by the West.

After an estimated one million Iraqis deaths since 2003, the refugee crisis is staggering in its magnitude. Travelling through the Middle East last year, the issues of the Iraqi exodus struck me while I was in Iran, Syria and Egypt. Millions of displaced people are struggling to find work, shelter and meaning.

Colleague Mike Otterman recently met Iraqi refugees in Syria and discovered countless tales of violence against civilians by Americans, al-Qaeda or rogue militias.

As one of the finest journalists on the war, Nir Rosen, has said: “Iraq does not exist anymore”.

On the fifth anniversary, The Australian newspaper editorialised that despite the “poor planning and botched execution”, “the justification for the US intervention remains as strong as ever”. No price is too high to support Washington’s imperial designs.

Solomon Hughes, in his 2007 book, War on Terror Inc. writes that “the whole direction of transatlantic responses to the terrorist attacks [on 9/11] relied on profit-making companies.”

Rest assured that somebody is making a killing from endless war.

no comments – be the first ↪