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.

Who really controls Iraq

My following review is about the book by The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn, Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq:

Kristofer Shawn Goldsmith was a former army sergeant in the US army. He enlisted in late 2003 at age eighteen and believed then, “under the influence of the media and its terrorism paranoia”, that Saddam Hussein had to be disarmed of his weapons of mass destruction.

Five years later, he gave testimony to Congress about his experiences in the war-torn country and explained the ways in which he was ordered by superiors to “kill everything that moves”, including civilians. He reported regularly visiting Baghdad’s Sadr City Women’s Hospital and “never providing any real medical supplies, despite the fact that the hospitals and clinics in the area were in dire need of antibiotics and basic surgical equipment.” The Shia cleric Muqtada Al Sadr was revered and “any American bullet, rocket, mortar or bomb which finds itself astray and headed towards Sadr City’s residents only increases the [cleric’s] following.”

Patrick Cockburn, Britain’s Independent Iraq reporter, is one of the few Western journalists who has travelled to Iraq since the 1970s and refused to be embedded, either militarily or psychologically. His last book, The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq, painted a George W. Bush led invasion that lacked historical insight or sensitivity and blundered its way to inevitable failure. Anti-US protests in Sadr City in late May further highlighted the unpopularity of the ongoing American presence with thousand of citizens demanding an end to a likely agreement to allow the US to build permanent bases in Iraq and grant American citizens and military contractors in Iraq immunity from prosecution.

Cockburn’s latest work focuses on Al-Sadr, one of the key political figures in Iraq, and aims to debunk the deliberately skewed Western media interpretation of him as a “firebrand” or “maverick.” In fact, Cockburn argues, the Najaf-based Al-Sadr “proved a cautious and skilled politician, knowing when to advance and when to retreat. Commentary on Muqtada has come to admit his importance though it usually demonises or belittles him, veering between presenting him as a clerical gangster or as a successful demagogue of limited intelligence and ability who somehow leads the only mass movement in Iraqi politics.”

Like the experience of former sergeant Goldsmith, only Western politicians and commentators deny the clerics sway over millions of Iraqis. Recent Senate testimony by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker accused Iran of supporting “Shiite extremists” and accused Al-Sadr of being one such extremist. Sadly for America, he remains far more popular than its brutal occupation.

Cockburn paints a compelling picture of Al-Sadr’s upbringing – Saddam killed his father and two brothers in the late 1990s – and profiles countless poor Iraqis willing to sacrifice their lives for a truly united nation, free of Western interference. Legitimacy and loyalty to Shiite leaders have always trumped allegiance to the Bush and Blair doctrine. “Few Iraqis outside Kurdistan felt that the US-led occupation was legitimate”, writes Cockburn, “and they therefore did not give loyalty to it or the Iraqi governments it sponsored.”

Al-Sadr’s success in rallying his often-vicious Mehdi Army was never understood by Washington’s colonial mentality. He was the exact opposite of the kind of Iraqi leader imagined by the Americans. “Instead of the smooth, dark-suited, English-speaking exiles”, Cockburn explains, “whom the White House had hoped would turn Iraq into a compliant US ally, Muqtada looked too much like a younger version of Ayatollah Khomeini.” It didn’t seem to bother the loudest boosters of the war that their handpicked exiles, such as conman Ahmed Chalabi, enjoyed virtually no support in Iraq itself.

Cockburn, whose writings are arguably the finest of any Western reporter in Iraq, has profiled the gradual disintegration of the country since 2003. Millions of refugees, over a million killed and a growing Islamisation all contribute to a war that remains largely hidden in the Western media.

This striking book provides a useful anecdote to the current American presidential campaign, where “victory” and “defeat” are terms thrown around by politicians whose experience highlights the embedded mindset.  The Iraq war was doomed to failure before it was even launched, a belief that unprecedented violence could create a nation in Washington’s corrupt image. Cockburn explains why.

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