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.

Bombing. Iran. Never. Makes. Sense

The Lowy Interpreter is the blog for one of Australia’s leading think-tanks, the Lowy Institute.

Following a post last week that discussed Israel’s supposed fears of Iran’s nuclear facilities – strongly suggesting that an Israeli military strike was not unlikely and even understandable because the Zionist state feared destruction – I wrote a response that seriously questioned the underpinnings of this position:

It’s astounding that the Western media continually falls for this idea that the Jewish state’s very existence is threatened. It’s not. Ervand Abrhahamian said the following in September 2007:

“And the question is, then, why is basically in American politics so much focused on Ahmadinejad? I think he serves the function that Saddam Hussein played. He’s an easy person to demonize…One can call Ahmadinejad many things, but a dictator he is by no means. He can’t even—he doesn’t even have the power to appoint his own cabinet ministers. It’s a presidency with very limited power. And to claim that he is in a position to threaten the United States or Israel is just bizarre, frankly.”

Indeed. So, why, therefore, are we constantly hearing about so-called ‘existential’ threats to Israel? Iran’s regime is undoubtedly brutal and authoritarian — something I saw first-hand last year during my visit there — but the tendency for the aggressive, Zionist narrative to strike first, ask questions later, is a worrying sign of moral decay. The Islamic Republic offered the US in 2003 — after helping Washington unseat the Taliban in Afghanistan — a grand bargain on the nuclear issue and its support of ‘terrorism.’ The US refused to even consider it.

Don’t buy into the rhetoric coming out of Tel Aviv or Washington. A military strike against Iran would be illegal under international law, likely to cause a massive death toll and rally support for the leadership. Besides, no evidence has been presented that proves Iran is building a nuclear weapons program. Engagement is the only answer. And this is something Israel and the US refuse to accept.

In response to my piece it is now possible to witness the kind of myopic thinking in the hallowed halls of supposedly serious think-tanks. Two “experts” have responded.

First up, there’s Hugh White, one of Australia’s most ubiquitous defence intellectuals. Although he is against a military strike on Iran – “I think there are probably no military options to disrupt the Iranian program significantly, because I doubt the US or Israel know enough about where its key elements are hidden – he wishes “there was a low-cost, low-risk air strike option offering high probabilities of inflicting strategically significant damage to the Iranian program.” If so, White would support it.

Consider the thought. An unprovoked American or Israeli attack against Iran would be illegal under international law and an act of war against a sovereign state. Clearly this doesn’t bother White, or any civilian casualties in the adventure. It’s the kind of position that academics who never have to see the on-the-ground effects of government policies routinely take. War as an abstraction; as a mere strategic decision.

Then there’s the blog’s editor, Sam Roggeveen, who writes that although “Iran at present does not represent a threat to Israel’s existence…If Iran were allowed to develop nuclear weapons, Israel would be at realistic threat of more or less instantaneous annihilation.”

Roggeveen says that maybe I am “right that the only good response to this threat is engagement” yet he still accepts many of the Jewish state’s talking points about Iran’s supposed provocations.

This whole debate has barely anything to do with supposed nuclear weapons but regional supremacy. Iran threatens Israel’s dominance, and therefore must be stopped. When will supposed foreign policy experts understand this and refuse to even place the military option on the table (hint: because they’re really frustrated politicians who’d love to wage the odd “necessary” war now and then.)

4 comments ↪
  • Hendro

    hugh white can hold is view as along as he personally pay compensation to civilian families killed by his desire.

  • What was the name of that thinktank again? Oh yeah: the LOWY Institute.

    And who is Frank Lowy? A man who steals Australian taxpayer dollars and gives them to Israeli "charities" (which he refuses to name) through a complex network of offshore accounts, including a certain Lichtenstein bank, which is currently seeing his Westfield family business audited by the ATO and investigated by the US Senate.

    Oh, but he is a great Australian champion because he loves his soccer, don't you know. Even if he did hand over the rights to his pal Rupert Murdoch.

  • hass

    Actually the Israelis themselves conceed that Iran is not a threat:

    Livni behind closed doors: Iranian nuclear arms pose little threat to Israel

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/916777.html

    Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni criticized the exaggerated use that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears. Last week, former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy said similar things about Iran.

  • moshe

    shh don't confuse the biased butt heads with fact. Buttheads brown nose the Arabist propaganda and view Zionism as a satanic cult of racism. Jewish seeking international recognizion fo the Jewish right to self determination – sure that's racist! Butt heads exalt in exposing their ignorance by farting through their mouths.