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.

Yes, we’ve heard that before

Ever get the feeling that the US election is designed for those with a short memory?

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at
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Mideast Youth on blogging

Mideast Youth is an essential Bahrain-based portal for news, views and activism about online freedom in the Muslim world.

I was interviewed this week about my book, The Blogging Revolution, and what online players can do to highlight ever-tightening censorship.

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Head-banging bliss

Heavy metal in Baghdad.

Iraq isn’t what it used to be.

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From Iraq to Washington

Barack Obama appears to have personally benefited from funds originating in Saddam Hussein’s regime.

What, you didn’t know this gem (courtesy of an increasingly frightened neo-con fringe)?

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Standing up to growing intrusion

The Global Network Initiative is a new idea designed to tackle the growing issue of censorship:

From the Americas to Europe to the Middle East to Africa and Asia, companies in the information and communications industries face increasing government pressure to comply with domestic laws and policies that require censorship and disclosure of personal information in ways that conflict with internationally recognized human rights laws and standards.

The Initiative is founded upon new Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy – supported by specific implementation commitments and a framework for accountability and learning – that provide a systematic approach for companies, NGOs, investors, academics and others to work together in resisting efforts by governments that seek to enlist companies in acts of censorship and surveillance that violate international standards.

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Mideast Youth on The Blogging Revolution

Mideast Youth on The Blogging Revolution

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A price too far

The devastating face of militant Islam, courtesy of Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper:

Parents of 18-year-old Tasleem Solangi, who was killed in an extremely inhumane manner allegedly by some elders of her tribe, have appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to provide them protection as the killers are still at large and have not been arrested because of their connections with police.

Tasleem’s mother told reporters at the Karachi Press Club on Monday that her daughter was first thrown before hungry dogs and when she was mauled by them and in the jaws of death, she was riddled with bullets.

The act was staged before the girl’s father who was specifically brought from a house where he had been under detention for about a year.

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A fragmented Islam

How is blogging affecting the narrative and public image of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?

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Change is only a word

Alexander Cockburn, co-editor of Counterpunch, on a necessary reality check:

Obama invokes change. Yet never has the dead hand of the past had a “reform” candidate so firmly by the windpipe. Is it possible to confront America’s problems without talking about the arms budget? The Pentagon is spending more than at any point since the end of the Second World War. In “real dollars” – an optimistic concept these days – the $635bn (£400bn) appropriated in fiscal 2007 is 5 per cent above the previous all-time high, reached in 1952. Obama wants to enlarge the armed services by 90,000. He pledges to escalate the US war in Afghanistan; to attack Pakistan’s territory if it obstructs any unilateral US mission to kill Osama bin Laden; and to wage a war against terror in a hundred countries, creating a new international intelligence and law enforcement “infrastructure” to take down terrorist networks. A fresh start? Where does this differ from Bush’s commitment on 20 September 2001, to an ongoing “war on terror” against “every terrorist group of global reach” and “any nation that continues to harbour or support terrorism”?

The arms industry remains a deadly killer:

From Nobel laureates to human rights activists to former military commanders, calls are on the rise for the international community to stand up against those who are making billions of dollars by selling illicit arms around the world.

“It is time to end the slaughter,” said Desmond Tutu, the Noble Peace Prize winning archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, in a statement urging the 192-member UN General Assembly to adopt the proposed Arms Trade Treaty…

Studies show that at least a third of a million people are killed every year with conventional weapons, many of which are used by human rights abusers due to the poorly regulated international arms market. That’s the equivalent of about 1,000 deaths each day.

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The choice is damn clear

Crikey’s Guy Rundle on the political divide (as only he can write it):

…Your average urban left-liberal is a (non-Arab) keffiyah-wearing Sezuan-cuisine cooking yoga attendee, busy carbon-neutralising their retrostyled Altona brick veneer, ahead of that big Latin American hiking trip – but they tend to have better lives than the Right, who eat steak and go home to bare walls and have no alternative to victory but gut cancer.

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Imagine if a state wants to bomb Washington?

The New York Times provides the rationale for this week’s US strike against “terrorists” in Syria:

…American officials said the Bush administration was determined to operate under an expansive definition of self-defense that provided a rationale for strikes on militant targets in sovereign nations without those countries’ consent.

Such actions are illegal under international law and a profound violation of a nation’s sovereignty. But of course, what the US says, goes.

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Pakistan from the inside

New, interesting voices in the blogosphere should be celebrated.

Danielle Ali Shah is an “Australian living in Rawalpindi, Pakistan with my husband, three children and extended family.”

A recent post, “Digging through the land in the land of the pure“, discusses the rawness of life in Pakistan.

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