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.

Start praying for salvation

Murdoch’s Australian newspaper hilariously publishes an article about Australian Jews now working in Israel to sell its war against Palestinians civilians. Says Captain Rutland, head of the European and Pacific desks at the IDF:

I know that the vast majority of them [soldiers] are quite simply very good people who do the maximum to minimise injuries to civilians and I’m convinced that the IDF is a moral and just body which makes it easy for me to sell it.

The murder of civilians is labelled by the paper as a “blunder.”

The shamelessness of the “journalism” should be treated with the contempt it deserves. How this publication regards such articles as anything other than Israeli Foreign Ministry spin is beyond me.

A colleague and friend, Jennifer Loewenstein (no relation) just emailed me a release from the Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza outlining the real situation in the Strip:

1. Israel has begun a new policy in Gaza in the past two days called the “roof knock”. This is when a “small” rocket is fired from Israeli military aircraft that is strong enough to blast open the roof of a targeted building. It is sent as a “warning message” to the building’s inhabitants giving them between 2 and 3 minutes to evacuate before the building is completely destroyed. A number of cases of this new technique have been reported recently.

2. While the UN continues to claim that “only” 25% of the casualties from the attacks on Gaza are civilian, the Mezan Center for Human Rights (known for the care it takes not to overstate the numbers and for its strict verification policies) estimates that the number of civilian casualties is approximately 85%. In particular, the number of children has increased to over 200, and the number of women has surpassed 75. One reason for the lower civilian casualty figures used by the UN has to do with the reluctance to consider men -other than the elderly and sick- as non-combatants. In fact the overwhelming majority of men killed in “Operation Cast Lead” up to now have been non-combatants, including fathers, teachers, shopkeepers, construction workers, laborers, students, as well as the civil policemen. The vast majority are not “Hamas militants.” Note that the civil police are considered ‘non-combatants’ under international law and are therefore not ‘legitimate’ targets in any military confrontation any more than traffic cops or firemen.

3. The UN announced this evening that “almost everyone in the Gaza Strip” is now in need of humanitarian aid. Indeed, even those with adequate food supplies are a) handing out what they have to people in “shelters” (which have been targeted consistently by Israeli war machines in the past); Even those with adequate food supplies are b) unable to obtain bread anywhere. Many are using rice or spaghetti to substitute for carbohydrates — when these are availabe and when there is water and electricity to allow for cooking these items.

4. There are widespread reports now of forced evacuations of entire neighborhoods of people who go mainly to nearby schools or other public buildings not yet destroyed. These are considered no more secure than their homes but remain the only other places to go (other than to move into crowded dwellings with relatives; or places no more secure than their own homes). The congregation of so many people in these enclosed spaces increases the likelihood of major civilian casualties when airstrikes target the area.

Israeli policies in this war and the West Bank are deliberately designed to maximise Palestinian trauma and a number of Americans this week have spoken out forcefully against Israel’s bombardment (including a Marine who just served in Iraq.)

Israeli actions are trying to arrest the inevitable; a majority Arab population in the Jewish state and global sanctions.

That time is sooner than Zionists think.

3 comments ↪
  • ej

    But, hey, the sub that gave the dross its title got it right. presumably s/he has already been sent to Coventry.

  • Palestine2019

    Israel broke the Gaza ceasefire on 4 November 2008, the day of the US presidential election.

    This fact was reported as breaking news during the coverage of the election results.

    Here's proof (1min:15sec YouTube video)…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhY5EtrJACU

  • ej

    The shamelessness of journalism on the home front has reached mountainous proportions.

    Consider four pieces from ‘respected’ commentators in the Oz press in the space of a mere three days: Alhadeff, the 8th (SMH); Rubin, the 9th (Age); Rubinstein, the 9th (AFR); Indyk, today the 10th (SMH). And note that they’re all in the Fairfax press!

    Alhadeff:

    ‘Israel’s intention is always to avoid harming civilians.’

    Rubin:

    ‘Hamas is a member of the Iran-Syria alliance that seeks to overthrow every Arab regime in the Middle East and replace it with an anti-Western, war-oriented, radical Islamist dictatorship.’

    Rubinstein:

    ‘Israel [ending its Occupation in August 2005] hoped an independent Gaza would become a model of economic and political development in a potential Palestinian state.’

    ‘… continuing negotiations between Israel and PA President Mahmoud Abbas …. [have] been largely successful. Significant improvements in security in the West Bank have allowed increased freedom of movement and economic development to follow.’

    ‘Israel is certainly not indiscriminately targeting Palestinian civilians. Just the opposite, Israel does everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties.’

    Indyk:

    ‘Arafat’s rejection of Clinton’s final offer [there was no offer] and his resort to violence …’

    ‘The growing Palestinian demographic threat is spurring Israel’s leaders to find a way to end the West Bank occupation.’

    Lies. All lies. Mendacity heaped on mendacity.

    This gem from Indyk sums it up:

    ‘Providence has infused Americans with a generosity of spirit that finds expression in their desire to spread their good fortune to others and to believe others will want to receive it as openly as they give it.’

    Hello? And the Tooth Fairy is coming to deliver us universal peace and harmony.

    Now what do we have here? The authors are all well-educated, intelligent men. Where are the benefits of their formal education?

    There is on display a pathology. Worse, a collective pathology.

    The offerings befit those of a cult; but the typical cult is engaged in harm to its own members. This cult has been forged specifically to engage in harm to a select group of outsiders.

    Is there any precedent for this grotesquerie in modern history? The closest (only?) parallel to this phenomenon appears to be that of Communists and fellow travellers who defended Stalin’s Soviet regime through the terrors, the show trials and the gulags (and later the Maoist regime through the great famine and the 'cultural revolution'), in spite of the accumulating evidence.

    Yet in spite of the mass of defenders of Stalinism, and the scale of the propaganda machine, that machine did not have privileged access to the mainstream Western media or to the party machines of Western governments. The current spectacle of the glorification of ethnic cleansing is unprecedented in modern history.

    The Western political classes are abject in their obeisance. The media is clogged with the hasbara lie, and with countervailing attempts to point out the obvious. Nothing changes.

    The language itself, meaning, the basis for civilised discourse, in turn for civilised understanding and social and political action, is persistently under threat. It’s a madhouse.

    Removing the Israeli boot from the Palestinian neck is the most pressing issue in all global politics.

    Without the media and the political classes acquiring and applying even a modicum of principles, the prospects for change are not good. Frankly, the probability is that it is going to be more of the same for the indefinite future.