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.

Melbourne Age chastises Colombo over rights abuses

Following yesterday’s strong editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald over Sri Lanka, today the Melbourne Age adds its voice to the outcry.

I can’t read these pieces and not think about the gutlessness of the corporate press when writing about the Middle East. Slamming Sri Lanka is risk-free for editors. Seriously challenging Israel’s occupation of Palestine involves dealing with annoyed Zionist lobbyists:

Beautiful country, blighted land: hardly the type of slogan to welcome tourists, but sentiment that sadly sums up life in Sri Lanka. Decades of civil war have sabotaged the economy of what should be a jewel of the Indian Ocean. For the more than 21 million people – Sinhalese and Tamil mostly – squeezed into an area not even a third the size of Victoria, the suffering has been needless and long.

Despite the cautious hope that greeted the end to almost 30 years of war last May, ominous clouds are again gathering. The move by President Mahinda Rajapaksa this week to arrest Sarath Fonseka, his former chief general and subsequent opponent in January’s presidential election, smacks of authoritarianism. Mr Fonseka fell out with Mr Rajapaksa after leading government troops to bludgeon Tamil Tiger remnants last year in the east of the island. Both men, undeterred by allegations of human rights abuses in the final days of the conflict, sought the credit for finishing off the Tigers’ cadres, and Mr Rajapaksa prevailed where it counts – at the ballot box.

Apparently not content with the voters’ decision to return him to office, Mr Rajapaksa appears determined to also crush any future opposition. Mr Fonseka is accused of ”military offences” and though he is no longer a military officer, he faces a court martial. And Mr Rajapaksa has since dismissed the parliament two months ahead of schedule, seeking to ram home his advantage against a dispirited opposition reeling from Mr Fonseka’s arrest. Mr Fonseka had forged an unlikely coalition with Tamil parties, promising to submit to scrutiny for his role in the conflict. The Sri Lankan army is accused of shelling Tamil civilians trapped in a cantonment with the last of the Tigers and Mr Fonseka is also accused of involvement in the death of the newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, an Australian permanent resident. Mr Rajapaksa remains defiant, intent on keeping the final days of the war secret.

Sri Lanka must honestly account for its conduct of the war if the country is to start on the path to a more stable future. On ABC Foreign Correspondent this week, former United Nations spokesman in Sri Lanka, Australian Gordon Weiss, claimed the last stages of the conflict cost as many as 40,000 civilian lives. His claim sits at odds with the official UN estimate of 7000 killed, fuelling suspicions that the cost of defeating the Tigers was far greater than the government in Colombo has been willing to admit. Without a transparent inquiry, questions over the conduct of the campaign will haunt Sri Lanka, undermine trust in the government and ultimately hold back much-needed development.

Australia has major interests in Sri Lanka, not least because the country is the main source of asylum seekers willing to risk the perilous journey by boat to Australia. The war and instability in Sri Lanka affect all the countries of South Asia – and by extension, Australia, as an Indian Ocean power. If the Rudd government genuinely seeks a reputation for an ”activist” foreign policy, Australia should take a stand against Sri Lanka’s slide from democracy.

Australia has so far merely said it was watching developments closely. This passive attitude could be easily confused with a willingness to pander to Colombo out of fear that any criticism could jeopardise Sri Lankan co-operation with Australia on immigration matters. It would be a greater betrayal of the Sri Lankan people should Australia be seen to abandon support for democracy in order to preserve relations with an increasingly authoritarian ruler.

For a different island nation in the Pacific, Australia did take a strong stand. After Fiji broke from democracy, Australia was at the spearhead of moves to suspend the country from the Commonwealth. Sri Lanka is also a member of the Commonwealth, and should be put on notice that it risks a similar penalty.

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