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.

Backing resistance and terrorism can be a very fine difference

I recently posted about an upcoming Supreme Court case that might redefine the ability of American citizens to provide advice to “terrorist” groups wanting non-violent means to achieve their goals.

This article expands on what is at stake and focuses on Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers:

The legal dispute arose from advice given by the Humanitarian Law Project to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. Both groups are listed by the State Department as terrorist organizations.

Recently, Indicted Wall Street hedge fund manager Rajakumara Rajaratnam and his father, J. M. Rajaratnam, knowingly provided financial and other support to the Tamil Tigers, more than 30 victims and survivors of the terrorist group’s attacks alleged, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark, NJ,  family members of those killed and survivors of bombings committed by the group formally known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), alleged that Rajaratnam and the family foundation headed by his father provided millions of dollars in funds used for the deadly and destructive terrorist attacks.

The seven-count complaint, the result of a year-long investigation, was filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789 which grants non-U.S. citizens access to the U.S. Courts to seek justice for violations of “the law of nations,” such as crimes against humanity and terrorism, no matter where they occur.

From 2004 through 2009, the LTTF, or Tamil Tigers, conducted hundreds of attacks, including several suicide bombings and political assassination attempts. According to the FBI, LTTE is responsible for the murders of over 4,000 people since 2006. The terrorist organization was the first to use suicide attacks on a widespread basis, a tactic subsequently adopted by al Qaeda and Hamas, among others. Most of LTTE’s funding and weapons procurement came from a network of international front charities and non-governmental organizations controlled by LTTE.

The complaint documents the transfer of millions of dollars from Rajaratnam and his family’s foundation to the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), which was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2007 as a “charitable organization that acts as a front to facilitate fundraising and procurement for the LTTE.” The TRO’s assets were immediately frozen.

According to the complaint, Rajaratnam gave $1 million to the TRO’s U.S. branch in 2004 in response to LTTE’s calls for renewed funding in anticipation of the “final war.” This money was funneled from TRO-US accounts to TRO headquarters in Sri Lanka. Rajaratnam had previously made a $1 million contribution to TRO following the LTTE’s successful “Elephant Pass” guerrilla campaign. These donations “demonstrate Rajaratnam’s contributions were given with the intent of supporting specific LTTE attacks and operations,” the complaint charges.

The complaint also documents donations from the Rajaratnam Family Foundation to the TRO totaling well over $5 million from 2001 to 2007.

As further evidence that Rajaratnam clearly supported LTTE’s campaign of terrorism, the complaint cites allegations that letters introducing Rajaratnam were provided to LTTE founder and leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran between December 2002 and June 2003. The letters of introduction to Prabhakaran, who was killed in 2009, were arranged by Karunakaran Kandasamy (Karuna), a TRO fundraiser and an LTTE operative who pled guilty in U.S. courts to criminal charges of materially supporting LTTE in June 2009.

In letters to senior LTTE leaders in Sri Lanka, Karuna described Rajaratnam as a wealthy Tamil supporter in the United States who was “among the people who provide financial support for our struggle for freedom” and as someone who “has been working actively on the forefront.”

In November 2002, Rajaratnam, speaking at a fundraiser for the Association of Tamils of Sri Lankan USA (ITSA), called those supporting the Tamils’ struggle in Sri Lanka “terrorists,” later adding that they were not just terrorists but also “freedom fighters.”

In addition, Rajaratnam’s father wrote on ITSA’s web site that “Historically, freedom movements have been labeled as terrorist organizations by the oppressors . . . ‘Terrorists’ have in their lifetime become ‘His excellencies.'” He added, “LTTE has not engaged in any killing that is not justifiable in the context of war.”

The counts brought by the lawsuit are: aiding and abetting terrorist acts universally condemned as violations of the law of nations; aiding and abetting, intentionally facilitating, and/or recklessly disregarding crimes against humanity in violation of international law; reckless disregard; wrongful death; survival; negligence; and negligent and/or intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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