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.

When Barack Obama goes Down Under

My following article appears in the Huffington Post:

The arrival of the new American Ambassador to Australia was breathlessly welcomed by the Australia media pack in late 2009. Jeffrey Bleich, an American lawyer from California, assumed his position in Canberra and was introduced to the country through an interview on the public broadcaster ABC.

After the reporter Leigh Sales congratulated Bleich on his appointment, he was treated to softball questions and allowed to outline, unchallenged, the Obama administration’s agenda.

Sales and Bleich joked over the ambassador’s Elvis obsession but substantive questions were almost absent (or follow-ups probing Bleich’s non-answers). No comments about Obama’s continuation of Bush administration policies towards indefinite detention of terror suspects and warrantless wiretapping.

On the eve of Obama’s first visit to Australia in late March, the Sydney Morning Herald’s political editor Peter Hartcher informed his readers that, “the remark by the US ambassador to Australia that his kids are brushing up on their Wii skills is a marker of the rejuvenation of the alliance.”

Hartcher wrote:

“By bringing his family, Obama will give a new generation of Australians a sense of connection with their country’s chief ally… Where the relationship between [former Australian Prime Minister John] Howard and [George W.] Bush was forged in the fire of September 11 terrorism and the Afghan and Iraq invasions that followed, [Australian Prime Minister Kevin] Rudd and Obama have developed a post-crisis partnership.”

Both leaders would be able to “share satisfaction in the early progress of the new strategy in Afghanistan.”

The American/Australian alliance has always been built on supporting Washington’s wars, despite public opinion often opposing these engagements (such as the current Afghan deployment).

After the humanitarian and military disaster in Iraq, the only reason to maintain Australian troops in Afghanistan is to try and regain Washington’s credibility; a difficult task when civilians continue being killed. Australia’s objective has therefore nothing to do with bringing freedom and democracy to Afghanistan.

Furthermore, Australians troops are suspected of committing war crimes in the country and military lawyers are inadequately trained to assess possible breaches of humanitarian law in the field.

A senior Australian Army media adviser who served in Afghanistan and Iraq accused the Australian government of a culture of excessive spin and unnecessary secrecy, lying about local engagement with the civilian populations and obscuring the mission’s purpose.

There is little discussion in the corporate media over what Australian troops are actually doing in Afghanistan. Instead, the public are mostly treated to articles advocating military escalation. Take this recent piece by Rupert Murdoch columnist, Greg Sheridan, arguing that, “a serious ally would take the lead in a province, as we did in Vietnam.” Public opinion, or morality, is damned.

America has consistently thanked Australia for its reliability. George W. Bush awarded John Howard the Presidential Medal of Freedom in early 2009. Bush said that, “He [Howard] never wavered in his support for liberty, and free institutions, and the rule of law as the true and hopeful alternatives to ideologies of violence and repression. That’s why I called him a man of steel.”

Howard was a full backer of Bush’s “war on terror”, including Guantanamo Bay and extraordinary rendition.

Britain’s Tony Blair and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe were also awarded at the White House ceremony.

Managing the alliance between America and Australia takes little work or imagination from Washington. They have a country desperate to keep on its good side, able to offer its own thoughts but likely to fall into line, no matter what. Washington rightly believes that Australia watches over the Pacific, influencing and pressuring small nations heavily reliant on foreign aid.

Some mainstream commentators have suggested that Obama’s upcoming trip should allow serious discussion about China and energy co-operation.

But Obama’s fortunes are dwindling in America and key policies, on health and climate change, are stalled with little positive resolution expected any time soon. Although a senior Australian minister claimed last week that Obama’s visit would “generate a great deal of interest from the Australian public“, I know of a number of anti-war groups who will peacefully protest America’s ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and support for Israel.

Australian backing for America isn’t automatic and requires constant massaging by embedded journalists. The Australian-American Leadership Dialogue is a regular and private gathering of the political elites from both countries. Senior journalists, most of whom never disclose their participation, regularly return from meetings praising American initiatives.

As far as I know, there has never been a comprehensive article in the mainstream press that debunks the agenda of the Dialogue or the opinion-shapers involved. Instead, we are treated to occasional references without context.

Australia has long suffered from an inferiority complex towards its super-power boss. Disagreements aren’t unknown between Washington and Canberra – Kevin Rudd refused to help re-settle released Uighur detainees from Guantanamo Bay despite a request from the Obama administration – but Australia is far more comfortable seeing America as an irreplaceable friend who supposedly shares the same values. China is only a vitally important trading partner.

There is no doubt that Obama himself remains popular in Australia – his allegedly charming demeanour is still profiled in gossip magazines – but the mainstream media reports the torturous progress of the Democrat’s health care bill and the political effectiveness of the Tea Party movement.

Obama’s upcoming visit will be primarily an opportunity for Kevin Rudd in an election year to bask in the glow of a President whose popularity is diving in America but remains buoyant globally.

At a time when America’s ability to shape events in vast swathes of the world are in decline, including throughout South America and the Middle East, Obama will be pleased to visit an unquestioning ally.

6 comments ↪
  • Mallee

    Antony,

    The Hufffington Post??? 

    The site that drops Jesse Ventura's article/report on his conspircay book, because it exposes the 9/11 US conspircay lies and states it's reasoning as being;

    that the Huffington post will not report on 9/11 'conspiracy' theories, thus denying it's readers any reports on the scientific evidence demonstrating that the WTC twin towers and building No 7 must have been 'blown up'.

    Then it spruiks the 'Official US Government 'Conspircay' Theory/fable" on it's site.

    My advice: Do not have any truck with hypocrites.

    David Ray Griffin pointed all this out quite clearly at 911blogger.com over the last few days.

  • Shaun

    I can't believe that the Huffington Post would choose not to publish the views of the internationally renowned academic and structural engineer James George Janos, also known as Jesse 'The Body' Ventura.  Don't they realise that he played a major role in The Young and the Restless and was part of the team that defeated Hillbilliy Jim, Uncle Elmer and cousin Luke in the 1985 WWF championship?  I'm guessing that the Mossad secrety controls the HuffPo and is censoring Jesse's writings to hide the fact that it was actually 'Zionists' that carried out the attacks of 9/11.  You just need to connect the dots people.

  • Mallee

    Sarcasm has it place and at times is fun. BS just deceives the people.

    The Huffington post will also not report on the ae911truth.org that represents over 1,110 architects and engineers that want a new investigation into 9/11.

    The Huffy post will not report the confirmation of the finding of nano-thermitic militray grade thermite in the dust of the twin towers with minute metalic spheres caused by sufficinet heat to combine atoms from  foreign substances. The best example is to spray a water atomise and creat minute droplets of watre. Then imagine that is molten metsl. Tha is what Niels Harrit and 8 othe rscientists confirmed in their paper published on 3.4.2009. (by the way: neither will our Aussie mass media!!)

    The Huufy psot will not report that towns in New Hampshire have just voted to make their representatives in Congres seek a new investigation into the mass murders of 9/11. [see 911blogger.com]

    Jesse Ventura is simply one of the hundreds of millions of people in the world who want a new investigation.

    I will leave further esearch for you, this is not the ideal site to debate the intricate facts about 9/11.

    So zionists carried out the attack did they? Well who knows, but Jesse did say if he had Dick Cheney on a board and a bucket of water then he would have some questions answered.  Is Uncle Dick really a zionist or an oil person? Perhaps even worse he might be Episcopalian like George. Who Knows.

    Shaun you missed the usual line; 'Those who do not accept the official US government conspiracy theories must be holocaust deniers also". Yep, next time sprout that out.

    Shaun: did you not think that possibly people merely just want to know  how 3,000 people were murdered and how, considering that they have been given a BS account of nonsense that is not even now accepted in total by 6 of the 10 9/11 congressional 9/11 commision members? {'We allowed the government to lie to us'}

    Would you mind dropping the attempted; "we are poor misunderstood past victims and we want to make every one guilty, so as not to ask questions' , syndrome. It is passe and boring and gives the impression that you do not want to know who is really reponsible for the heinous mass murders.

  • Mallee

    Dear Oh dear, sorry about the typos, but parking inspector vultures are around.

  • Shaun

    With such well written and reasoned arguments, how could anybody still refuse to recognise that there was a massive conspiracy behind the attacks of 9/11?. 

    On the other hand, perhaps you should put the bong down for a little while.

  • mallee

    Shaun,

    "…..'How could anybody still refuse to recognise that there was a massive conspiracy behind the attacks".

    No one does.

    The question is what conspiracy? The official Bush believers conspiracy or some other conspiracy. The latter must exist in some form as the official Bush believers conspiracy version is 'hogwash' [to quote Lt Col Bob Bowman at Patriots question911.com] and contrary to the scientific evidence. You know Shaun, scientific, as in in the observable evidence that has been verified by experts.

    Thank you for the acknowlement of  the 'well reasoned argumnets'. However there are many more over at 911.blogger.com for you to consider.

    As for the reference to the bong; I take it that, that is the essence of your rebuttal of the persons who have  reasons for the growing world wide desire to have the questions about 9/11 and the mass murders answered. That is; that thye are all on pot or potty, may be nutters, even conspiracy theorists [like yourself] holocaust deniers, elvis alive freaks etc. Yep, no doubt that is the foundation of your knowledge of the questions surrounding the mass murders. Try not to walk over the edge of the earth in your darkness or is it prejudice, that blinds?

    PS. I never inhale!!