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.

Adhere to the rule of law, says Labor MP to Israel and her backers

Senior Australian unionist Paul Howes wrote recently that Israel’s murder of a Hamas operative in Dubai was a wonderful thing to celebrate.

Retiring Labor MP Julia Irwin disagrees and said the following in Federal Parliament on 15 March:

Mrs IRWIN (Fowler) (9.18 pm)—I rise tonight to comment on an article in the Sunday Telegraph on 7 March
2010. The article, by the National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Mr Paul Howse, highlights three
things: (1) that Mr Howse is ignorant of the concept of justice; (2) that Mr Howse has little appreciation of the
values that Australians hold dear: and (3) that Mr Howse is completely ignorant of why unionists the world
over abhor extrajudicial killings. Mr Howse’s article celebrates the recent killing in Dubai of Mr Mahmoud al-
Mabhouh, a member of the Palestinian group Hamas, which Mr Howse described as ‘an ugly Islamo-fascist
terrorist organisation’. Paul Howse not only praises the extrajudicial killing of al-Mahbhouh, but happily declares his pride in Australia’s accidental involvement by virtue of the use of forged Australian passports to facilitate the travel of those involved in this murder.

While no-one is rushing to claim responsibility for the killing, there is ample anecdotal supposition that the
state of Israel may be responsible for this extrajudicial killing. Anecdotal evidence and supposition do not stand
up in a court of law. In the absence of a direct admission or direct evidence of the real identities of those involved there may be little that can be done, and that is very much the point. We will now never have the evidence against al-Mabhouh presented to a court. Its veracity will never be tested. There will be no due process. Al-Mabhouh will never face his accusers, and the families of his alleged victims will never have the opportunity to see him face public scrutiny for his alleged crimes, nor will they receive justice. These families will never have the opportunity to see the evidence and know for certain that al-Mabhouh was directly responsible for their tragedies.

In the case of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, he was captured, due process was observed, he was tried in a court of
law, evidence was presented, and he was convicted and sentenced. The families of Saddam Hussein’s victims
received justice. The old adage says: justice must not only be done; it must be seen to be done. Extrajudicial
killings fall far short of this standard and they have no place in a true democracy. Yet Paul Howse is happy for
our laws to be broken, for our sovereignty to be impinged upon and for the Australians whose identities were
stolen to be placed in precarious positions—Australians, I might add, who share Israeli citizenship, Australians
who now face the prospect of being detained whenever they travel because of Interpol alerts. They must now
prove their innocence but even then when they travel their doubts will remain, not to mention the other Israeli
dual nationals from various countries who have also had their identities stolen in the commission of this murder.

I am certain that these individuals would object to their identities being stolen for the commission of a crime.

The term extrajudicial killing is a polite way of referring to state sponsored murder, the execution of individuals
without judicial sanction and without due process. Of course the Dubai killing is not the first time extrajudicial
killings have been used as a tool to eliminate those deemed to be enemies of the state or simply undesirable. It has  long been a tool of totalitarian regimes and military dictatorships around the world. Regimes in Europe, Africa,  Asia, Latin and South America have all used this tool to eliminate opponents. In Latin and South America, for  example, those who were opposed to right-wing regimes or military dictatorships were simply eliminated by right-wing death squads. Many of these were unionists representing the working class and defending workers’  rights and many were identified as left-wingers or communists and deemed opponents of a regime. Thousands disappeared in an orgy of kidnapping, torture and murder. In south-western Sydney today the Latin and South  American communities tell of their stories. Many have told me personally of fleeing from their homelands in  order to escape the extrajudicial punishment and extrajudicial murders meted out at the hands of regime thugs,  often police, military or intelligent operatives acting under a cover with a nudge and a wink from those apparently  in charge. Many lost family and friends without justification, and many victims remain missing even today.

It may be easy for Paul Howse to glorify extrajudicial killings from the sidelines, but if we legitimise this
extrajudicial killing we legitimise them all, because each one is based not on law but on hearsay and a subjective
point of view. But such a view may not always be admissible in a court. It has no legal basis and falls far short
of the judicial and community standard. It would be open slather. What would the reaction have been had the
killers in Dubai been discovered and forced to kill others to effect an escape? A hotel worker, a hotel guest or a
tourist—would they have just been collateral damage? What would the reaction of Paul Howse have been had the

killings taken place on the streets of Sydney or Melbourne? Would the Australian media have been as accepting?
Would we have excused this as an act of a friend?

While professing to share those values that we as Australians hold dear, Mr Howes is ready to compromise
them by terminating a life without judicial warrant or excuse. If it is acceptable for one group to act outside
traditional norms and practices and kill, then it will be open to others to act in a similar way. Civilised societies
do not accept this. Democratic and fair societies certainly do not. Australia does not and would not condone
extrajudicial killings, nor can we accept being a party to them, intentionally or unintentionally. Mr Howes needs  to be reminded that in Australia we no longer have the death penalty. In fact, legislation has just passed in this  parliament to extend the current Commonwealth prohibition on the death penalty to state laws. It ensures that the  death penalty cannot be reintroduced in Australia; and extrajudicial killing, therefore, necessarily cuts against  the grain. To be involved in its commission innocently or otherwise is abhorrent and unacceptable.

The killers of al-Mabhouh, and their supporters, were willing to commit identity fraud and commit passport
and visa fraud to travel to a third country to murder an individual declared an enemy of the state by a small,
unknown and unaccountable group of individuals. In so doing, the perpetrators have trampled on the sovereignty of several nations, including our own—Australia. The reaction of the federal government, the Prime Minister and the foreign minister is entirely appropriate. The use of forged Australian passports is now being investigated by the Australian Federal Police and other agencies. Action will no doubt be taken if the evidence obtained warrants it.

Rest assured that any further action by the Australian government will not involve extrajudicial punishment.
As a society Australians have always championed legal rights. Evidence is collected by the police and assessed
by the state’s legal officers. If that evidence warrants them, charges may be laid against an accused. Due process  is observed. The evidence is presented in a court of law. If the accused is found guilty, punishment is handed out according to law—not according to what I think, not according to what Paul Howes thinks, but according to the law. Justice is not only done; it is seen to be done. It is the foundation of our Australian democracy and it is the foundation of our Australian society. I shudder to think where we might be without it,but I shuddered even more when I read the last paragraph of Paul Howes’s article:
Therefore, it is in our nation’s interest to do whatever we can to remove these vile people from power—by any means  necessary.
Paul Howes—judge, jury and executioner.

4 comments ↪
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  • Marilyn

    Good for Julia, where was Joe Hockey as well.   We could have an extra-judicial killing spree here.  Paul would like that I am sure.

    What astounds me about Howes is that he has such great compassion for everyone on the planet but the Palestinians whose land the jews have stolen and who the jews murder with abandon and his total lack of regard for the dozens of supposedly innocent people who had their passports used in this manner.

    No moral compass at all when it comes to being a paid shill for Israel.

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Julia Irwin…the only members of the Federal Parliamentary ALP with backbone.

    We salute you.

    Gutless wonders are the rest….and I include the great humanist Peter Garrett in that crowd.

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