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 Americans and Iranians meet, sort of

A fascinating debate on Press TV about Iran’s role in the world and its image in the West.

Although many of the Iranian speakers claim that their country is a “democracy”, the official American position is equally absurd and shows the almost desperate need of both sides to talk past each other. Neither society is perfect but few in Iran are encouraging a bombing campaign against the American mainland.

3 comments ↪
  • That's quite an old version of 'The Link', I remember watching it live at the time. Katzman, an American Jewish 'Patriot', sock puppet for Washington and self-proclaimed 'Iran expert' is a vile little man. But they seem to like him, over at Press TV, perhaps precisely for that cartoonish 'Uncle Sam' kind of quality…

  • I know it is very difficult for those of us who value our separation of Church and State to understand the Iranian system but I urge readers to take the time to study it.

    Obviously the political dynamic in Iran is different from that of our own multi-cultural and multi-religious societies. Iran however has a society that is 98% Islam and Islam, by its very nature is political.

    The checks and balances in Iranian political institutions are in fact probably more robust than our own – each power centre is subject to oversight by another. Even  the "Supreme Leader" (a misnomer, Constitutionally, his title is simply "Leader") can be removed  by the Assembly of Experts, a body elected by adult suffrage every eight years.

    Criticism in the West of  the Guardian Council's power to determine  candidates' eligibility for office is largely misplaced. This prerogative is subject to strict criteria and is not arbitrary – it corresponds to our "suitability for office" criteria although it does have a religious factor. The net effect is to produce a bias towards "piety" as political capital. Whilst this may offend Western sensibilities, an Iranian might equally look askance at our system which creates a bias toward candidates who are well equipped with monetary capital.

    As a non-religious person myself, I have reservations about such a system but I cannot criticise it from a "representative democracy" standpoint.

    This leaves the accusations of brutality exhibited against political and sexual offenders. A degree of caution is needed when judging these incidents. In the first place, there is a great deal of autonomy granted district administrations and institutions so what may occur in some remote and fundamentalist outpost is not necessarily State policy.  Secondly, many such reported incidents are simply false. The MEK and similar organisations are active propagandists and Israel does its best to keep the pot boiling:

    As far as I have been able to ascertain, the gay situation in Iran resembles that of the UK some 50 years ago. Gays are tolerated as long as they do not "frighten the horses". It is interesting that trans-gender operations are available on the national health.

    With regard to political offenses, again caution is needed. The MEK is a cult-like group, formerly allied with Saddam Hussein. They were responsible for the now discredited "laptop evidence" of Iran's so-called nuclear weapons programme and publicising the execution of two homosexuals  while concealing the fact that the pair had instigated the gang-rape of their 13 year old victim.

    Dissidents with MEK connections and the recipients of the almost half-billion dollars in funding provided by the Bush administration expressly to de-stabilise the Iranian Government are no doubt treated very harshly but they are most often portrayed in the West as "protestors". This might explain why some "protestors" are released without charge and others pay a heavy price. Judging by past performance, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that MEK  could be responsible for the death of Neda Agha-Soltan. The fact that this atrocity was filmed and appeared in the Western media within a few hours is, to my inquiring mind, interesting.

    Many of the headlines emanating from Iran bear more than passing resemblance to those that lead to the invasion of Iraq and we now know they were false. The "wiped off the map" and "Holocaust Denial" calumnies have now been soundly refuted so caution with regard to such news stories in my view.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • I know it is very difficult for those of us who value our separation of Church and State to understand the Iranian system but I urge readers to take the time to study it.

    Obviously the political dynamic in Iran is different from that of our own multi-cultural and multi-religious societies. Iran however has a society that is 98% Islam and Islam, by its very nature is political.

    The checks and balances in Iranian political institutions are in fact probably more robust than our own – each power centre is subject to oversight by another. Even  the "Supreme Leader" (a misnomer, Constitutionally, his title is simply "Leader") can be removed  by the Assembly of Experts, a body elected by adult suffrage every eight years.

    Criticism in the West of  the Guardian Council's power to determine  candidates' eligibility for office is largely misplaced. This prerogative is subject to strict criteria and is not arbitrary – it corresponds to our "suitability for office" criteria although it does have a religious factor. The net effect is to produce a bias towards "piety" as political capital. Whilst this may offend Western sensibilities, an Iranian might equally look askance at our system which creates a bias toward candidates who are well equipped with monetary capital.

    As a non-religious person myself, I have reservations about such a system but I cannot criticise it from a "representative democracy" standpoint.

    This leaves the accusations of brutality exhibited against political and sexual offenders. A degree of caution is needed when judging these incidents. In the first place, there is a great deal of autonomy granted district administrations and institutions so what may occur in some remote and fundamentalist outpost is not necessarily State policy.  Secondly, many such reported incidents are simply false. The MEK and similar organisations are active propagandists and Israel does its best to keep the pot boiling:

    As far as I have been able to ascertain, the gay situation in Iran resembles that of the UK some 50 years ago. Gays are tolerated as long as they do not "frighten the horses". It is interesting that trans-gender operations are available on the national health.

    With regard to political offenses, again caution is needed. The MEK is a cult-like group, formerly allied with Saddam Hussein. They were responsible for the now discredited "laptop evidence" of Iran's so-called nuclear weapons programme and publicising the execution of two homosexuals  while concealing the fact that the pair had instigated the gang-rape of their 13 year old victim.

    Dissidents with MEK connections and the recipients of the almost half-billion dollars in funding provided by the Bush administration expressly to de-stabilise the Iranian Government are no doubt treated very harshly but they are most often portrayed in the West as "protestors". This might explain why some "protestors" are released without charge and others pay a heavy price. Judging by past performance, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that MEK  could be responsible for the death of Neda Agha-Soltan. The fact that this atrocity was filmed and appeared in the Western media within a few hours is, to my inquiring mind, interesting.

    Many of the headlines emanating from Iran bear more than passing resemblance to those that lead to the invasion of Iraq and we now know they were false. The "wiped off the map" and "Holocaust Denial" calumnies have now been soundly refuted so caution with regard to such news stories in my view.

     

    PS. Tried to post this with links to all the supporting data but got rejected as spam. Trying again now with just one link.