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.

How the Israel lobby plants hysterical stories in the Aussie media

One of the few Australian academics to actually publicly challenge Australia’s deep relationship with Israel and America is Scott Burchill. Here’s his latest missive:

This mysterious story appeared on AM (ABC Radio) on Friday.

Just dropped out of the blue. Nothing newsworthy about it. In fact the story is mostly nonsense – including accusations that Iran has chemical weapons. Says who? Even the Israeli government doesn’t make such a claim. Almost identical stories have been broadcast before. I suspect the explanation is that the local Israeli lobby is turning up the heat on the ABC again, after critical stories on Mossad’s identity theft fiasco and bad blood between Netanyahu and Obama. It’s a sympathy trip. No reason for its appearance, other than to portray Israeli citizens as helpless victims of the Islamic terrorist scourge.

When you have an empty stomach, this will amuse. It’s the usual apologetics from [Murdoch “journalist” Greg] Sheridan (earning the prize awarded to him by the local Israeli lobby a few years back). Interesting only as an example of when the radical right here considers it is legitimate to be “anti-American”: when a Democrat in the White House gently chides the leader of the holy state.

3 comments ↪
  • gandhi2

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8587814.st

    this from your own thread on the 28th- maybe precautions and training for the consequences of missles from outside Isreal do make sense – you know like if you lived there?

    Scott Burchill is pretty blinkered and his choice of language belies his own hysteria – OK Sheridan is a dick but screeching ,  frothing fits of indignation for the likes of Burchill is very unseemly.

  • Aaron

    Unbelievable. If you read the transcript for the AM story on gas mask distribution:

    "AVITAL LEIBOVICH: There's a shift in the focus of terrorists. The shift is towards the population. We saw it in Kasled (phonetic), where the people of the southern part of Israel were the main target. And we saw it in the Lebanese war where the people of Haifa were the target, which is approximately one third of the population of Israel."

    Evidently the transcribers don't know much about the I/P conflict. What they transcribe as "Kasled" is the Gaza Massacre from a year ago or as Israel calls it "Operation Cast Lead".

    This military operation – it would be inaccurate to call it a war –  started after a 6 month cease-fire with Hamas, which Hamas respected but Israel broke on Nov 4 2008, the day the world was busy watching Obama get elected. As well as the complete destruction of 4-5000 homes, the bombing of hospitals, ambulances, schools, factories, infrastructure and UN facilities, over 1400 Palestinians died. Over 1000 of them were civilians, 320 of them children. Deaths on the Israeli side amounted to 13: 3 civilians and 4 from friendly fire by the IDF. And it is being pitched to us as "terrorists" (Palestinians) targetting civilians!

    The same for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, destruction on a massive scale and over 1000 casualties, the vast majority of them civilian.

    From the Goldstone Report:

    Paragraph 1893 on Israel's intentions in Gaza:

    "The operations were carefully planned in all their phases. Legal opinions and advice were given throughout the planning stages and at certain operational levels during the campaign. There were almost no mistakes made according to the Government of Israel. It is in these circumstances that the Mission concludes that what occurred in just over three weeks at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 was a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.

    Paragraph 62-64 from the Goldstone Report on the same:

    "62. The tactics used by the Israeli armed forces in the Gaza offensive are consistent with

    previous practices, most recently during the Lebanon war in 2006. A concept known as the

    Dahiya doctrine emerged then, involving the application of disproportionate force and the

    causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to

    civilian populations. The Mission concludes from a review of the facts on the ground that it

    witnessed for itself that what was prescribed as the best strategy appears to have been precisely

    what was put into practice.

    63. In the framing of Israeli military objectives with regard to the Gaza operations, the

    concept of Hamas’ “supporting infrastructure” is particularly worrying as it appears to transform

    civilians and civilian objects into legitimate targets. Statements by Israeli political and military

    leaders prior to and during the military operations in Gaza indicate that the Israeli military

    conception of what was necessary in a war with Hamas viewed disproportionate destruction and

    creating maximum disruption in the lives of many people as a legitimate means to achieve not

    only military but also political goals.

    64. Statements by Israeli leaders to the effect that the destruction of civilian objects would be

    justified as a response to rocket attacks (“destroy 100 homes for every rocket fired”) indicate the

    possibility of resorting to reprisals. The Mission is of the view that reprisals against civilians in

    armed hostilities are contrary to international humanitarian law."

     

    It's a disgrace the ABC would play something that is so obviously a propaganda piece.

  • ej

    gandhi2? clearly an inappropriate moniker.

    nothing hysterical about Burchill. On the contrary. 'very unseemly'? is that the best you can do?

    Burchill is a rare independent thinker in Australian academia, drenched in mediocrity, cowardice and myopia.

    meanwhile the blood drips from the fangs of a primitive tribe bent on an Old Testament-style bloodlust.

    Don't mention the Occupation.