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.

Stark images from the Gaza Strip

So much of the Western press refuses to publish the most gruesome images of our wars (must protect the kiddies, of course) but it’s encouraging that some are not shying away from our complicity:

Photojournalist Khalil Hamra of the Associated Press is the winner of this year’s Robert Capa Gold Medal Award from the Overseas Press Club for his powerful photographs, “War In Gaza.”

“Hamra’s pictures of the Israeli military incursion into Gaza showed exceptional courage and enterprise by a committed local photographer during a sustained and highly dangerous conflict,” OPC judges said of their selection.

“This is a big honor,” Hamra told News Photographer magazine when he arrived in New York City this week. “When I got an eMail from the AP office in New York saying that I had won the Capa, I had to ask them three or four times, ‘Is this a joke?’ I could not imagine that I would win this, it was a very big surprise. The first thing I did was to call every one of my colleagues and tell them. They could not believe it either.”

The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award is given by the OPC in recognition of the “best published photographic reporting from abroad, requiring exceptional courage and enterprise.” It honors the legacy of the great war photographer Robert Capa of Magnum Photos.

The award will be presented to Hamra tonight at the OPC’s annual dinner in New York City, emceed by Kimberly Dozier, the AP’s new intelligence reporter and a veteran correspondent who was injured in Iraq four years ago.

“His images are close up, powerful and direct, and taken at considerable risk due to the nature of the conflict which had combatants mingling amongst the civilian population,” OPC’s judges said. “Hamra’s personal circumstances are equally compelling: he covered the conflict in spite of concerns about the welfare of his wife, then pregnant with twins.” [Two healthy boys were born later.]

Born in Kuwait in 1979 to Palestinian parents, the photojournalist grew up in Qatar, Egypt, and Palestine. He’s a 2001 journalism graduate of the Islamic University in Gaza and in 2002 he began freelancing for AP. His work was included in a group exhibit “The Intifada” at Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan in 2004.

In New York for the OPC awards dinner, Hamra reflected upon his Gaza images. “These people are my people,” he told News Photographer magazine. “When I was photographing the girl screaming over the bodies of her relatives in front of a house, that was very shocking. I was thinking at the time of my mother, of my family, of my wife. I was always thinking, ‘I don’t know these people, but what if I am shooting and I see one of my family? Someone I know?’ Too many of these pictures I shot through heavy tears.”

He says that in the nine years he’s been shooting pictures in the Gaza for the AP, he’s been “shooting bloody pictures of incidents for much of that time, but this was different. It was a continuous catastrophe for 22 days, non-stop bleeding. It was very, very hard. In the beginning of my career if I had to go to a hospital morgue and shoot a picture of a baby, I couldn’t manage. But this war changed everything.”

Hamra said that covering a war is a very different experience when it’s being fought on your own soil, and not in some far-away foreign land.

“When you’re covering a war in some place where you don’t live, across the world, it’s something you’ve chosen, you picked it, you decided to go. But when the war comes to you, it is completely different. When it is in the place where you live, you have to do it. I covered the Gaza from one side, from the inside, so that every single shot is in some way about my people, the victims, and that affects me a lot. To be honest, it was like we were stuck … no one could come from the outside to help us. From my place I did my side, and outside the others did their side. We worked hard, but at the same time we were looking for help and support from people outside.”

“Wars should never be forgotten,” Hamra said. “When you are in the middle of a war as a journalist, or a photographer, or a soldier, it affects you. When you are in the middle of the blood and the victims and you might be one of them, that also is not easy. Wars are the same everywhere but the difference is if you are a citizen or one of the locals and you face war in your own country. I am just thankful that I could do something, something with my cameras.”

The photojournalist’s boss at the Associated Press shared in the OPC judges’ praise for Hamra. “I’m delighted that Khalil won the Robert Capa Gold Medal,” AP’s director of photography Santiago Lyon said this week from Paris. “His work demonstrates yet again that local photographers are becoming increasingly valuable to international news organizations and in the case of this story, essential. Foreign journalists were largely blocked from entering Gaza to cover the key phases of the conflict.” Hamra is based in Rafah and generally covers the southern Gaza Strip.

one comment ↪
  • This horrendous! Horrific and never seen before, anywhere..Imagine the victims being Jewish/Israeli, it would be a different matter, wouldn't it?