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.

Why did the Australian government help Colombo in its vicious war?

A few months ago a number of Tamils in Australia walked free after pleading guilty to terrorism charges. It was a comprehensive disaster for the Australian government and highlighted a disturbing tendency to do the bidding of the Sri Lankan authorities in its “war against terror” and the Tamil people.

One of those released, Arumugam Rajeevan, speaks this week to ABC Radio and gives a moving explanation of his life and the ongoing challenges suffered by Tamils and the Diaspora. The struggle for freedom will go on:

Monica Attard: Can we just talk about the time before you came here to Australia in 1986. What had you experienced of the civil war in Sri Lanka?

Arumugam Rajeevan: I came in 1986 as a 17 year old student. Prior to that I was in Jaffna which was the cultural centre of the Tamils in Sri Lanka to some extent and it’s also centre of activities as far as political demonstrations and campaigns for human rights and so on. Naturally that created a lot of military operation and activities….

Monica Attard: Which you witnessed?

Arumugam Rajeevan: Absolutely. I have seen a lot of atrocities including the burning of the Jaffna library in 1981.

Monica Attard: But because you were very young, I assume that you were never actively involved in any fighting.

Arumugam Rajeevan: No, not at all – we were students. But we were affected in a sense that we were not able to go to schools on a regular basis because there were curfews and the military roundups and so on where the young people were taken-up in busses. So my parents were very worried about that situation and sometimes there is a tension in the town centre, you know they will not send me to school. So in that context I was impacted by it, but I never got actively involved in any of that.

Monica Attard: Ok, can I ask you, the charge against you of being a member of a terrorist organisation was dropped…

Arumugam Rajeevan: That’s right.

Monica Attard: ….when it became clear difficult to sustain. Nonetheless, the AFP [Australian Federal Police] did go to Sri Lanka didn’t it to investigate – to collect evidence. What do you make of that?

Arumugam Rajeevan: AFP is an important institution in Australia in terms of maintaining our national security and national interest and so on. You know at this particular instance I believe there was a political agenda and unfortunately I believe that in a lot of occasions the AFP was serving the interests of a third party; in this case the interests of Sri Lanka as opposed to serving the national interests of Australia.

Monica Attard: So do you think the AFP was naive perhaps in this instance?

Arumugam Rajeevan: Mistakes were made but it is history now. In general terms I have learned to forget things and forgive things and move on in life.

Monica Attard: But many commentators also believe that the AFP might have actually been guilty of meddling in the affairs of another country, particularly one that was in civil strife.

Arumugam Rajeevan: As far as I’m concerned, the AFP’s role should be protecting the national interest of Australia.

Monica Attard: And has the episode dented your belief in the police in this country?

Arumugam Rajeevan: As I said, mistakes can be made but overall I believe the justice system in Australia is a very objective system and we have full faith and trust in that system.

Monica Attard: So you have full faith that the justice system will protect you from whatever mistakes the police might make?

Arumugam Rajeevan: Absolutely and that is where the justice system is as an overseeing body and basically you know look at things in a very objective manner and to make their own assessment and removed from agendas and biasness and so on from one way or another.

  • Marilyn

    Objects that may have been associated with persons missing have been identified, including lifejackets and tyre tubes," Mr O'Connor said. "Advice received is that the search has not uncovered any signs of life in the rescue area."


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      The Home Affairs Minister said the rescued passengers would be interviewed over the next few days "regarding the circumstances in which other passengers may have gone missing".

    "If reports about five missing passengers are correct, this is a tragic and unnecessary loss of life, and highlights that these types of voyages are extremely dangerous," Mr O'Connor said.

  • Marilyn

    Like O'Connor cares.  He wants survivors of the last ship wreck sent back to Sri Lanka.