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.

Removing this man without due and fair process shames Australia

With this decision, Australia once again shows itself to be far outside the parameters of international law, making security assessments based on a system completely lacking transparency.

I once spoke at this Sydney Islamic centre last year and found an important space to engage Muslims on issues related to the Middle East and re-defining the stereotype of all Jews being blind Zionists. The departure of Sheik Mansour will leave many local Muslims in a state of shock and anger:

AUSTRALIA has defied a United Nations request by ordering the deportation an Iranian Muslim cleric on security grounds before the UN assesses the alleged denial of his human rights.

Sheikh Mansour Leghaei lost a 13-year legal battle to stay in Australia yesterday when the Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, refused to intervene against ASIO’s adverse security assessment of the moderate preacher, who has raised his four children in Sydney.

Dr Leghaei, who has never been told why ASIO suspects him, has been given six weeks to leave the country, angering the 1200 members of his congregation at his Islamic centre at Earlwood, which faces closure without him.

”I hope God forgives him because he does not know any better,” Dr Leghaei said of Senator Evans at the University of Sydney. Here the sheikh was flanked by one of his many Christian supporters, the Anglican priest Dave Smith, and Ben Saul, one of the human rights barristers who sent a petition to the UN a month ago.

A week later, on April 21, the UN’s Human Rights Committee asked the Australian government not to deport Dr Leghaei while it considered his case, a process that could take a year.

ASIO had accused Dr Leghaei of undisclosed ”acts of foreign interference” but, because he is a non-citizen, Australian law entitles him to no explanation – a position confirmed by the High Court. But Associate Professor Saul, the co-director of the university’s centre for international law, said Australia was in violation of six articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

”In other countries, like Britain and in Europe, affected persons are given an opportunity to see at least a summary of the evidence against them. In the sheikh’s case, he’s been given access to nothing whatsoever.”

Insisting he was no spy or terrorist, Dr Leghaei said: ”I think my 16 years of peaceful life in Australia is my best evidence.”

Senator Evans decided not to deport Dr Leghaei’s wife, Marzieh, and 20-year-old Ali, the only one of their children who is not a citizen. But Dr Leghaei said it was an effective deportation of his 14-year-old Australian-born daughter, Fatima, because she would need her parents.

He addressed hundreds from his congregation last night.

Senator Evans said national security must be paramount. ”Many people have expressed their support for Dr Leghaei and I understand that my decision will disappoint his friends and members of his local community. The fact remains that he is the subject of an adverse security assessment.”

In 1995, authorities at Sydney Airport secretly photocopied Dr Leghaei’s exercise book containing notes on scholars’ explanations of jihad. But the Federal Court later accepted his translation, not ASIO’s which, he says, added inflammatory material about the killing of infidels.

3 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    But Ant, we do it to refugees and their kids every day of the year.  No lawyers, no charges, no trial, no legal rights, nothing.

  • Adam

    The government never gave the refugees permission to settle here and plant roots in the first place. In some ways what they're doing here is worse than their treatment of Tamils and Afghan refugees, although he likely doesn't face as dire a threat when he's deported as they do.

    He's been here for a decade and a half, he had every reason to think that this is where his life was going to be. He's established friendships, made a place for himself in the community and earned the expectation that he'd be treated with dignity and respect by Australia.

    Instead he's being deported by a government that doesn't even acknowledge that he deserves an explanation, let alone allow an honest appeal or public scrutiny of the process.

    Hiding behind the vaguely defined "National Security" excuse is an act of cowardice and it cheapens Australia's claim to be a nation committed to the rule of law.

  • Thank you for helping to raise awareness of this tragedy, Antony.

    It strikes me as an extraordinary indictment against our nation that (according to Professor Saul) we go further than any other country in the world in using the spectre of  'national security' as a basis for denying someone their right to a fair trial!  Shame, Australia. Shame!