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.

Australia likes human rights in forums and debates but does little in reality

As Amnesty releases its annual report and highlights the “politicisation of international justice” – Israel and Sri Lanka are on their hit list -these issues have direct connection to Australia and the Labor government’s refusal to legally manage refugees from countries at war:

RACHAEL BROWN: Last month Australia’s Immigration Minister Chris Evans announced the situation in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan had improved such that people no longer needed to seek protection elsewhere.

Amnesty International called the decision “an appalling political move”. In London Amnesty’s interim secretary general Claudio Cordone has called on Australia to resume processing asylum claims.

CLAUDIO CORDONE: Sri Lanka is still a situation where you have Tamils being abused in displaced camps and so on and nothing has been done to redress the abuses that took place a year ago but even going further back.

I mean there have been the disappearances. There have been all kind of abuses for which no-one has been held to account.

In Afghanistan actually we’re seeing an increase in fighting, in violence by the Taliban but also you know abuses by the government forces and by other armed groups. So you know there’s no way that one can say that the situation in Afghanistan is one in general that is conducive to returning people who have serious fears of persecution.

RACHAEL BROWN: Sri Lankan doctor Kasippillai Manoharan says his son was murdered in 2006 by security forces.

He fled the country because of death threats he received after being one of the few brave enough to testify at the inquest of the five murdered Tamil students.

I asked Dr Manoharan how he feels about the Australian Government’s belief the climate in his country has improved.

KASIPPILLAI MANOHARAN: No any safety for Tamils in Sri Lanka, impossible! Still the war is going on in Sri Lanka. Every day, every day.

Very recently one student – I think that he is 19 years or something – died (inaudible) killed by some other weapons group.

After that the magistrate want to open, make an open warrant for that murdering man. He is make threat for that same magistrate.

RACHAEL BROWN: Wazhma Frough left Afghanistan after threatening phone calls after her report on violence against women and marital rape.

She says she stopped believing in Australia’s democracy after its claims processing freeze.

WAZHMA FROUGH: And I think it is an international discrimination that… I was very much hoping that at least from the UN Human Rights Council and other human rights organisations we would hear protest about it.

Why are Afghans… Afghans anyways they have huge problems in terms of immigration in any country of the world.

RACHAEL BROWN: Amnesty’s Claudio Cordone says the claims processing freeze might have more to do with Australia’s strategic and business interests with the Sri Lankan Government and Australia’s commitment to the US led occupation of Afghanistan.

CLAUDIO CORDONE: The debate on asylum or just also like on migration is often very much driven by politics. And this may be another example of how – you know politics trump justice.

It’s not just Australia. It’s other countries. We’ve seen it in Europe and so on.

Again the key principles here remain the same from when the convention on refugees was adopted. That is individuals must have the right to apply for asylum and their cases must be analysed and adjudicated individually.

RACHAEL BROWN: The Brussels think tank has said that Australia tacitly backed the Government’s war against the LTTE and that the Rudd Government with its refugee freeze continues in that complicity.

Would you agree with that statement?

CLAUDIO CORDONE: I think the best evidence of commitment by Australia with regard to the situation in Sri Lanka is to back our call and the call from the International Crisis Group and others to have an independent inquiry into what happened during the war between the Tamil Tigers and the government.

There has been increasing evidence despite all the attempts by the Sri Lankan Government to deny it or to dismiss it that war crimes and other serious abuses have taken place.

The Sri Lankan Government is in no position to set up a credible national investigation. They promised the UN that they would take steps. And we’re calling on the UN and on other countries to make sure that there is an international inquiry and we would look forward to the Australian Government to back that call.

RACHAEL BROWN: Does it worry you that not much spotlight has been put on Sri Lanka? You know, we’re seeing civilian deaths of about 30,000 I believe compared to only 2,000 in Gaza which has received much more world-wide media attention.

CLAUDIO CORDONE: I think partly it’s a result of the fact that powerful governments are not interested in seeing Sri Lanka being held to account. And that’s why we’re insisting for international commission of inquiry.

And it is important that regardless of the numbers, the fact that if you don’t have a proper commission of inquiry you’ll never get to the truth. And this is one of the preconditions for actually protracting the conflict.

Today the Tigers may have been defeated. But unless you address the situation, discrimination and so on of the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka this conflict can erupt in different ways and continue.

ELEANOR HALL: That’s Amnesty’s interim secretary general Claudio Cordone ending that report by Rachael Brown.

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