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.

Hicks demands justice and transparency for being abused in our care

A welcome development to erase the stain of the ongoing “war on terror”. I look forward to hearing those in Australia who backed David Hicks’ incarceration and torture saying sorry for this terrible injustice:

David Hicks has enlisted legal experts in the hope of having his terrorism conviction quashed.

In the three years since his release from the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Mr Hicks has moved from Adelaide to Sydney, found a job and married. However, those close to him say he will be free only when his conviction has been overturned.

That would also pave the way for him to bypass proceeds of crime legislation and tell his story. It is understood a book is already with publishers.

A co-director of the Sydney Centre for International Law, Associate Professor Ben Saul, said he was advising Mr Hicks and there would be an approach to the US President, Barack Obama, some time in the future.

“While I cannot speak for him personally, I think any reasonable person locked up in Guantanamo for six years and subjected to an unfair trial process and facing every likelihood of being convicted on a retrospective charge would have pleaded guilty to get out of there,” he said.

”His alleged conduct was not a crime under the law of armed conflict or under United States law at the time of its commission. You can’t easily make an argument that his plea was voluntary and not coerced – and that renders it unlawful under international law.”

Mr Hicks, 35, was arrested in Afghanistan by Northern Alliance forces in December 2001 after he trained in al-Qaeda-linked camps. Several months later he was transferred to Guantanamo, where he spent five years in isolated detention.

Under a pre-trial agreement in March 2007, he pleaded guilty to a single, newly created, charge of ”providing material support for terrorism”. That conviction paved the way for an emotional return to Australia, where he served a further seven months in Yatala prison in Adelaide before being released in December the same year.

Questions have long been raised about the conditions under which Mr Hicks signed the confession. Associate Professor Saul said Mr Hicks had been monitoring developments in the US since Mr Obama criticised the military commission system, calling it ”an enormous failure”.

“There’s ongoing litigation in the US so that will eventually provide a definitive legal answer about whether US courts see it as retrospective or not,” he said.

”That’s one avenue that David will wait to hear about. If all goes well, it gives him a pretty good argument to go to the US President and ask for a pardon, which would be a way of eliminating it from the record.”

Joshua Dratel, a New York lawyer who has represented accused terrorists in federal court and at Guantanamo Bay, said, ”The military commissions that existed when David pleaded guilty have been recognised as fatally flawed. Indeed, the US Congress and President have already reformed the commissions to address some of the fundamental deficiencies and the prior system is no longer operational or valid. As a result, David’s conviction, obtained under a system that has since been repudiated, should be considered null and void.”

George Williams, a public law expert at the University of NSW, said Mr Hicks might get his wish sooner rather than later.

”I think the most likely next big breakthrough will be that Hicks’s conviction will be found null and void, and ultimately overturned,” he said.

”I know that from the ongoing saga that has been the US military commissions it’s fair to say they [the charges] remain vulnerable. If a challenge succeeds, he would be an innocent man.”

Mr Williams added: ”You can imagine it would have a massive impact on public perception of his case but also on his life in the long term … and let’s face it, the process in which he did plead guilty has always been seen as legally fraught.”

In the US, the feeling is that Mr Hicks could be in for a long wait. A congressional source said there were many other issues relating to Guantanamo that have ”a much higher priority than … revisiting the Hicks case, which has been adjudicated and considered closed”.

Mr Hicks would not speak to The Sun-Herald, but a spokesman said: ”Although David continues to live with the residual effects of torture, he is pleased that legal experts have reconfirmed that the conviction is void. Having the truth of his situation come to light has been an important step in the healing process.”

2 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    I find it astonishing and disgusting that Australian pollies of both colours and stripes allowed this to happen and did nothing.

    The AFP knew in 2002 that he and Habib had been rendered and tortured and completely covered it up and still no leader in Australia wants any sort of justice for Hicks or Habib or anyone else imprisoned and tortured over seas.

    in fact it seems that we actively encourage it.

  • mallee

    Australian pollies are US pussies, so it is really not that astonishing, after all, they are prepared to hand over our boys to be sacrificed for SFA so what does it matter if a few Australians are tortured or murdered on 9/11 and the culprits allowed to escape justice, with the assistance of the controlled corporate mass media.

    Good little pollie, want a cracker?  ayawkkk!!