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.

Floating towards war with Iran, via Israel and Zionists

I constantly write about Iran because I both fear what Israel and/or America may do to the nation and the profound human rights abuses occurring inside the country.

But these days the threat of military action against the Islamic Republic is growing. Many of the same figures who pushed for war against Iraq have now turned their sights on Tehran. There seems to be little faith in the futile sanctions program and a leading opposition figure today says they only help strengthen the regime:

“These sanctions have given an excuse to the Iranian government to suppress the opposition by blaming them for the unstable situation of the country,” Mehdi Karroubi said in email responses to the Guardian.

So what are the Western powers aiming to do? Tightening sanctions. Iran is being bullied and the world wonders why it lashes out. Frankly, from its perspective, like with North Korea, building a nuclear weapon would be a wise insurance policy (though there is no evidence to prove any nuclear weapon’s program).

Now we have Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic with a long essay on the increasing chances of an Israeli strike against Iran. It’s a piece infused with emotional blackmail, with stenographer Goldberg giving space to countless Israeli leaders and officials warning that their country may well attack soon. The message to America? You should do the job for us, or else.

Over to hyperbolic Goldberg:

It is possible that at some point in the next 12 months, the imposition of devastating economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran will persuade its leaders to cease their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is also possible that Iran’s reform-minded Green Movement will somehow replace the mullah-led regime, or at least discover the means to temper the regime’s ideological extremism. It is possible, as well, that “foiling operations” conducted by the intelligence agencies of Israel, the United States, Great Britain, and other Western powers—programs designed to subvert the Iranian nuclear effort through sabotage and, on occasion, the carefully engineered disappearances of nuclear scientists—will have hindered Iran’s progress in some significant way. It is also possible that President Obama, who has said on more than a few occasions that he finds the prospect of a nuclear Iran “unacceptable,” will order a military strike against the country’s main weapons and uranium-enrichment facilities.

But none of these things—least of all the notion that Barack Obama, for whom initiating new wars in the Middle East is not a foreign-policy goal, will soon order the American military into action against Iran—seems, at this moment, terribly likely. What is more likely, then, is that one day next spring, the Israeli national-security adviser, Uzi Arad, and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran—possibly by crossing Saudi Arabia, possibly by threading the border between Syria and Turkey, and possibly by traveling directly through Iraq’s airspace, though it is crowded with American aircraft. (It’s so crowded, in fact, that the United States Central Command, whose area of responsibility is the greater Middle East, has already asked the Pentagon what to do should Israeli aircraft invade its airspace. According to multiple sources, the answer came back: do not shoot them down.)

In these conversations, which will be fraught, the Israelis will tell their American counterparts that they are taking this drastic step because a nuclear Iran poses the gravest threat since Hitler to the physical survival of the Jewish people. The Israelis will also state that they believe they have a reasonable chance of delaying the Iranian nuclear program for at least three to five years. They will tell their American colleagues that Israel was left with no choice. They will not be asking for permission, because it will be too late to ask for permission.

When the Israelis begin to bomb the uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz, the formerly secret enrichment site at Qom, the nuclear-research center at Esfahan, and possibly even the Bushehr reactor, along with the other main sites of the Iranian nuclear program, a short while after they depart en masse from their bases across Israel—regardless of whether they succeed in destroying Iran’s centrifuges and warhead and missile plants, or whether they fail miserably to even make a dent in Iran’s nuclear program—they stand a good chance of changing the Middle East forever; of sparking lethal reprisals, and even a full-blown regional war that could lead to the deaths of thousands of Israelis and Iranians, and possibly Arabs and Americans as well; of creating a crisis for Barack Obama that will dwarf Afghanistan in significance and complexity; of rupturing relations between Jerusalem and Washington, which is Israel’s only meaningful ally; of inadvertently solidifying the somewhat tenuous rule of the mullahs in Tehran; of causing the price of oil to spike to cataclysmic highs, launching the world economy into a period of turbulence not experienced since the autumn of 2008, or possibly since the oil shock of 1973; of placing communities across the Jewish diaspora in mortal danger, by making them targets of Iranian-sponsored terror attacks, as they have been in the past, in a limited though already lethal way; and of accelerating Israel’s conversion from a once-admired refuge for a persecuted people into a leper among nations.

If a strike does succeed in crippling the Iranian nuclear program, however, Israel, in addition to possibly generating some combination of the various catastrophes outlined above, will have removed from its list of existential worries the immediate specter of nuclear-weaponized, theologically driven, eliminationist anti-Semitism; it may derive for itself the secret thanks (though the public condemnation) of the Middle East’s moderate Arab regimes, all of which fear an Iranian bomb with an intensity that in some instances matches Israel’s; and it will have succeeded in countering, in militant fashion, the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, which is, not irrelevantly, a prime goal of the enthusiastic counter-proliferator who currently occupies the White House.

Read the whole piece. It’s shameless propaganda dressed up as journalism. Also known as: how to start another war by speaking to people who want wars and don’t question official lies. Just like Iraq. And to think Goldberg is seen as a serious, Jewish journalist by the corporate press. Please.

In fact, Iranian society is evolving and cracks are reportedly appearing.

This recent feature in the New Yorker by Jon Lee Anderson paints a more nuanced picture. It certainly doesn’t ignore the government’s increasingly brutal crackdown on dissent but it features cries for change from those in the elite. Perhaps this is the most revealing part:

In private, supporters of the [Green] movement spend a lot of time thinking over the events of last year. They are often dispirited, even rueful. “People miscalculated,” one of my Iranian friends said. “They thought everyone in the country was like themselves, and that the rest of the country was like Tehran.” The demonstrations, in his view, had as much to do with social class as they did with politics. Mousavi’s and Karroubi’s voters in the Green Movement were largely middle or upper class. The soldiers and the Basij who attacked them were for the most part Ahmadinejad voters, drawn, like the President himself, from the less privileged majority of the city’s population, based predominately in the south of the city. The Green Movement’s ability to put significant numbers of protesters—estimates range from hundreds of thousands to three million—onto Tehran’s streets sometimes created the impression that they represented a majority in the country. “They were wrong,” my friend said. “And their leaders misunderestimated—to paraphrase your former President Bush—just how savage the regime could be.” Adopting a mocking tone of voice, he added, “ ‘What, you thought that with your vote you’d get change? That you actually had a choice?’ ” A friend of his had been detained and released after agreeing to sign a statement of repentance. “His interrogator told him, ‘This time you have no choice. You either submit or I’ll ram this stick up your ass. That’s your choice.’ ”

6 comments ↪
  • Therese

    Excellent points. This hyping of an Iran war has been going on for a long time, but the recent rhetoric – which you analyse here – is particularly alarming.

  • Mallee

    The controlled mass media with their massed weapons of mass decption are just doing what they have been planning for some time; they are giving aid and comfort, with protection,  to criminal warmongers.

    Who would ever have thought in the late 1940's that our governments would turn out like the Japanese and German empire builders in the second world war?

    Where is the public concern,

    where is the public conscience,

    where are the public's morals,

    where are our 'religious' leaders who should be opposing invasion, theft and killing,

    where are our present Federal candidates who should be carrying out due diligence and speaking up?

    We are a land of complete hypocrites, thieves and warmongers, obviosly who do not care, just as the German populace did not care what their government was doing in the 1930's.

    Just listen, if you must, to the radio 'shock jockies' who castigate our judicial system for allegedly being light on crime and law with order, when they have been contributing to mass killing and theft since 2001, based on lies.

    How can we be any better than the Germans, Italians and the Japanese, in what we are doing?

    Again listen to the plan for killings, via General wesley Clark (ret) in 2007 at;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?=6ARihMrxdjU

    Or, just search terms such as; General Wesley Clark interview, war with 7 countries in 5 years.

    They are planning sheer evil and Austalians are going along with it like little cowardly lambies because our media tells them what to think and basically, we are cowards in not facing this reality and our Federal politicians are spineless androids.

    The next 'false flag 9/11 event' may well be brought on soon, do not be suckered again.

  • Gwynne Dyer is one of the most reliable military commentators I have come across:

    Here is his take on an attack on Iran:

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/editorials/s

    He concludes:

    "The end would be an embarrassing retreat by the United States and the definitive establishment of Iran as the dominant power of the Gulf region. That was the outcome of every war game the Pentagon played, and Mullen knows it. It is all bluff. It always was.

     

  • Mallee

    I hope you are correct Brewer, but I have a standing bet the otherway within a certain time, then again I am a lousy gambler.

    The attempted conquests of Afghanistan and Iraq were no bluff!! Indeed, they murdered about 3,000 civilians in New York to sell those wars with a campaign of false accustaions, lies and with a corporate mass media complicity. Such people who do so much evil can hardly be declared as sane and are just as insanely unpredictable at thte behests of Israel who is the ultimate planned benefactor from our sacrifices.

  • Imad

    There is this chat forum that i frequent, and when one person was asked is s/he feared that World War III was coming, the reply was Yes, but s/he felt that the it was Iran and North Korea that was doing the saber rattling!! I felt that this poster was in no condition to make any comment on foreign policy.

     

    I'm having a feeling of dread of how many Americans think that Iran is doing the saber rattling and not their own government!

  • Pingback: A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER | SHOAH()