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.

Pull out of Afghanistan now, says new Australian MP

An Australian politician who actually thinks before he speaks on Afghanistan (unlike the parrots in the major parties):

Andrew Wilkie has said the justification given by both parties for keeping Australian troops in Afghanistan is a “great lie”.

Mr Wilkie has argued that both parties lied during the election campaign about the relevance of the war to Australia’s national security and has called for a parliamentary debate on the almost decade-long conflict.

“We certainly do need a debate about why we’re there,” he told the ABC.

“And one of the great lies, one of the big lies of this federal election campaign – a lie told by both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party – is that we have to be there to fight terrorists for Australia’s national security.

“And that became a lie years ago once the global extremist Islamic threat morphed into a network around the world.”

Honesty in government is a crucial issue for Mr Wilkie, who came to national prominence as an intelligence analyst with the Office of National Assessments when he “blew the whistle” over the emptiness of the Howard government’s claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

“If Western forces – the US in particular – had stayed [in Afghanistan] in 2002 and finished the job we wouldn’t be there now, but instead they raced off to invade Iraq and to prepare to invade Iraq,” he said.

“So people are dying now in Afghanistan, including our soldiers, unnecessarily because of the decisions of the Howard government back in 2002.

“Ultimately, we have to get out as quickly as we can and let Afghanistan find its own natural political level. And a lot of people will die in the process. And it’s not my fault. It’s the fault of the decision-makers who got us there in the first place.”

Wilkie has been speaking out against illegal wars for years.

6 comments ↪
  • I'm not sure what Andrew Wilkie means by this:

    "If Western forces – the US in particular – had stayed [in Afghanistan] in 2002 and finished the job…"

    It seems to me the only thing the US had to do was

    (a) not invade in the first place (ideal, but no longer an option)

    (b) exit as soon as possible leaving cash and a sincere apology (best available remaining option)

  • Mallee

    "…Parliamentary debate….."

    Be buggered: we need a Royal Commission into:

    What intrelligence/military information was provided to our government as a basis, if any to join in these invasions and killings.

    What intelligence/military information was provided to our givernment, if any, as to the identity of the perpetrators of 9/11. If none, why is that so, when Francesco Corriga (and many other worlwide politicians also) has been reported to have said that all the intelligence agencies know who really did 9/11.

    It is time to reclaim our democracy and it is the duty of the independents, now that they have the opportunity, to see that it is done. The previous lot of incumbents have failed to exercise due dilligence in protecting our boys from being killed in horrendous 'Napoleonic' type home invasions of other countries for the corporate interests, assisted by a controlled mass media with it's weapons of mass deception and lies.

    It is time to get rid of the monopolistic controls by our anti-democratic mass media and clean out the ABC that the tax payers finance.

    Just do a search: on the Niels Harrit paper on nano thermitic residue found in the twin towers dust with molten  minute metal spheres. You will not find it reported, or rebutted, in any of our controlled mass media reports, nor in 'our' ABC. Nor will you find reports on the NIST findings that the top 10 stories or so of building No 7 collapsed at the start, at least, for 2.5 seconds in accelerated freefall. That of course menas that the understructure was removed instantaneously and completely; being consistent with the use of explosives or a combination with nano-thermite.

    Wilkie would understand that science trumps official Australian government bullshit about 19 arab conspiracy theories at any time.

    The australian public have been suckered into war by lies and a concocted war on terrorism and today there is a report of another of our boys being killed and our useless leaders just say 'Sorry'.  Well, that is not enough of a response, perhaps they should explain why and cut out the BS that is being exposed weekly. See; ae911truth.org. 

    History will record our Federal Paliamentarians since 2001, as being the most inept gullible deceitfull representatives representing Australians since federation  and that has has resulted in our boys being killed and/or maimed for thei politician's lies or gullibility and incompetence.

    Gallileo 1: John Howard, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott 0 !!

     

  • Marilyn

    The reality is that the attack on Afghanistan was planned way back in the 1990's when Clinton was still president and the experiment he and Bhutto compiled with the Taliban was proving to be disastrous because the US still couldn't get permission for a pipeline out of the Caspian Sea and across Afghanistan.

    Everyone should have another look at Charlie Wilson's war.

  • Mallee

    Again: Just search General Smedley Butler; 'War is Racket' and general Wesley Clark's 2007 interview explaining the September 2001 US Government's plans to go to war and do 7 countries in 5 years ending in Iran. Yea well? Many plans go astray, just remember the 56,500  Americans and and 550 Australians killed in Vietnam…leaving out the Vetnamese of course. Let us all not forget also that, that was based on the 'Gulf of Tolkin' lies.

    Now try and convince any resonable person that the war crimes prosecutions should not start.

  • Ian D St G Lindsay-

    According to Professor Steven Schwartz, on ABC RN Life Matters 25 Aug,  Confucius’  third path to the getting of wisdom is through experience.

     

    In that case, those who continue to prosecute the war in Afghanistan, despite mounting Australian, US and other NATO forces casualties, have yet to acquire wisdom through the experience of all the failed ventures in Afghanistan.

     

    How long will it be before political decision makers come to the conclusion that many of us have reached long ago, that we have no business in that country?  Anyone who has read the history of Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier of British India; of ancient invasions; of the three Anglo – Afghan Wars and associated campaigns; of the abortive Russian invasion, cannot possibly believe that America and its allies will accomplish what others before them have failed to do.

     

    Even if, as General Petraeus, said recently, we will be there for years, with an increasing casualty rate, before the objective is achieved, history shows that stability will only be fleeting, before tribal animosities come to the surface, and the war lords take control.  It is wishful thinking to believe that our concept of Western Democracy will prevail.   Tribalism is paramount in that part of Asia and only goes into suspension when there is a common enemy.

     

    The West created and encouraged the mujahaddin to get rid of the Russians, and then supported the war lords in defeating the mujahaddin.  We have lost far too many of our young men in what is turning out to be yet another failed American military intervention.  We should all pull out of Afghanistan and leave the Taliban to the local tribesmen.   The pictures of women being publicly flogged, stoned or executed with a bullet to the head, appalled us, and we supported the intervention.  However, it is now clear that the majority of Afghans would see us gone; and although similar excesses against women are being perpetrated in Pakistan, our indignation appears to have waned.  Equally horrendous human abuses are being committed throughout Africa, but we seem to have lost the stomach for the fight.  Perhaps we are finally coming to the realisation that people are not all the same, and we just have to accept the differences between us.

     

    The getting of wisdom is a devil of a long time coming.   

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