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.

Chilean paramilitaries protecting Aussie embassy in Baghdad

What better way to show affection for an occupied nation? Hire thugs to protect a space that only exists due to the Australian government’s desperate desire to join the Bush administration into the country in 2003:

The Defence Department plans to fully privatise security at Australia’s Baghdad embassy by the end of the year, after quietly outsourcing most of the guard duties to Chilean paramilitary and army veterans, the ABC can reveal.

Senior army sources say 60 Chilean contractors work 12-hour shifts at the embassy – almost twice as long as the Australian Defence Force (ADF) allows its personnel to be on duty for in summer months.

The men are paid $2,200 a month, the equivalent of Australia’s minimum wage, to guard the front gate and man machine gun nests, security cameras and alarm systems.

The Chilean contractors are overseen by a former Australian serviceman and employed by Australian private contractor Unity Resources Group (URG).

URG, which won the $9 million government contract already in place and would be expected to secure any future contracts, was founded by former Special Air Service (SAS) commander Gordon Conroy and several other Australian veterans.

The Government is supposed to publish all government contracts on a public tender registry but the embassy deal has never been declared.

A statement from the Department of Finance explained that contracts can only be suppressed by the chief executive of a department if they believe “that the information is genuinely sensitive and harm is likely to be caused by its disclosure”.

A senior Army officer who spoke to the ABC says Australian soldiers still conduct just one security duty at the embassy: the personal security detail of the Head of Mission, Bob Tyson, and of visiting dignitaries if they leave the compound and travel through Baghdad.

It is this final function that the department plans to privatise by the end of the year.

But the moves have met resistance from within the embassy.

The ABC understands Mr Tyson has requested the Personal Security Detail stay in the hands of the ADF.

The presence of Chileans at the embassy has not been without incident.

On March 22, one of the men on perimeter duty was Esteban Lara Pina, a 35-year-old father of one. He had worked in Iraq for a number of employers since 2005 but his income had steadily declined as more and more willing men arrived in Baghdad.

Over time he developed what he called “psychological problems”. That day, standing in full view of the street, he took his weapon, pointed it at his own chest and fired.

Afterwards, the former Chilean army sergeant was airlifted to Amman, Jordan.

There he underwent six operations to save his life and eventually flew back to Santiago, Chile to recover with his family.

Since being put on a plane home from Jordan he has been unable to contact anyone from URG, from which he is trying to recover ongoing medical costs.

“They’ve never contacted me, not even to see how I am, and certainly not offered to help me in any way and I can’t get hold of them,” he said.

“I’ve been ill, I’ve had psychological problems from which I’m still recovering.”

In Chile, it is illegal to recruit men for private military work.

2 comments ↪
  • Mallee

    Damm, should be september 2001. You know, just after ‘9/11’; that was pulled off to justify all the US war crap over the last 9 years and into the next ten years.

  • Mallee

    What a marvelous lateral concept, now get our boys out of Afghanistan and get some cheap Chillians to go chase the Taliban. No? How about sending some Indian call centre guys there on a low wage or even, send some of the Afghan 'refugees' back and pay them to fight the Taliban.

    No matter what, just get out, save our boys and tell the US and Israel to stuff their next war….with Iran as foretold in a 2007 interview with General Wesley Clarke, [ex chief of NATO] based on what he was told at the Pentagon in september 2011.

    Better still, send some of our radio whoremongering hatefilled radio shock jocks to go fight the Taliban, now that would be a winner.

    Those damm independents better start earning their keep and be a  waking up the other useless eaters and start to represent the whole of Australia as well as the rural areas.