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.

We have seen the Iraq war and America is to blame

Hold the laughter. Washington is super serious about Iraq lives. America would never allow prisoners to be abused and tortured. Thankfully nobody actually believes a word the US says about the Iraq war; Wikileaks documents a world of chaos, torture, murder and violence.

The US has defended its record of probing civilian deaths and abuse in Iraq after graphic revelations in leaked secret documents triggered worldwide condemnation.

The whistle-blower WikiLeaks website on Friday released nearly 400,000 classified files on the Iraq war, the biggest leak of its kind in US military history, detailing the deaths of 15,000 more Iraqi civilians than the Pentagon had reported.

Colonel Dave Lapan, Pentagon spokesman, said on Monday the US military never claimed to have an exact count of the number of civilians killed in Iraq.

He noted that estimates made by private organisations of civilian deaths in Iraq also varied.

“Over the years, it has been impossible for the various organisations … to come to agreement on a specific figure,” Lapan said.

But Lapan said WikiLeaks and the Pentagon were working from the same database to collect civilian death toll figures and was sceptical that the group had made any new discovery.

US forces went into morgues to count bodies, said General George Casey, the army chief of staff, who served as the top US military commander in Iraq from 2004-2007.

“I don’t recall downplaying civilian casualties,” Casey told reporters.

Still, the US military routinely gave lower casualty figures during the war than Iraqi police or hospital
officials.

Some of the documents released on Friday contain accounts of Iraqi forces abusing Iraqi prisoners and the US military not investigating those instances.

But US officials on Monday said the military had not systematically ignored cases of torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners by Iraqi forces.

“That’s just not the case,” Casey told reporters. “Our policy all along was that where American soldiers encountered prisoner abuse (they were) to stop it and then report it immediately up the US chain of command and the Iraqi chain of command.”

Thousands of Iraqi officials have been removed from Iraq’s interior ministry after revelations that mainly Sunni prisoners were being held in secret prisons near the 2006-2007 height of the sectarian conflict pitting Iraq’s majority Shia Muslims against minority Sunni Muslims.

The US military, having drawn international condemnation in 2004 over the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail outside Baghdad, lost the right to detain Iraqis under a bilateral security pact that went into effect in 2009.

Barack Obama, the US president, who opposed the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq launched by his predecessor President George W Bush, formally ended the US combat mission in Iraq in August and has promised to withdraw the last 48,000 US troops from Iraq by the end of next year.

Obama signed three executive orders shortly after taking office, vowing to return America to the “moral high ground” in the so-called war on terrorism.

The implication was that the United States would do more to make sure terror suspects were not tortured or abused – either at the hands of US forces or by governing authorities to whom the detainees were handed over for detention or interrogation.

Yet, in one leaked document from a US military intelligence report filed February 9, 2009 – just weeks after Obama ordered US personnel to comply with the Geneva Conventions – an Iraqi said he was detained by coalition forces at his Baghdad home and was told he would be sent to the Iraqi army if he did not co-operate.

According to the document, the detainee was then handed over to Iraqis where he said he was beaten and given electric shocks.

US interrogators also cleared detainees for questioning, despite signs that they had suffered abuse from Iraqi security forces, the documents show.

One report by a US interrogation detention team based in Baghdad on April 2, 2009, summarises claims made by a prisoner who said he was hog-tied and beaten with a shovel as part of days-long torture ordeal at the hands of the Iraqi army.

The report noted he had a catalogue of “minor injuries,” including “rope burns on the back of his legs and a possible busted ear drum.”

“We have not turned a blind eye,” PJ Crowley, the US state department spokesman, said on Monday, noting that one of the reasons why US troops were still in Iraq was to carry out human rights training with Iraqi security forces.

“Our troops were obligated to report abuses to appropriate authorities and to follow up, and they did so in Iraq,” Crowley said. “If there needs to be an accounting, first and foremost there needs to be an accounting by the Iraqi government itself, and how it has treated its own citizens.”

Daniel Ellsberg, who is credited for leaking the 1971 Pentagon Papers that exposed secrets about the
Vietnam War, said he was not sure the recently leaked documents would have much of an impact – either in Iraq or in the United States.

“This is official evidence that there was a cover-up of crimes, either by turning suspects over or torturing them directly,” Ellsberg told The Associated Press on Monday night.

“I don’t have confidence that even a massive change of public opinion will have an effect, but even if there is a small chance it could change policy, it is worth it.”

no comments – be the first ↪