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.

Afghan politician wants us gone

Here’s a rarity. An Afghan politician calling for the removal of foreign troops. Note the sneering dismissal of her calls for withdrawal by the “balanced” ABC journalist:

MARK COLVIN: Not even the optimists claim the war in Afghanistan is going brilliantly.

The NATO force of which Australia is a part is still there largely because of a belief that withdrawal, by bringing back the Taliban, would be even worse.

But some in Afghanistan who oppose the Taliban still think America, Britain, Australia and the other NATO allies should leave.

One of them is Malalai Joya, an Afghan woman who became an MP, then was suspended because of her continued and outspoken attacks on warlords, criminals and drug lords, including in the government.

She’s in Melbourne to give a public lecture at Deakin University on Saturday morning, as part of their series: ‘The World In Crisis – business as usual?’

I asked Malalai Joya if NATO’s withdrawal wouldn’t mean the return of the Taliban with all that that entailed.

MALALAI JOYA: Today the Taliban already in 80 per cent of Afghanistan there is official reports that they already control Afghanistan. Photocopy of the Taliban today already they are in power. This nine years they’ve become powerful. So if they continue this wrong policy they will be more powerful and it will be more easier for them to eliminate democratic-minded supporters we have in Afghanistan more than party intellectuals we have in Afghanistan.

MARK COLVIN: There are different types of control. Nine years ago you must remember what things were like under the Taliban.

MALALAI JOYA: Yes it is true that for example that for the period of the Taliban we had few schools but today we have but this is not only a military war this is a war of propaganda as well; $60 billion they gave them in the name of education, orphans, (inaudible) the school etc. to such a corrupt mafia government of Hamid Karzai, most of money has been looted by these warlords. A few schools they built…

MARK COLVIN: Some people must be going to school?

MALALAI JOYA: The few schools they built to deceive people around the world through mainstream media. They betrayed the true (inaudible) as well for example never gave reports about the resistance of the people coming onto the streets, fed up with occupation from this massacres, never gave reports against violence against the women that happened, for example even the messages from the miseries of the woman I mean US and NATO.

MARK COLVIN: So are you saying that things would actually be no worse if the NATO troops pulled out?

MALALAI JOYA: No, let me tell you it’s not an easy struggle to fight against warlords and Taliban, that’s why we’re asking for solidarity of democratic minded intellectuals, parties, movements around the world anti-war movement.

MARK COLVIN: But solidarity to do what? Solidarity from intellectuals is not going to stop the Taliban coming back to power.

MALALAI JOYA: You know now intellectuals do struggle together with people because intellectuals this supportive view we have in people they are the leaders of the people. A real alternative for the future of Afghanistan.

They are able to fundamental mentalities but the government do not support them. Taliban and also warlords they eliminate them. Let’s support them; through them support my people that’s the problem today in Afghanistan that only they support the enemies of my people then the say to the people of the west we are trying to bring democracy in Afghanistan; democracy never came by cluster bomb, by (inaudible) by war, by occupation.

In my own province in Faral (phonetic), last year in May American troops they did bomb in one day 150 civilians have been killed.

MARK COLVIN: Do you think that war will continue for the next 10 or 20 years or do you have any prospect of actual peace?

MALALAI JOYA: You know this war, nine years in Afghanistan was just a disaster and it must be end, that’s the only solution for Afghanistan. First the troops out of Afghanistan, stop arming the warlords, not negotiate with the Taliban.

MARK COLVIN: But you seem to be saying the alternatives are either war or civil war is what you’re saying?

MALALAI JOYA: Today there’s already a civil war. We’re living like we’re in hell. No question, don’t see only Kabul some school they built or some university but in most provence of Afghanistan just we have Janga (phonetic) laws like Taliban period.

For example two women recently have been lashed, a pregnant woman has been beaten by lashes in front of all people in Bodres (phonetic) province, even though she was pregnant and then the Taliban shot her in the head.

Just we have Janga law today in Afghanistan and the situation of the woman was a very good excuse for US and NATO to occupy my country and we have powerful history that we never accept occupation and they are freed from resistance of the people, that’s why now they invite Taliban.

MARK COLVIN: I still don’t see how it’s going to get better if the foreign forces actually leave.

MALALAI JOYA: In this nine years the foreign forces they proved to us the government these troops themselves they are the victim of the wrong policy of their government let me tell you first, but their government this nine years they were dishonest for us and they bombed us from the sky and killed my people and supporters told the enemies of my people.

So it’s better then that the leave. It makes no sense that they will be in Afghanistan otherwise Taliban will hate us. So we will fight one enemy instead of two; at least the occupation will be end when they leave Afghanistan.

MARK COLVIN: Malalai Joya who’s giving a lecture at Deacon University on Saturday morning.

5 comments ↪
  • Is he actually arguing that because things may be "better" than they were under the Taliban, that the occupation should proceed?

    Is he actually implying that because "some people must be going to school" now, that the war and NATO's mission has legitimacy?

    I'm sure he knows better than Malalai Joya who has lived there through both the Taliban and the occupation periods.

    That interview is an embarrassment to Australian journalism.

  • Additionally, it might be a "rarity" that an Afghan politician speaks out like Malalai, but the opinion of the PEOPLE of the country seems to be fairly clear:
    http://www.almanar.com.lb/newssite/NewsDetails.as

  • michael

    I heard that interview. Colvin's a creep. Nearly as bad as Geraldine Doogue.

    I still remember how horrified I was to hear him laughing as he reported what he clearly thought was a 'funny' incident during the Iraq invasion.

    When US armor broke through into central Baghdad a group of terrified Iraqi conscripts stripped to their underwear and dived into the Euphrates, seeking

    refuge on a mudflat in the middle of the river where they were machine gunned to death by US armored vehicles.

    Yeah, a real hoot Mark.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    Conquerors don't like it when their own Quislings bite back… 

     

    Petraeus hits back after Karzai blasts US strategy

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/petraeus-hits-back-af

  • Fight Fascism

    She is irresponsible and doesn't speak in the interests of the Afghani people.

     

    I admire her courage and engagement, but I condemn her opinions about Allied intervention. If the Allies leave the country if will be even more bloody for the Afghanis and for the other countries as well. Because the Taliban will surely win the war, they are the only armed and effective power today against the Allied troops. If the latter leave, the "intellectuals" and "progressives" Malalai speaks so high of, won't do much.

    The Afghani Army is still under training (by the Allied by the way!) and lack in manpower and knowledge.

    And that in Afghanistan there is no improvement since 2001 is a blatant lie, the mere fact that she got ELECTED to the parliament tells different, DESPITE of the corruption and warlords in power.