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.

Supporting Assange and Wikileaks because shooting the messenger ain’t the answer

While the Australian political elites are desperate to do Washington’s bidding even without too much pressure – “how high would you like us to jump, sir? More wars in the Middle East? Why, of course, we’ve always enjoyed killing Arabs” – there’s finally some movement and support from important quarters.

One:

Australia’s political leaders are risking long-term damage to the nation’s freedom of speech by accusing WikiLeaks and its founder of breaking the law by releasing US diplomatic cables on the whistleblower website, a human rights lawyer says.

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard condemned the leaking of 250,000 classified documents on the Wikileaks website as “illegal” and “grossly irresponsible”, while Attorney-General Robert McCLelland on Saturday promised to support any law enforcement measures taken against founder Julian Assange.

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights president Stephen Keim says accusations of criminal law breaches levelled at Assange undermine free speech principles.

“Although the Attorney-General is entitled to disagree with – even protest – the actions taken, it is a particularly objectionable misuse of political hyperbole in these circumstances to make sweeping allegations of illegality,” Mr Keim said.

“It involves a degree of intimidation that is likely to (and appears intended to) deter others from engaging in serious political debate on the possibility that it may offend those who hold the machinery of power.”

Mr Keim criticised the Australian government’s defence of Swedish prosecutors and its lack of protest over “what may well be misuse of sexual assault allegations by Swedish prosecutors for political reasons”.

Instead, he said, “the government should be insisting that prosecutorial actions taken against Australian citizens should meet the highest standards of probity and objectivity”.

The human rights lawyer said the government should not even consider cancelling Assange’s passport.

“It seems entirely inappropriate that statutory powers of such seriousness should be contemplated because a person has placed political material of an embarrassing nature into the public sphere,” Mr Keim said.

“The government’s resort to hyperbole and heavy-handed use of state power detracts from its political message,” he said.

“If the government wishes to argue that it is better for the Australian public to be kept ignorant of secret war advocacy by some allies and potentially illegal espionage by others, it would be better to make that case directly.”

Two:

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today the government needs to make it very clear that Julian Assange has the same rights as any other Australian who is abroad and that his rights will be looked after by the Australian authorities.

“Australian citizenships should be respected and he should be reassured that his citizenship is safe,” Senator Brown said.

“Mr Assange has come across a great ream of documents which throw some light on US foreign policy. It is important that we know what drives governments to make decisions.”

“Mr Assange has had no criminal conviction and there is a lot of political conjecture and juggling of claims against him.”

“If this material had gone straight to one of the Australian  newspapers they would have published it. The press works off leaks like this all the time.”

“I understand that WikiLeaks goes through a process before releasing any documents to help ensure that such releases do not put lives in danger,” Senator Brown said. “I urge WikiLeaks to be diligent in that.”

Murdoch’s Australian coverage has been almost comical in approach. The journalist asked Assange’s lawyer if his client was a terrorist?

The lawyer representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has attacked the Australian government for failing to offer help to his client.

And Mr Assange’s London-based lawyer, Mark Stephens, has said sex charges against Mr Assange amounted to a “show trial”.

As the fallout from the release of diplomatic cables spreads to Australia, Mr Stephens questioned the worth of an Australian passport.

“He has had no assistance or offers of assistance … by the Australian authorities in Sweden, or London or America,” Mr Stephens told ABC radio.

“One has to question what the value of an Australian passport is, whether you agree with what he has done or not.”

“One would think that having an Australian passport you would get some assistance but thus far, I have to say, the high commissions and embassies have been shutting their doors to Julian Assange.”

Asked if his client had broken any laws by releasing thousands of confidential diplomatic cables, Mr Stephens said “not that I can see”.

He dismissed suggestions that his client was a terrorist.

“Julian Assange is giving out useful information, journalists, investigative journalists, have been doing that for years,” he said.

“What he got, unasked for, he didn’t hack for it, was the electronic equivalent of a brown envelope. Quality investigative journalists have been working with brown envelopes and material given to them to hold our governments to account, to ascertain whether what they are doing is what we want them to be doing.

“If Julian Assange is a criminal than every national newspaper that has published exactly the same stories is also a criminal. Are we going to lock up editors from all over the planet? I don’t think so.”

one comment ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    "One has to question what the value of an Australian passport is" – Mark Stephens 

     

    Unfortunately, the Australian passport no longer has any value, except to Israeli terrorists.

     

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8517716.stm