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.

Israel supporters using Wikileaks to promote attack on Iran are ignoring Arab public opinion

My following article appears on US website Mondoweiss:

Sever Plocker, a columnist for Yediot Aharonot, recently wrote with pride and some sadness that, “At least on the Iranian issue — and apparently on more than a few other matters — the leaders of the world, including the Arab world, think as we do [the Israelis], but are ashamed to admit it”.

Benjamin Netanyahu has praised the Wikileaks cable dump as vindication of his government’s bellicose pronouncements over Tehran. The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg has written likewise.

Even Wikileaks founder and Australian citizen Julian Assange, in a strange comment to Time magazine, stated that the Iran-related documents would aid Middle East peace. Assange approvingly quoted Netanyahu when making this allegation.

Such news brings comfort to the Zionist world. The long-standing rule of the Middle East is my enemy’s enemy is my friend. Perhaps, but these are the kinds of friends the Zionist state is keen on making (via the UK Guardian):

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.

“More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups,” says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” she said.

Just to clarify. Arab autocrats allegedly fear Iranian hegemony in the region. This has almost nothing to do with nuclear power but rather a serious challenge to the decades-old dominance of the American and Israeli umbrella that insulate dictatorships from popular opinion. The Iraq war, privately backed by many Arab states, allowed Tehran to assume a powerful position in the Middle East and Israel was more than happy to go along for the ride. True democracy is messy and unpredictable. It’s far easier to ensure continuity by backing reliable brutes that won’t argue with billions of dollars in annual aid.

These are Israel and Washington’s best mates.

The screwed geo-political “logic”  is almost comical. Israel and its followers claim Islamist terrorists are the greatest threat to the world (aside from Shia fundamentalists in Iran). But the biggest funders of these groups are the regimes that allegedly share Israel’s fear over the suspected Iranian nuclear bomb.

It’s tragic though unsurprising that most mainstream Zionists in the US remained either silent over the Wikileaks cable dump or were publicly pleased that other states in the Middle East wanted to incapacitate Iran. New York’s Forward editorialised disapprovingly of the release and was joined by the Australian Jewish News. Nothing was said about the kinds of friends Israel is keeping. Nothing about the support for the countries backing individuals who would like to kill Jews. And no comment about so closely aligning Israel with some of the most brutal regimes on the planet.

What was missed in so much of the Zionist cheering was the Arab people themselves. They don’t exist; their wishes and desires seemingly irrelevant. Unelected leaders are allowed to speak for them. Arab bloggers wrote copiously about the story but Arab public opinion is most instructive over the Iranian “threat”.

Shibley Telhami explained in The National Interest:

The biggest gap in the recent coverage of the story has been understanding Arab public opinion toward Iran and how this affects government calculations. In fact, Iran has the ability to play the Arab-public-opinion card and reach out to groups that threaten the control of Arab governments. And there is evidence that they have succeeded in doing just that, even beyond the rising power of their allies, particularly Hezbollah in Lebanon. In large part, Tehran benefits from Arab public anger toward Israel and the United States, and from the perceived paralysis of their own leaders: consistently, in the past several years, all the polls I’ve conducted at the University of Maryland with cooperation from Zogby International show that in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Morocco and Lebanon, the Arab public expressed views about Iran that highlighted just how different the public feels when compared to the elites.

Last August, I released the 2010 Arab public opinion poll results [4], which indicated that Arabs polled were more open to Iran’s nuclear program, including the possibility of nuclear-weapons production, than ever before. In an open question about the world leader Arabs admired most, Ahmadinejad was chosen by 12 percent of those questioned—landing him in third place, behind only Turkish leader Recep Erdoğan and Venezuelan demagogue Hugo Chavez. My own analysis of the results suggested that Iran is benefiting from the sentiment that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This was particularly visible when those polled were asked to identify the two states that posed the biggest threat to them: 88 percent identified Israel, 77 percent identified the United States and 10 percent identified Iran. While the results on this latter issue varied somewhat from country to country, the trend held across countries polled.

Moreover, Shibley analysed the Al-Jazeera online readers comments when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon this year. The results were hardly shocking; most people backed a leader who they thought stood up for Palestine and against Washington and Tel Aviv’s designs on the region. It’s unfortunate that Ahmadinejad rules over an increasingly despotic regime.

Israel has long sided with reliably compliant Arab states to further its aims. Egypt’s collusion in the Gaza siege is just the latest example. But something has changed in the last years. I’m reminded of something Robert Fisk told me soon after the 2006 Lebanon war; many in the Arab world no longer fears Israel and its major benefactor.

In fact the Wikileaks cables, despite Chas Freeman claiming otherwise in the New York Times last weekend, confirm that Israel and the US have constructed unsustainable coalitions in the Middle East that are ultimately leading to the rise of Islamist parties with mass popular appeal.

That’s quite an achievement by the US State Department, the Zionist lobby and Israel itself.

Antony Loewenstein (http://antonyloewenstein.com/) is a Sydney journalist and author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution

2 comments ↪
  • Mallee

    What do our Federal parliamentarians care about the Middle East comical farce, they do not have to worry, they just do what the United Sates of Israel tells them and then turn up at family funerals for our boys, sacrificed (and woundeed) in the farce and look 'sorry'.

    Perhaps we should have invaded Saudi Arabia and stopped the flow of money, to the Taliban and Co, that is used too armepeople to kill our fellows. Then again, if we did that, the Saudis might blackmail the US and tell everyone, who really was involved in the '9/11 mass murders'.

    Yep, Kissinger was right when he stated that soldiers are the pawns of foreign policy and US General Smedly Butler was correct when he sated that; 'War is a racket'.

    What the hell! Let's go all in and bomb both asap; Iran and Korea, instead of waiting for the next false flag pretext/s, like 9/11, that is/are being planned or manipultaed. The public, as usual, as with 9/11 will be too stupid to know or care, they will just follow the 'fifth column' controlled mass media into some invasion, killings and create a nice debt to earn interest for the bankers to savour as their solution to the world's economic crisis. Their solution of course is; war=debt=interest=profit=power=owns the f'n lot.

    Why do we need politicians? Save money, just appoint the bankers to own and a few corpoartes to run, everything, atfer all, that is their ultimate goal and they are almost there.

    Bags the job polishing the brass door knobs on the banker's headquarters front oak door!

  • evamary

    Great post as usual Antony – and congratulations on the rally on Friday!