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.

Gillard is pro-Israel and pro-US and gets tick from US

It’s almost inevitable that anybody who would become Prime Minister of Australia has been vetted by Washington. By the time a person is near the top job, their views on a range of issues is known. Not being utterly in thrall to America would cause angst in the corridors of power. Pressure would be applied. Julia Gillard, consider yourself approved:

US diplomats closely followed the rise of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, applauded her shedding of past Labor Left allegiances and confidently predicted she would be the next prime minister more than eight months before she deposed Kevin Rudd as federal Labor leader.

Secret United States embassy cables obtained by WikiLeaks and provided to The Age reveal US diplomats in Canberra paid close attention to Ms Gillard, identifying her at an early stage as the ”rising star” of the Rudd Labor government, rapidly outshining Treasurer Wayne Swan and all others.

Although an early report by ambassador Robert McCallum noted Ms Gillard was ”a loyal and competent deputy” to Mr Rudd, US diplomats had no doubt about the full extent of her political ambitions and as early as June 2008 declared her the ”front-runner” to replace Mr Rudd as Labor leader, a goal she would achieve two years later.

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In this context, US diplomats were anxious to establish Ms Gillard’s attitudes towards Australia’s alliance with the United States and other key foreign policy questions, especially in regard to Israel.

Numerous Labor figures were drawn by US diplomats into conversation concerning Ms Gillard’s personality and political positions with ”many key ALP insiders” quickly telling embassy officers that her past membership of the Victorian Labor Party’s Socialist Left faction meant little and that she was ”at heart a pragmatist”.

New South Wales Right powerbroker Mark Arbib described Ms Gillard as ”one of the most pragmatic politicians in the ALP”. When US embassy officers reminded Paul Howes, head of the right-wing Australian Workers Union, that ”ALP politicians from the Left, no matter how capable, do not become party leader, he said immediately: ‘But she votes with the Right.’ ”

The US embassy privately expressed pleasure at Ms Gillard’s preparedness to affirm her support for the US alliance. But there was some lingering doubt about the strength of her commitment.

”Although long appearing ambivalent about the Australia-US Alliance, Gillard’s actions since she became the Labor Party number two indicate an understanding of its importance,” the embassy reported to Washington in mid-2008.

”[US embassy political officers] had little contact with her when she was in opposition but since the election, Gillard has gone out of her way to assist the embassy.

”At our request, she agreed to meet a visiting member of the [US] National Labor Relations Board, after prior entreaties by the board members’ Australian hosts had been rebuffed.

”Although warm and engaging in her dealings with American diplomats, it’s unclear whether this change in attitude reflects a mellowing of her views or an understanding of what she needs to do to become leader of the ALP,” the embassy reported to the State Department.

”It is likely a combination of the two. Labor Party officials have told us that one lesson Gillard took from the 2004 elections was that Australians will not elect a PM who is perceived to be anti-American.”

More broadly, the US embassy noted that Labor factional differences over foreign policy had largely disappeared and that the US alliance enjoyed broad support within the Labor government.

In a further report, the embassy recorded that Victorian Labor senator David Feeney had told embassy officers that ” there is no longer any intellectual integrity in the factions” and that ”there is no major policy issue on which he, a Right factional leader, differs from Gillard”.

Senator Feeney later emerged as one of the key figures behind Ms Gillard’s election as Labor leader in June.

The embassy also applauded what it described as Ms Gillard’s ”pro-Israel” stance, reporting in October 2009 that she had ”thrown off the baggage of being from what one analyst called the ‘notoriously anti-Israel faction.’ ” of the ALP.

4 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    And of course Arbib and Danby are shills for Israel.

  • hojo-hoto

    When Rudd took a critical stance against Israel in regard to the Aus passport/ Assassination fiasco,  and then again in regard to Mavi marmara I had a gut feeling that there would be political ramifications.  If you have a high profile such as a PM, then you dont criticise Israel. I don't think it's clutching at straws to suggest that certain committees would have formed a plan of retaliation/mitigation in response to the troublesome Australian.  That's their job.

    Then the Gillard coup happens under circumstances which appear Whitlam-esk in their absurdity.  Who the hell is Mark Arbib? What the hell is going on?  I remembered Gillard's nauseating pro Zionist parroting during the attack on Gaza, that Israel has her full support and is entitled to defend itself. Julia certainly was the more friendly candidate.  Could this have been the political ramifications I had predicted for Rudd?  To suggest so, at the time,  would have  been  the ramblings of an anti-Semitic crackpot.

    To do so now, in light of the fascinating wiki leaks cables is still problematic for the media. The Age, article hints but wont go there – too risky.

    There will be no smoking gun in these wiki leaks cables as they appear to be low level classified and only somewhat embarrassing. They do however hint at something bigger.

    If you ask the question: What would have been the AIPAC or IDL response to Rudd's aforementioned criticisms then you have to be honest and ask yourself what actions they might have taken.

    <a href="http://www.google.com.au/search?q=Mavi+marmara&hl=en&client=firefox-a&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&channel=s&prmd=ivnl&source=univ&tbs=vid:1&tbo=u&ei=gpYATfmmF8yHrAfygoWRDw&oi=video_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQqwQwAA&quot; rel="nofollow">

  • MERC

    FYI: WikiLeaks 5: Israel Runs Bang Through It at http://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com Middle East Reality Check

  • Mallee

    Damby and Arbib (but not excluding others) have provided a new name for our parliament.

    Clearly, we have a 'dog' of a parliament.

    I suppose the collective noun for our 'Australia comes third' parliamentarians, would be a 'pound of parliament'.

    Woof!!!