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.

The dirty footprints of Chalabi via Wikileaks

The role of Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi has fascinated me for years. The corporate press used him as a key source over Iraq’s alleged WMDs. Oops.

Wikileaks delivers a little more:

For Iraq-watchers, a tiny but enticing tidbit surfaced in a WikiLeaks cable from February 2004, 11 months after the U.S.-led invasion. It involved Ahmad Chalabi, the brilliant, controversial and always fascinating Iraqi politician best known for helping to convince the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

The secret cable from the U.S. Embassy in Amman describes a meeting in which Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher accused Chalabi, then the chairman of the finance committee in the provisional Iraqi Governing Council, of opposing closer ties between Iraqi and Jordan. Muasher “blamed Chalabi for spoiling deals negotiated by Jordan’s Arab Bank and Export and Finance Bank with Iraq banks” and said he’d complain to Bush administration officials on an upcoming trip to Washington.

There’s no love lost between Chalabi and Jordan. In 1989, he had to flee Jordan after a bank he owned collapsed. Three years later, Jordan convicted him in absentia for embezzlement. Chalabi has always maintained that he did nothing wrong and that the prosecution was politically motivated.

The implication in the cable was juicy: Did Chalabi use his government post to settle an old score with Jordan?

I met Chalabi at one of his Baghdad homes on Thursday night and put the question to him. The smooth talking politician, dapper as always in a navy suit and matching tie, said that he had indeed blocked the bank deals — but had a ready explanation. His committee, he said, had obtained documents showing that the Mukhabarat, Iraq’s feared secret police, had attempted to open an account in the Swiss branch of Jordan’s Arab Bank, and that an officer in the Mukhabarat was holding a deposit in a Dubai office of the bank.

“So I said no,” Chalabi said. At the time, the Mukhabarat was accused of abuses and filled with Saddam loyalists and Baath Party members — and there was perhaps no more bitter opponent of Saddam than Chalabi. If Arab Bank were allowed to open up in Iraq, he told me, “it will facilitate the transfer of the money from these (offshore) accounts to help the Baathists and terrorists do things without the thing going through the international banking system. They could do an international transfer within the bank itself.”

In January 2004, Chalabi traveled to Washington and met with President Bush and other senior U.S. officials in the Oval Office. After the meeting, L. Paul Bremer, then the American viceroy in Iraq, took Chalabi aside and asked, “Why are you blocking the opening of Arab Bank in Baghdad?”

Chalabi explained what he found and Bremer asked him to pass the evidence to his staff in Baghdad. “I gave them copies of the documents and nothing more was said about it to me,” he said.

So, it seems, there you have it. It’s a bit inside baseball, but any story involving Chalabi, the Bush administration and the early days of the U.S. occupation of Iraq is worth telling, even almost seven years later.

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