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.

Australia and Canada working together to kill Afghans (and private firms keen to help out)

This is an explosive story that appears to have received no coverage in Australia. So many questions need to be asked. The privatisation of war, the targeting of so-called insurgents by Australians and the involvement of Israeli equipment:

Canadian aircrew played a significant, largely unheralded role in helping Australia get its unmanned aerial vehicle program off the ground in Afghanistan, federal documents show.

The assistance, which continued for more than a year, involved teaching Australian pilots how to fly the Israeli-built Heron drones.

The fact it went unheralded may not be a bad thing, considering the number of accidents the Aussies have had with their remote-controlled aircraft: two of them have crashed, while a third was damaged when its landing gear failed.

Reports from the Australian defence ministry suggest one of the incidents forced the private Canadian company that leases the unmanned aircraft to both countries to temporarily suspend flights for two days early last month.

Operations resumed once MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), the B.C.-based defence contractor, checked the gear problem with the manufacturer.

The Australians said the suspension had minimal impact on their operations.

The Royal Australian Air Force was put under a tight timeline in the spring of 2009 by the government of the day and told to field a drone capability by the end of July of last year. The country has about 1,500 troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF.

The urgency called for help from someone already in Afghanistan with extensive experience flying UAVs, which meant Canada.

“Australian mission success for UAV operations in Afghanistan is dependent upon support from Canada,” said a May 21, 2009 briefing note prepared for Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk.

“While an independent RAAF Heron UAV capability cannot be established in that timeframe, the (Canadian Forces) can assist the RAAF in meeting their government’s direction by permitting trained (Australian) crews to operate CF-leased air vehicles,” said the note, obtained by The Canadian Press under access to information laws.

The program was given top priority by both countries, each of which has had troops fighting in southern Afghanistan for the past four years.

“One of the things the Australians were very interested in was piggy-backing on our training, learning how we got trained and what lessons could they learn and then employ their guys under a mentorship program,” said Lt.-Col Guy Armstrong, the project manager for the Canadian air force’s UAV project in Afghanistan.

As part of the training, some Australian pilots were brought to CFB Suffield, Alta., where Canadians prepare their crews to fly the vehicles. That’s where one of the crashes happened earlier this year.

As part of the training plan, Australian operators flew missions in support of Canadian troops on Canadian aircraft.

The government in Canberra signed a contract with MDA in September 2009 to lease its own Herons; the first aircraft arrived in Kandahar three months later.

The decision allowed both countries to share a UAV operating cente in Kandahar as well as split the difference in terms of support and spares for the sophisticated drones, the “eyes in the sky” for soldiers.

The drones, which are not armed, monitor the battlefield for threats, such as when Taliban insurgents dig roadside bombs into the ground under cover of darkness.

Winnipeg-based UAV operations officer Maj. Art Jordan said one of the things that both countries found was that the training didn’t allow them much time to learn how to “fight the aircraft,” which is essentially combat skills.

“They learned enough to go on their own” by December 2009, Jordan said in a recent interview.

But the Australians were plagued with a series of crashes this year, according to defence industry reports in that country.

One accident happened when the aircraft slammed down short of the runway at Kandahar Airfield, causing damage estimated at more than C$1 million, according to media reports in that country.

The second crash happened in Alberta, but it was unclear how much damage was done and who was paying for it.

Drones, although reliable and less expensive than manned aircraft, have a high accident rate.

no comments – be the first ↪