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.

India and Sri Lanka are our mates (and they cause violence)

Thank you, Wikileaks.

One:

US officials had evidence of widespread torture by Indian police and security forces and were secretly briefed by Red Cross staff about the systematic abuse of detainees in Kashmir, according to leaked diplomatic cables released tonight.

The dispatches, obtained by website WikiLeaks, reveal that US diplomats in Delhi were briefed in 2005 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the use of electrocution, beatings and sexual humiliation against hundreds of detainees.

Other cables show that as recently as 2007 American diplomats were concerned about widespread human rights abuses by Indian security forces, who they said relied on torture for confessions.

The revelations will be intensely embarrassing for Delhi, which takes pride in its status as the world’s biggest democracy, and come at a time of heightened sensitivity in Kashmir after renewed protests and violence this year.

Two:

Liam Fox, the defence secretary, was tonight forced to abandon a private visit to Sri Lanka this weekend after a row with William Hague, who feared that he would upset Britain’s carefully balanced approach to Colombo.

Fox announced his change of heart as US embassy cables leaked tonight provided fresh allegations of the Sri Lankan government’s complicity with paramilitary groups in last year’s offensive against the Tamil Tigers.

Labour accused the government of adopting a “chaotic” approach to diplomacy when Fox announced that he would instead make an official visit to the country in the new year.

Fox’s decision came after talks with Hague, the foreign secretary, and a warning by the British Tamils Forum that his trip would send mixed messages to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is facing strong international pressure for an investigation into allegations that Sri Lanka forces committed war crimes.

The Ministry of Defence blamed the delay on the need for Fox to extend a visit to the Gulf. A spokesman for the defence secretary said: “Dr Fox has postponed his private visit to Sri Lanka due to an extension to his scheduled official visit to the Gulf. He intends to carry out an official visit to Sri Lanka next year, during which he proposes to fulfil the speaking engagement that he had planned.”

The move by Fox came as the latest batch of US embassy cables to be published by WikiLeaks show that:

• US officials expressed concerns that the Sri Lankan government was complicit with paramilitary groups. One cable, sent in May 2007 by the then US ambassador, Robert Blake, details abductions, extortion, forced prostitution and conscription of child soldiers.

• Five Sri Lankan doctors were coerced by the Sri Lankan government to recant on casualty figures they gave to journalists in the last months of the civil war.

• The Tamil Tigers (LTTE) were guilty of human rights abuses and demanded a cut of international NGOs’ spending in the areas they controlled.

• The US ambassador to Colombo, Patricia Butenis, said on 15 January that one of the reasons there was such little progress towards a genuine Sri Lankan inquiry into the killings was that President Rajapaksa, and the former army commander, Sarath Fonseka, were largely responsible. “There are no examples we know of a regime undertaking wholesale investigations of its own troops or senior officials for war crimes while that regime or government remained in power,” Butenis noted.

It is understood that Fox, who held a private meeting with the president in London two weeks ago, abandoned his private visit after intense pressure from Hague. Foreign Office sources said that Fox’s private visit could have jeopardised Britain’s nuanced approach to Sri Lanka, in which ministers put pressure on Colombo to agree to an investigation into last year’s offensive against the Tamil Tigers while acknowledging the Tigers were responsible for terrorism.

One Whitehall source said: “William has said to Liam: ‘This is the Foreign Office line, Liam.’ In brackets William will have said: ‘You have needed my support in the past.'”

Fox still plans to deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture after being invited by the widow of the late foreign minister who was murdered by a Tamil Tiger sniper in 2005. But he will do this as part of his official visit next year.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow foreign secretary, said: “Chaotic diplomacy like this does no good for the government’s standing on such a significant issue. It also raises serious questions about the defence secretary’s judgment.

“What on earth has he been doing holding ‘private’ meetings with the Sri Lankan president while refusing to say if he has pressed for the war crimes investigation we need or supported the foreign secretary’s position? William Hague must be spitting mad.”

President Rajapaksa, who won a second term in January following the military victory over the separatists last year, has repeatedly denied any involvement in or knowledge of human rights abuses.

But the latest cables published by WikiLeaks highlight human rights abuses committed by the LTTE, against whom the paramilitaries and the government forces were engaged. Sources told representatives of the US embassy to Sri Lanka that the LTTE regularly demanded a cut of international NGOs’ spending in the areas they controlled. Other sources described a harsh regime of compulsory conscription into fighting forces. “If they fail to report, they are taken forcibly, often at night,” one said. Cables from early this year referred to “progress” by the Government of Sri Lanka on a range of human rights issues in recent months.

“There has been a dramatic improvement in the treatment of IDPs and their living conditions … [and] numbers of disappearances have experienced a steady and significant decline across the island since the end of the war,” one dispatch said.

Another affirmed that “child soldiers affiliated with the [paramilitaries] have been significantly reduced over the past year, with just five reportedly remaining at the end of 2009.”

One senior journalist had been released from detention, the cable added, and diplomats were “not aware of any additional physical attacks on journalists since June [2009]”.

There was even some tentative steps” on “accountability” for human rights abuses during the civil war, Washington was told.

“Accountability for alleged crimes committed by [government of Sri lanka] troops and officials during the war is the most difficult issue on our bilateral agenda, and the one we believe has the lowest prospect for forward movement,” a cable sent in late January said. “In Sri Lanka this is further complicated by the fact that responsibility for many of the alleged crimes rests with the country’s senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapaksa and his brothers and opposition candidate [and former military commander] General Fonseka.”

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