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.

Let’s not get seriously side-tracked with Assange personal life

So the Guardian has smeared Julian Assange with sexual allegations and the focus has inevitably shifted from what Wikileaks is doing to what Assange may have done:

As fresh snow erases the traces of Friday’s scrum of camera crews from the elegant lawns of a Georgian mansion in East Anglia, inside Ellingham Hall Julian Assange is considering his next move.

Transformed from cyber celebrity into household name, Assange – the man who kicked a diplomatic hornet’s nest across the globe – is carrying an extraordinary weight of controversy and opprobrium on his narrow shoulders.

Assange faces a whole new debate this weekend over his personal conduct, after the allegations made by two women in Sweden, who accuse him of sexual misconduct and rape, were published in their fullest form in the Guardian. An increasingly diverse cast of characters are forming unlikely coalitions over the case across ideological divides.

The accounts of the two women have led Stockholm authorities to request the extradition of Assange so that he can be questioned by a prosecutor. That request led to Assange spending nine days on remand in Wandsworth prison – a controversial decision by the courts, which was overturned on Tuesday when he was given £240,000 bail. He was released on Thursday after the high court dismissed an appeal from prosecutors against the bail decision.

A condition of his bail was that he reside at Ellingham Hall, the estate of former British Army officer and journalist Vaughan Smith, who offered bed and board as “an act of principle”.

Dismissed by his supporters as a smear campaign, the case against Assange now threatens to move from a sideshow to overwhelm the main act – the work he has done in his public life as editor of WikiLeaks. In part, Assange, 39, who has become a figurehead for whistleblowers, can blame this on supporters who have pressed accolades on the man rather than the cause, and who range from left wing historians, feminists and human rights campaigners to misogynist right wing bloggers and a porn baron.

Today Larry Flynt, the founder of American sex magazine Hustler, announced that he would give $50,000 (£32,000) to the Assange defence fund, calling him a “hero” who deserved a “ticker-tape parade”. Flynt’s support was not for WikiLeaks itself, but because he thought the rape charges a nonsense.

Assange has been called “the new Jason Bourne” by Jemima Khan, the “Ned Kelly of the Cyber Age” by members of the press in his native Australia and a libertine 007 by those who note his fondness for martinis.

On the other side, Republican US senators have lined up behind the Democrat secretary of state Hillary Clinton to condemn him. Sarah Palin claims that he is “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands” that America should pursue “with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaida and Taliban leaders.” George Packer of the New Yorker magazine, called Assange “megalomaniacal” and Vanity Fair’s Christopher Hitchens called him “a middle man and peddler who resents the civilisation that nurtured him”. There have been disturbing calls from both Republicans and Democrats for him to be assassinated.

Smith agreed there was a “risk” of the allegations against Assange overshadowing WikiLeaks’ revelations. “When a friend of mine looks me in the eye and tells me they are not guilty I tend to believe them,” he said. “One has to remember that conviction rates are amazingly low, and I suppose if one had to stand back away from this – and I say this without trying to diminish claims of any form of crime of this nature – but if one takes enough distance one might observe that perhaps it is something of a distraction,” he told the Observer. “When, as I believe, he is determined to be innocent one might look on this and ask: was this in the interests of it all?”

But after Assange’s period in jail last week, the focus was switching. In today’s Guardian editorial, the newspaper explained why it had chosen to publish the sexual misconduct allegations in detail: “It is unusual for a sex-offence case to be presented outside of the judicial process in such a manner, but then it is unheard of for a defendant, his legal team and supporters to so vehemently and publicly attack women at the heart of a rape case.”

The paper is reflecting a growing discomfort among many, in both camps, at the widespread vilification – and naming – of the two alleged victims on websites and blogs, and also of the kind of language being used by people including Assange’s own lawyer Mark Stephens who referred to the allegation as a “honeytrap” .

“I have never heard the like. Legal representatives do not and should not stand on the steps outside a court of law and make such comments about their clients, it is neither right nor fitting,” said one outraged barrister. “It is certainly in my view deeply unprofessional.”

It’s understood that several high- profile Assange supporters have been shown what they understand to be translations of texts and emails to help persuade them Assange is not guilty of rape.

Human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger has directed her Twitter followers to a blog suggesting that one of the women had links to an anti-Castro Cuban group. She insisted to the Observer that she had been in court and taken great care over her analysis of the charges, and believed in Assange’s innocence. Michael Moore, the US film-maker, has suggested Sweden does not always pursue rape allegations. He has offered money towards the bail surety. Others have been suggesting that Assange has fallen foul to a pact between jealous female groupies. A range of deeply misogynistic blog posts have blamed “feminists”, despite insistence from people close to Assange that there is no conspiracy.

A new campaign called “talkaboutit” has been started online by Swedish women to defend the accusers from the extraordinary verbal attacks being made after Johanna Palmstom, of the Swedish thinktank Lacrimosa, wrote passionately this week in favour of justice being seen to take its course. But many young activists in the UK see a conspiracy with the power of the US at its heart.

Jim Cranshaw, 29, a campaigner with the UK Uncuts movement said that a commonly held view among young activists was that the allegations against Assange amounted to a witchhunt by the US. “The majority of my peers are deeply sceptical about the whole process. He is wanted by the most powerful country in the world and the timing of the allegations, the extradition attempts, it all seems too convenient.

John Pilger writes in the Independent that the entire process is flawed:

I don’t regard the Guardian article as revelatory but as more of what we know, plus scuttlebut. There are serious omissions. The impression is given that Julian Assange refused to attend a meeting with the Swedish director of prosecutions on 14 October. This is false. Assange offered to attend on the 15th and 16th. When these days weren’t suitable, he offered a complete week instead.

What happened in Sweden was a public smear, and trial by Swedish tabloid media. The chief prosecutor, Eva Fine, understood this. After making her own inquiries, she cancelled the arrest warrant. “Julian Assange is not suspected of rape,” she said. It was only the intervention of a leading political figure, Claes Borgstrom, that reactivated the case.

one comment ↪
  • atomou

    This is rubbish – why are you defending a sex crime suspect Antony? Tell us this. Human rights only when it suits your ideology?