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.

An Australian call for war crimes to be investigated in Sri Lanka

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights yesterday released the following statement:

“The panel of experts appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, to advise him on accountability issues for the events in Sri Lanka during the period of civil war should recommend that the United Nations set up a properly resourced, independent and transparent inquiry into possible war crimes”, the President of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (“ALHR”), Stephen Keim, said today. “The inquiry should address actions by the Sri Lankan government and its authorities and the actions of the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (“LTTE”). The inquiry should have the power to recommend criminal prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity before a properly constituted and fairly run criminal tribunal”

ALHR, last week, forwarded a submission to the Panel of Experts. The submission draws upon the work of respected non-government organisations (“NGOs”) such as the International Crisis Group; Amnesty International; and Human Rights Watch. The submission argues that there is ample credible evidence available pointing to the commission of crimes such as the deliberate targeting of civilian populations and humanitarian workers and the killing of captives to justify setting up a properly resourced inquiry. The submission argues that the inquiry should be set up despite the likelihood that no cooperation will be forthcoming from the Sri Lankan government. “Evidence has already been gathered by non-government organisations in Sri Lanka and in Australia as well in other countries without cooperation from the Sri Lankan government at this point”, said Mr. Keim. “A properly resourced international inquiry would be able to receive the evidence that has been gathered and continue the process.”

“The Australian government should support the setting up of an inquiry”, said Mr. Keim. “The government should also assist by carrying out its own investigations. Up to this time, Australia seems to have shown greater concern about collaborating with the Sri Lankan authorities to deter asylum seekers attempting to travel to Australia. However, since many asylum seekers and persons already granted asylum are from the areas where conflict was carried out, they are people who can potentially assist any future international inquiry.”

“It is an important part of the Nuremberg heritage that we all carry that those responsible for serious war crimes are made accountable”, said Mr. Keim. The other important aspect of that heritage is that any court or tribunal which hears allegations of war crimes be conducted fairly and with all necessary procedural safeguards. The obvious candidate to hear any recommended prosecutions is the International Criminal Court. Since Sri Lanka is not a party to the Rome Statute, it would be necessary for the Security Council to make a referral. A well conducted inquiry would support the case for such a referral to be made,” said Mr. Keim.

one comment ↪
  • eureka

    William Clarance in his book, Ethnic Warfare in Sri Lanka and UN Crisis(2007) speaks of the storm signals from the time of independence in Sri Lanka being ignored by the international community. Successive Sri lankan governments have been successful in expertly controlling damage at the UN for decades.

    Jayantha Dhanapala’s written submission to Lessons Learnt Reconciliation Commission, 30 August 2010:

    ‘’Each and every Government which held office from 1948 till the present bear culpability for the failure to achieve good governance, national unity and a framework of peace, stability and economic development in which all ethnic, religious and other groups could live in security and equality. Our inability to manage our own internal affairs has led to foreign intervention but more seriously has led to the taking of arms by a desperate group of our citizens.’’  (Dhanapala was formerly UN Under-Secretary General for Disarmament).

    War or Peace in Sri Lanka – TDSA Dissanayake(2004): ‘’The plantation labour from South India had lived in Ceylon for 75 years or more. However all except those whose parents were born in Ceylon were disenfranchised in terms of The Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948. The seven Members of Parliament from the Ceylon Indian Congress suddenly lost their right to re-contest their seats in the next parliament.''