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 tortures and heads must roll

Perhaps, finally, Australians can realise that the former Howard government was more than happy for one of our citizens to be tortured in the name of pleasing the United States:

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has ordered a fresh inquiry into the case of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib.

Julia Gillard requested the new probe amid dramatic claims of Australian government complicity in his 2001 CIA rendition to Egypt, where he was detained and tortured.

The investigation follows a secret compensation payout made by the federal government to Mr Habib in December, apparently triggered by untested witness statements implicating Australian officials in his detention and brutal maltreatment in a Cairo military prison.

The new evidence, not previously made public, includes a statement from a former Egyptian military intelligence officer that he was present when Mr Habib was transferred to Cairo in November 2001.

In the statement, tendered as part of Mr Habib’s civil case against the commonwealth, the officer says Australian officials were present when Mr Habib arrived in Egypt, handcuffed, with his feet bound, naked and apparently drugged.

The statement says: “During Habib’s presence some of the Australian officials attended many times. The same official who attended the first time used to come with them.”

It continues: “Habib was tortured a lot and all the time, as the foreign intelligence wanted quick and fast information.”

The statement is at odds with repeated assertions by the federal government and security agencies since Mr Habib’s return to Australia in January 2005, that they had no knowledge of or involvement in his rendition or detention in Egypt.

As recently as November, in a letter to Mr Habib, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade insisted it had never been able to confirm Mr Habib’s presence in Egypt.

2 comments ↪
  • Antony, many thanks.

    In 2005 I wrote on my blog:

    Today is 17 May 2005. Once again I am reminded of how offended I feel when I hear that two academics in Melbourne, Professor Mirko Bagaric and Julie Clarke, of Deakin University's Law School, have written an article that advocates that we should accept the need for 'regulated' torture.

    Of course, they just love it in George W Bush's USA, and, no doubt, in the Australian Attorney General, Phillip Ruddock's office. It also sits well with the appointment of ASIO, Director General, Dennis Richardson's appointment to the position of Ambassador to the USA. Dennis approves of torture too. Let's hope he can remember which country he is working for.

    In 2007:

    What we do need is for this country to have a Royal Commission to unearth the truth about the treatment of David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib and the role of Phillip Ruddock, Alexander Downer and John Howard in this disgraceful affair. I also believe that our Ambassador to Washington, Dennis Richardson, formerly Director General of ASIO, should also be answering questions regarding his support of the torture of Australian citizens.

    Conclusion:

    So, this entry on your blog is very welcome news, if the terms of reference of the inquiry are broad enough and if prosecutions for crimes against humanity can result from the evidence.

  • Mallee

    Willy,

    Hear Hear!!

    I recall watching 'Mr Amnesty International' (AG. Ruddock) on TV making light of the torture allegations.

    There are many lawyers in politicis that should never be in the profesion.

    It willll be interesting to see if our politicians and controlled mass media endorse Professor Cass Sunstein's 2008 paper proposing 'cognitative Infiltration' of groups who investigate government conspiracy theories. Sunstein was a previous professor of law at Harvard and Chicago. he particularly directed his proposals of government infiltration of and the splitting up of '9/11 conspircay theorists'. Of cousre he misses the obvious solution for that group, just debate the scientiffic evidence! That, they cannot do as the scientific evidence destroys the official BS Howard and Gillard adopted US government  9/11 conpiracy theory.

    Willy, as for the use of torture, just read up on the use of torture to get alleged confesions out of KSM, the alleggd mastermind of 9/11. (Bin Laden is passe'!)

    'Cognitive infiltration' is well and alive in Australia through 'our' ABC, Jon Faine, and the usual list of shock jocks spruikimg the official nonsense.