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.

Are we expecting Palestinians to thank us for building a dictatorship?

If any more evidence was required that Washington, no matter who runs the place, only acts towards Israel with uncritical affection, the Wikileaks cables confirm it:

CounterPunch has accessed Wikileaks’ file of cables on Israel’s Gaza assault two years ago (Operation Cast Lead, December 27, 2008 through January 18, 2009). Though the cables often  simply rehash Israeli press reporting, providing  little new insight into Israel’s attack or the planning behind it, they show with pitiless clarity  the U.S. government to be little more than a handmaiden and amanuensis of the Israeli military machine.

The cables make clear, were any further disclosure needed, exactly where the United States stands with respect to Israel’s unprovoked attacks on Palestinians and its other Arab neighbors.  Although Operation Cast Lead took place in the last days of the Bush administration, ending two days before Barack Obama was inaugurated, every Obama policy in the succeeding  two years – including the administration’s repudiation of the Goldstone Report detailing Israeli atrocities and war crimes during Cast Lead – has demonstrated a striking continuity of support for Israeli actions.

The cables give a notably one-sided account of the assault.  Because they take their daily reporting primarily from the Israeli media, the cables keep a tally of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza and dramatically describe “burned dolls and destroyed children’s toys” at an unoccupied kindergarten in Beer Sheba hit by a rocket, but make virtually no mention of Israel’s intensive air and artillery bombardment of Gaza, including its civilian population.  There are no reports of burned Palestinian babies or very few of destroyed property in Gaza.  Even the western media provided more accurate coverage of Palestinian casualties than this.

The U.S. embassy cables did provide some information on Palestinian casualties, but the reporting was minimal.  In one cable buried in the collection, approximately ten days into the assault, western press reports are cited giving a single report of 530 Palestinians killed.  This was at a point when the cables counted five Israelis having been killed.  Israeli casualties were totted up repeatedly.  This roughly 100-1 ratio of Palestinians to Israelis killed persisted throughout the operation, but this is not noted in the U.S. cables.  In a few instances, U.S. consular officials report the views of a few Gazans, frankly conveying Palestinian distress, but even here, when one Gazan reports that his town is increasingly being assaulted by Israeli fire, the cable qualifies his report by referring to “what he termed ‘indiscriminate’ Israeli fire.”

Whenever the cables mention a specific location in Gaza having been attacked or destroyed, including hospitals and mosques, the cables repeat Israeli claims without questioning them; on January 2, for instance, it is reported that the Israeli Air Force destroyed a mosque “reportedly serving as a weapons depot and communications hub.”  The embassy reports, without a hint of skepticism, the Israeli claim midway through the operation that Hamas operatives were reconstituting “certain command and control capabilities” at Shifa Hospital in Gaza by disguising themselves as doctors and nurses.

Instead, we have Washington and its allies pumping countless millions into a nice, little, compliant authoritarian state, aka Palestine:

“If we are building a police state — what are we actually doing here?” So asked a European diplomat responding to allegations of torture by the Palestinian security forces. The diplomat might well ask. A police state is not a state. It is a form of larceny: of people’s rights, aspirations and sacrifices, for the personal benefit of an élite. This is not what the world meant when it called for statehood. But a police state is what is being assiduously constructed in Palestine, disguised as state-building and good governance. Under this guise, its intent is to facilitate the authoritarianism which creates sufficient popular dependency — and fear — to strangle any opposition.

The transition from the lofty aspiration of statehood to a scheme intended to usher West Bank Palestinians into a new alleviated containment — a new form of remotely-managed occupation — is not some unfortunate error. The roots of this manipulation of the Palestinian aspiration into its opposite — cynically dressed up and sold as statehood — were present from the outset. Professor Yezid Sayyigh has shown how U.S. and EU rhetoric “promoting democratic development and the rule of law is pious at best, at worst disingenuous”. Both America and Europe bear responsibilities for this betrayal.

The seed of this deception which was to grow into a new police state in the region was the US and European acquiescence to Israel’s self-definition of its own security needs — and by extension, Israel’s definition of the requirements for Palestinian security collaboration. This Faustian pact, which prioritized Israel’s security-led criteria as the boundaries for negotiations — above any principles of justice — set the scene for the inevitable inflation of Israeli demands of security collusion by the Palestinian leadership — demands on which America’s ‘war on terrorism’ poured fuel.

The hidden, and false, western assumption was that if a two-state solution was in the interest of the dominant party, all that the Palestinians needed to do was to establish that a stable two-state solution was available to Israel. And in the end, it would emerge simply because it was in Israel’s demographic interest to give it. On this false premise, the Abbas-led Ramallah leadership embraced security collusion comprehensively. The western state-building project was conceived simply with the aim of providing Palestinian efficiency in the delivery of security collusion, nicely wrapped in a discourse of security reform and good governance.  But the problem is that the underlying assumption — that Israel was going to give the Palestinians a sovereign state in its own interest — was false.

one comment ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    Mahmoud Abbas is another US backed self-proclaimed* Arab President-for-Life. However, unlike the others, he's a "I'll not seek re-election" but there won't-be-any-new-elections type of President-for-Life.

     

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009

     

    [*] source: wikipedia

    President of the Palestinian National Authority (disputed)

    "…became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket. Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally extended his term for another year and continues in office even after that deadline expired. As a result of this, Fatah's main rival, the political party Hamas announced that it would not recognise the extension or view Abbas as rightful president."