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.

Habib: my torture at hands of Egypt’s new de facto leader

My following article appears in today’s edition of Crikey:

According to Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian ambassador to the US, Hosni Mubarak has now transferred all powers to his recently appointed Vice-President Omar Suleiman.

Despite a barrage of speculation that Mubarak was going to step down overnight — including comments from head of the CIA, which makes one wonder the current power America has over the Egyptian President — the President is staying put.

Egyptian bloggers and protesters on the streets in Egypt reacted with fury and pledged their determination to continue the movement.

Suleiman, the feared head of Egypt’s intelligence services, is a long-time friend of America and Israel.

But an Australian citizen, former Guantanamo Bay inmate Mamdouh Habib, has an intimate knowledge of Suleiman; he met him personally while Habib was illegally rendered to Egypt in 2001 and tortured.

Crikey spoke exclusively to Habib last night in Sydney and he reiterated his belief that the Australian government’s recent deal with him vindicated his allegations of serious mistreatment against Canberra, Washington and Cairo.

In his book, My Story, Habib outlines the ways in which Suleiman threatened him in an Egyptian torture prison — key extracts here — and today Habib is calling for the arrest and trial of Suleiman himself. Habib told me the following:

“People in Egypt know who Omar Suleiman is. They’re protesting against Mubarak and Suleiman. I’m not in Egypt but I’m sending a message to the world that Suleiman is an agent for the CIA, Mossad or anybody who is paying money.

“I knew about Suleiman before I was rendered to Egypt, every Egyptian did, but I had never seen him before. To talk about September 11 and kidnapping is that rendition had been happening for years [before 9/11].

“Australia, America and Britain are now supporting Suleiman even though the Australian government now admits they were mistaken and they did wrong [by backing my rendition in 2001]. Australia now has to ask for this man [Suleiman] to be arrested and in jail. He’s a criminal.

“I have a statement from somebody in the agency in Egypt, the Mukabarat [secret police], I’ve been in contact with him and some lawyer in Egypt and some lawyer overseas, and he’s given evidence about what happened inside the building with Omar Suleiman. I have this statement and this makes me settle the case with the Australian government. I have more evidence.

“I want to put my case in an international court to put Suleiman and Mubarak and the Americans who were involved in my rendition [on trial]. I know every single person involved in my rendition; the Australian ambassador in Islamabad, the CIA, Suleiman and some Pakistanis. I’ve got evidence and witnesses.

“Rendition still happens now. I can’t tell you much about the details because people inside Egypt give information but if I give news about cases people may be in serious trouble. One hour ago I heard about people being kidnapped from America and Britain and Kuwait [and rendered to Egypt].

“If America supports Suleiman again then Obama is a criminal and he’ll have big hatred from the Egyptian people. I’m telling the world to open their eyes about Suleiman.

“Only deal I have with the Australian government I’m not going to say how much I’ve been paid for the crimes been done to me, that’s all, but anything else I’m free to talk. I asked the Australian government to help me take Suleiman and the Australians to court to be charged.”

The Obama administration remains divided over the best way to manage the Egyptian uprisings but New York Times columnist Nick Kristof, who has been in Cairo with the protesters, writes that America had a choice to side with the demonstrators or back the regime. Washington’s choice was clear. Canberra has simply followed America’s position.

*Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist and author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution

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