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.

Memo to reporters in Australia; refugees are already being smeared and abused

Here’s how the Australian media sometimes report on asylum seekers. There’s no doubt that the country’s refugee policy is out of control, privatised forces (namely Serco) run the system with few checks or balances and journalists often simply ignore the bigger picture but can sensitivity towards vulnerable people not be ignored?

Asylum seekers awaiting processing are staying in a caravan park in Perth’s eastern suburbs.

The Immigration Department confirmed yesterday that about 20 people, including families, were staying at the Banksia Tourist Caravan Park in Hazelmere.

A spokesman for the department said the caravan park, 18km from the city, had been used to house asylum seekers for the past year.

The asylum seekers, believed to come from a range of countries including Afghanistan, include recent arrivals to Australia and others closer to being settled into the community.

“There are a bit over 20 people in there at the moment,” an Immigration Department spokesman said. “They are people who are waiting for processing to be finished. They are families.

“There is probably a mix there. Some might have arrived recently, some might have been there quite a while.”

The development comes a day after it was revealed that asylum-seeker families were being housed in dongas at a remote roadhouse in the Kimberley.

The group had stayed near the Willare Bridge Roadhouse, 50km south of Derby, earlier this week until they were transferred to permanent accommodation in Brisbane.

Dubbed a “tranquil traveller’s paradise”, the Banksia Tourist Caravan Park is on 6.9ha “surrounded by a splendid array of WA wildflowers and native birds”, the park’s website says.

It also says: “Just imagine relaxing in this wildflower and wildlife retreat enjoying WA fine wines from the Swan Valley, which is only 10 minutes away.

“Feel like you are in the country when you are only 18km from the centre of Perth and 10 minutes from both the domestic and international airports.”

Prices range from $835 a week, or $170 a day, for a deluxe family chalet to $675 a week, or $117 a day, for a cabin with an ensuite. Children cost an extra $15 a day.

Powered tent sites cost up to $325 a week, or $48 each day, at the caravan park.

A refugee activist in Western Australia tells me:

The 20 folks at this rather shabby caravan park are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. Survivors of the Christmas Island boat crash still recovering from injuries, mum whose child has cancer, amputees etc. They send those with the most serious medical conditions or post operative people to Banksia. Most are transferred over from other centres, and even there as usual 4 or 6 to a room.

one comment ↪
  • Marilyn

    Why dont' the lazy cowards in our media ever question the lies about "procssing'..

    QUESTION TAKEN ON NOTICE

    SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET ESTIMATES HEARING: 19 OCTOBER 2010

     

     

     

     

     

     

    IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO

    (175) Internal Product: Refugee, Borders and Onshore Services Division

    Senator Cash asked:

    Please provide an assessment of the resources required by the department to

    process the application of an offshore humanitarian applicant compared to those for

    an Irregular Maritime Arrival (IMA)

    Answer

     

    :

    The processes required for the department to process offshore humanitarian

    applicants compared to irregular maritime arrivals are significantly different. Each is

    briefly described below with the applicable minutes allocated through the

    department’s internal funding model.

    Offshore special humanitarian program entrants are proposed by eligible onshore

    residents who lodge an application onshore, which is then assessed and either

    referred to the relevant offshore post or refused. Referred applicants are interviewed

    and, if successful, health and security clearances are completed prior to applicants

    being settled in Australia. The relevant average funded work effort for each stage is

    listed below:

     

    assess and refer – 212 minutes per case

     

    offshore processing including interview – 5020 minutes per case

    Irregular Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) are entry interviewed on arrival at Christmas Island,

    allocated an Immigration Advice and Assistance Scheme (IAAAS) provider, asked to

    lodge a statement of claims, interviewed during a Refugee Status Assessment (RSA)

    and, if found to be a refugee, asked to lodge an application which is processed

    before the client is settled. The indicative and estimated funded work effort/costs for

    each stage are listed below:

     

    entry interview – 200 minutes per case

     

    IAAAS provider – 180 minutes per case

     

    RSA process – 926 minutes' per case (based on the onshore protection

    equivalent process)'