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.

War in Libya pushed by “insufferable” French mini-imperialists

As the war in Libya drags on, this piece in the Daily Beast fully explains the role of French President Sarkozy and the supposed French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy (BHL), a man who loves a good Western-led war to allegedly protect the innocent but he reveals his true side by blindly backing Israel at the expense of the Palestinians:

From the uprising’s outset, the French president’s objective was to take down Gaddafi, says an intelligence source close him. “We almost decided to do it ourselves,” he adds. The French have a long history of unilateral interventions in Africa, including against Gaddafi in Chad in the 1980s. This time, however, they quickly found partners. The British under Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron were very much on board. So were the leading members of the Arab League, who had their own grudges against Gaddafi. But Sarkozy seemed practically obsessed.

It’s worth remembering that Sarkozy once made a mission of bringing Gaddafi into the world’s good graces. Just weeks after his election in 2007, the new French president outbid his European partners to ransom five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor who had been imprisoned in Libya for eight years and threatened with execution. And late that year, clearly hoping for huge contracts from a supposedly rehabilitated Gaddafi, Sarkozy spent almost a week playing host to him, only to be humiliated daily by the Libyan leader’s outlandish demands. Gaddafi pitched his famous tent next to the presidential palace, at the 19th-century Hôtel de Marigny, and when Gaddafi decided to visit the Louvre on the spur of the moment, Sarkozy ordered the museum cleared. Still, the really big contracts did not materialize. Helping Libyans to get rid of their dictator might help wipe that memory clean.

But you can’t just support an amorphous “uprising.” You need somebody to call. Who could speak for the New Libya? Sarkozy had no idea.

At just that moment, BHL rang the Elysée Palace switchboard to tell the president he’d decided to go to the rebel capital of Benghazi. Sarkozy told BHL to let him know if he found any leaders among the fighters, and the self-styled intellectual swashbuckler needed no further encouragement. From Bosnia to Afghanistan, Iraq to Pakistan, BHL has always taken the side of those he saw as oppressed—and never failed to promote himself in the process. “BHL did the usual,” says a close friend of Sarkozy. “You know, ‘Save this! Save that!’ But he did manage to push the system to do something that cannot now be undone.”

Sarkozy and BHL used to be good friends. They went skiing together in Alpe d’Huez and vacationed on the Riviera. When BHL was pushing for intervention in Bosnia in the early 1990s, Sarkozy (a relatively junior minister in the cabinet of then prime minister Jacques Chirac) took BHL’s side against formidable opponents like Alain Juppé, who was then, and is again, France’s minister of foreign affairs.

The BHL-Sarkozy friendship turned icy during Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential run. BHL backed the Socialist candidate and, adding ink to injury, published the story of Sarkozy’s failed efforts to recruit him. “Now I hear the clannish, feudal, possibly brutal Sarkozy that his opponents have denounced, and which I never wanted to believe in,” BHL wrote: “a man with a warrior vision of politics, who hystericizes relations, believes that those who aren’t with him are against him, who doesn’t care about ideas, who thinks interpersonal relations and friendship are the only things that matter.”

Then Sarkozy’s wife ditched him and Sarkozy hooked up with Carla Bruni, who had previously stolen the husband of BHL’s daughter. To describe relations among the French elite as incestuous is almost literally true.

Even as BHL took off for Libya at the beginning of last month with Sarkozy’s blessing, the relationship between the two remained uneasy. It was a mission on a wing and a prayer. Inveterate networker BHL knew no one in the country, in fact. He had to hitch a ride in a vegetable vendor’s panel truck to get to Benghazi. And once he was there the protestors seemed to be losing the revolutionary fervor that had enabled them to seize half the populated areas of the country with scarcely a shot fired in the previous weeks. “What I smelled was the democratic revolution cooling down,” BHL recalls. His cause was slipping away from beneath him. And at the same time, Gaddafi’s forces had begun to regroup for a counteroffensive. So BHL grew bolder. With a lot of name-dropping, he got himself invited to a meeting of the newly named Interim National Transitional Council.

On a sketchy old satellite phone that shut off every few minutes, BHL repeatedly called Sarkozy—who put up with the interruptions—and brokered a deal for a Libyan delegation to be received in Paris at the presidential palace. Two days later, on Monday, March 7, BHL was back in Paris, meeting with the president. Sarkozy said he’d take the extraordinary step of recognizing the rebels’ government the following Thursday. Then BHL took an extraordinary step of his own. He asked Sarkozy to keep the whole thing a secret from the Germans, who were already expressing reservations about supporting the Libyan uprising—and also from French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, who would, BHL insisted, “throw a wrench in the works.”

one comment ↪
  • Fernando

    Blood is now on BHLs hands. What an idiot.