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.

Australian cricket team should not visit Sri Lanka

When a country such as Sri Lanka proudly flaunts its human rights abuses against the Tamils and refuses to investigate war crimes, the world has a responsibility to act.

The Australian cricket team is soon to travel to the country and voices are growing that such a trip should be cancelled, to send a strong message to Colombo that it is not welcomed into the civilised world unless it changes its ways.

Leading Australian cricket writer Peter Roebuck has written two recent pieces outlining the issues and bravely stating that sport is never just about entertainment. Politics is central to everything. And Sri Lanka will be made to understand that it’s a pariah.

Here’s Roebuck:

The recent expose´ of the systematic execution, rape and abuse of Tamils in the closing stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka has provoked deep consternation among cricketers. One prominent player has been having nightmares since Four Corners aired the Channel 4 report this week, and the Players Association has been asked to intervene. Australia is due to visit Sri Lanka in August.

When it comes to making a stand, sport has mostly preferred to bury its head in the sand. Claiming it was none of its business, it ignored the state-sponsored slaughter of the Tamils in Sri Lanka and of the Ndebele in Zimbabwe in the 1980s. Few condemned the West Indies’ refusal to appoint a black captain, a policy that lasted deep into the 1950s. People preferred to talk about the lbw rule. Patronising images were conveyed of happy-go-lucky West Indians and hospitable Sri Lankans. The truth is always more complex.

It’s not good enough. Sportsmen and women can no longer pretend lack of knowledge. Facebook, YouTube and so forth have denied them that luxury. Sport is not a trivial distraction but part of our daily lives, not an escape but an embrace. Cricket, especially, has an opportunity to advance racial and religious tolerance. Have not these causes united all great men and women? Teams from Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian heritages reached the semi-finals of the recent World Cup. Sport has an obligation to help different peoples cross the bridge.

Not that any game ought to involve itself in local matters. Legitimate politics provides a choice between legitimate parties. Sovereign nations are entitled to determine their own fates. Tyranny is another matter.

Cricket is obliged to confront another matter that reaches far beyond its ordinary jurisdiction. Already the former England cricket captain, Michael Atherton, has urged his country to consider its position before undertaking its tour to Sri Lanka next year. Atherton described the Channel 4 footage as the most shocking seen on television since the Ethiopian food crisis. Evidently the ruling regime carried out these atrocities, chased away reporters and now blocks the United Nations’ attempts to establish the facts.

Clearly the Australian players are entitled to have as much information as possible before making any decision to visit any country. In this case, it is not a straightforward matter because the government appears to have popular support. After decades of civil war, the country is ostensibly at peace. And let’s not pretend the Tamil Tigers were saints. On the other hand, the leader of the opposition is behind bars and a small family clique around the presidency seems intent on controlling the economic and political levers.

It’s hard to know where sporting boycotts ought to start and stop. Iraqi civilians have suffered terribly from bombs dropped in an illegal war. Are the perpetrators to be isolated? If not, why not? Perhaps the difference lies between wicked actions and evil systems. That is poor consolation to the victims.

And more Roebuck:

Following a devastating documentary, recently aired in Australia, Michael Atherton wrote that England ought to consider its position before undertaking its tour to Sri Lanka. Footage was shown of soldiers executing Tamils, prisoners of war and civilians alike. Women were raped, children abused, hospitals bombed, and no questions asked.

The former England captain described the sights as the most shocking seen on television since the Ethiopian food crisis.

The regime in Colombo carried out these atrocities, chased away reporters and blocked the UN’s attempts to investigate. Sri Lanka is dangerous for journalists. Not so long ago a friend of mine, the editor of The Sunday Leader, was assassinated.

Atherton compares the Sri Lankan regime to that of Robert Mugabe and challenges his community to reflect upon its differing responses. Inconsistency is widespread. My African contingent includes a Congolese student who saw soldiers burning alive defeated opponents. Yet his country mostly escapes scrutiny.

Now Sri Lanka is in the spotlight. The next step is to insist upon an independent inquiry. It is vital to establish the facts. Clearly the Australian players are entitled to have as much information as possible at their disposal before making any decision to visit any country. They are scheduled to tour Sri Lanka next month. I will be going to Sri Lanka because that is the job of journalists.

Already one leading player has said the documentary made him feel sick and that he had been having nightmares since. Another observer has raised the issue of a boycott.

It’s not a straightforward matter because the government appears to have been legitimately elected. After decades of civil war the country is ostensibly at peace.

  • Suban Deepan

    Hats off to Mr. Peter Roebuck. He is write that criket is not just entertainment. South Africa was made a pariah state by international community when human rights abuse occured there. It is proven beyond doubt that more human rights violation, war crimes, crimes against humanity occured in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka should be isolated from international community.

  • Perera

    watch these idiot… Called your self a journalist ? more likely businessman selling propaganda for killers..

  • Gimara

    'Civilised World' haha.. Have you forgotten that you'll are all a bunch of convicts that were dumped in an island. Please…

  • dafdas

    Politics should play no part in cricket