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.

Oh wait, says Sri Lanka, maybe we did murder civilians

Telling the truth isn’t really popular in the halls of power in Colombo:

Sri Lanka’s government on Monday acknowledged for the first time civilian casualties occurred in the final phase of its 26—year civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels but calls those deaths unavoidable.

A Defence Ministry report said “it was impossible” to avoid civilian deaths despite the military’s best efforts, given the magnitude of the fighting and ruthlessness of the opponent. The government had so far maintained that non—combatants were not among the war dead because it adhered to a “zero civilian casualty policy.”

The report analyzes the events of the war and denies allegations of human rights violations and prisoner executions by Sri Lankan troops during the hostilities.

The war ended in May 2009 after a final offensive in which tens of thousands of people were killed in just a few months, according to estimates by a United Nations experts panel.

“The government of Sri Lanka made every effort to protect civilians in the conflict zone through the creation of safe corridors and no—fire zones by adhering to a zero civilian casualty policy that had been conveyed to all troops through repeated training and operational orders,” the report said.

“Despite the clear intent of the government of Sri Lanka and the numerous precautions taken, it was impossible in the battle of this magnitude, against a ruthless opponent actively endangering civilians, for civilian casualties to be avoided.”

The report did not say how many civilians may have been killed.

It comes against the backdrop of a U.N. panel reporting earlier this year that it has found credible allegations of serious human rights violations involving both the government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, some of which could amount to war crimes. It called for an independent international investigation.

Also, Britain’s Channel 4 television has aired video clips allegedly taken by soldiers on the front that purports to show blindfolded prisoners, some stripped naked, being shot at close range and bodies of naked women being loaded into a tractor trailer.

Tamil Tigers were accused of holding civilians as human shields, killing those trying to escape their grip and conscripting child soldiers.

7 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    I love the way the say the film 'purports" when in fact it absolutely shows blind folded and tortured and murdered, bombed and raped human beings.

  • Kamal

    What is the aim of Channel 4 and its persistence to tarnish the image of a sovereign Government? LTTE is an internationally banned terrorist group and a sovereign Government has all the right to militarily eliminate it for the protection of its citizens.

    It was after 30 years of endless peace negotiations and ceasefires that served to only equip the LTTE to carry out daring attacks that finally resulted in the decision to militarily take on the LTTE while rescuing all Tamils kept as human shields it.

    Anyone has a right to produce documentaries and it is the moral right of the production house to first realize and understand the message they aim to convey in airing the programs that are being sponsored. It takes more than a program to understand the reasons for LTTE to prevail, the “real” aspirations of majority Tamils and how they connect with the politics in Sri Lanka.

  • Kamal

    Let’s sift the facts from fiction. The accusation against Sri Lanka’s military is that it has killed an “X” number of people for there are inconsistencies in the number and contradictions by various organizations. At the bottom scale it is 7000 a figure given by Gordon Weiss the UN Spokesman in Sri Lanka but overruled by UN Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs – Sir John Holmes for UN did not have ground presence. At the top end the killings are supposed to cross 40,000.

    Anyone can give casualty figures and accuse the military but it is proof that matters and during a military operation against a terrorist movement it behoves the accusers to explain why Sri Lanka’s military had saved over 11,000 LTTE cadres (without killing them which Sri Lanka’s military had all the right to do as they were terrorists) and instead put them through rehabilitation to reintroduce them into society without keeping them in Guatanomo styled prison camps?

  • Kamal

    Accusers must also answer why a batch of these LTTE cadres were even given away in marriage through a wedding ceremony organized by the military with many sponsoring their outfits and the wedding ceremony itself? Accusers may also like to answer why Sri Lanka’s military would spare the spouses of Tamil leaders who are today scared of how the Tamil people are likely to treat them more than fearing the Sinhalese. Accusers may also like to answer why the military would even care to remove the ailing parents of Prabakaran to safety whose lives were at risk inside the refugee camps by Tamils angered at how much they had suffered as a result of the LTTE.

    If orders had been given to kill, would there have been 6000 soldier casualties? A former TNA parliamentarian has commented that these Tamil people were treated like “stray dogs, shot and killed mercilessly by the LTTE. If orders had been to kill why would the Government carry out a humanitarian rescue operation and save 294,000 Tamil people?

  • Kamal

    That soldiers perished during the rescue operation is evident by the fact that the LTTE had moved their heavy artillery into the “no fire zone” and positioned them within hospital compounds. There is sufficient satellite evidence to prove this. Tamil people had to either corroborate with the LTTE or face death as some did. Did Channel 4 care to logically think of these areas before coming to a conclusion that clearly spells of bias?

    Sri Lanka also remains the only country to have supplied food and provisions to the North despite its 30 year terror campaign. Even during the height of the conflict food provisions were distributed and these were all confiscated by the LTTE and what was given free by the State was sold to the Tamils by the LTTE. Interviewing a man held as a human shield in December 2010 by the LTTE he had bought a kilo of rice for Rs.2500 from the LTTE to feed his family.

  • Kamal

    Obtaining “eyewitness” accounts is no arduous task. The question is why would they remain “anonymous’. Just as many have been paid to remain mum over LTTE atrocities, it is easy to take “eyewitness accounts” for a payment, but if they are being protected by this private television channel and even the country that this television channel is located in, why would there be any reason to remain anonymous? Obviously with pro-LTTE videos already supplied all that was needed was the presentation by a C4 journalist and aired over C4. First it was supposed to be images taken from a mobile phone then it turned out to be from a video camera. Taking clippings from pro-LTTE website does not constitute evidence for war crimes especially when the narrator is herself an LTTE cadre. These are factors that C4 executives should have taken into account before allowing their name to be used to give credibility for a terrorist group to continue to prevail when it has been eliminated through some utopian unit called a transnational government trying all the tricks in the world to politically stay alive and instill fear amongst the Tamil people.

  • Kamal

    Channel 4 needs to first understand that of the two protagonists in the documentary it aired one was an internationally banned terrorist organization (LTTE) and therefore a Government has every right to protect its citizens from a terrorist organization.