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.

Why was Al-Jazeera offering to censor content for the US?

This Wikileaks cable from October 2005 displays a concerning enthusiasm from Al Jazeera Managing Director Wadah Khanfar to censor content following US concerns over “disturbing” material:

Summary: PAO met 10/19 with Al Jazeera Managing Director Wadah Khanfar to discuss the latest DIA report on Al Jazeera and disturbing Al Jazeera website content. Khanfar is preparing a written response to the DIA points from July, August and September which should be available during the coming week. Khanfar said the most recent website piece of concern to the USG has been toned down and that he would have it removed over the subsequent two or three days. End summary.

¶2. (C) Per Ref A, PAO gave Khanfar a hard copy of DIA’s unclassified snippets from July, August and September.

Khanfar said he had recently received hard copies of the July and August snippets via the MFA and was in the process of preparing a written response to them. He said he would include September’s points in the report and pass it to PAO during the course of the coming week. “We need to fix the method of how we receive these reports,” said Khanfar, noting that he had found one of them (presumably sent from the MFA) “on the fax machine.”

DIA’s unclassified snippets for September

¶3. (C) PAO told Khanfar that despite an overall decrease in negative coverage since February, the month of September showed a worrying increase in such programming over the previous month. She summarized the latest USG reporting on Al Jazeera by noting that problems still remain with double-sourcing in Iraq; identifying sources; use of inflammatory language; a failure to balance of extremist views; and the use of terrorist tapes.

¶4. (C) Having had an opportunity to review the July and August reports, Khanfar said he had several observations to make. On a semantic level, he objected to the use of the word “agreement” as used in the August report on the first page, under the heading “Violence in Iraq”, where a sentence reads: “In violation of the station’s agreement several months ago with US officials etc”. “The agreement was that it was a non-paper,” said Khanfar. “As a news organization, we cannot sign agreements of this nature, and to have it here like this in writing is of concern to us.”

¶5. (C) He then said that broadly, the reports’ points fell into three categories. “Some are simple mistakes which we accept and address,” he said. In the second category, he said, are points that are taken in isolation and out of context by the USG report. “This report takes bits and pieces from a whole thing and does not give the context,” he said, noting that in some instances during the AJ broadcasting day, a comment made or position taken by one person may be balanced with a different comment or position later in the same show or later on during the same day. Since Al Jazeera is live 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it is not always possible to provide needed balance at the moment itself, he said. The report, he said, fails to note where balance was achieved in the following news hour, for example, or later on the same day. Thirdly, said Khanfar, there are points on which resolution does not seem possible, such as the use of terrorist tapes. “We have always said that we are going to use these tapes and we will continue to use them. The question is how. None of the tapes are used just like that,” he said, meaning that they are reviewed for newsworthiness and are edited. Concerning the use of inflammatory language, Khanfar said the station’s concern is with the language used by its own reporters and anchors. No station staff member is permitted to use loaded vocabulary. The reports’ focus on inflammatory language is on that used by non-Al Jazeera interviewees, he pointed out. “How can I control what these people say? I can only control Al Jazeera staff. All we can do is try to balance what these people say in other parts of the program,” he said.

¶6. (C) Commenting on the reports overall, he said they lacked balance in that they only focus on the negative. “A report like this should have both sides,” he said. “It does not report the voice we have given to American spokespeople over the recent past,” he said. “We do not always find a military spokesman, for example, but we are trying our best, and we have some success. This is not mentioned.” Speaking of Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Iraqi referendum, he said the station provided 12 hours of continuous coverage, which featured voices from all those vested in the process — Kurds, Shia, Sunni, Americans, Britons and others. “I would really like to see that in next month’s report,” he said. Khanfar repeated that he would respond in more detail to all three reports over the coming days and pass the response to PAO.

PAO raised the question of an Al Jazeera website piece published in the last week, listed under the heading “Special Coverage”, and containing “Live Testimony Concerning Tal Afar”. The site opens to an image of bloody sheets of paper riddled with bullet holes. Viewers click on the bullet holes to access testimony from ten alleged “eye witnesses” who described recent military operations in Tal Afar.

one comment ↪
  • Nathan

    incrminating …