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.

Iraqi “liberation” keeps many US secrets

Interesting piece on the New York Times At War blog:

Several weeks ago, we heard that a local businessman had purchased some trailers from a closing American base.

We were told the trailers were parked at a nearby junkyard, so one afternoon I headed out with our security team to find them.

I didn’t believe we were on to the greatest story. But I thought that the scene of some broken-down trailers that had been used by the Americans would be a new way to tell the story of the military withdrawal.

On our way to the junkyard, we got lost. Really lost. Our drivers thought they knew where they were going, but we kept on finding ourselves at dead ends.

The drivers tried to call for directions, but that didn’t seem to be any help. The fact that Iraq doesn’t have many street signs didn’t help, either.

For what seemed like hours — but was really about 30 minutes — we just drove around this dreary residential neighborhood, which didn’t even have paved streets.

After a while, I grew frustrated and concerned. I’m the most cautious in the bureau when it comes to taking jaunts into the city, and I didn’t think anything good could come of the situation. We were clearly outsiders, circling the neighborhood, and residents were staring at us.

I thought, what was the big deal if I didn’t get the scene of some broken-down trailers?

As soon as I raised the idea of turning back, the guards and drivers said that they had just figured out where the junkyard was, and one of our Iraqi reporters with us told me to relax.

A few turns later, we came to the entrance of the junkyard. An attendant with just a few teeth opened a chain-link fence and let us in.

The junkyard looked like what one would expect here: There were old pieces of motors, scraps of metal, feral cats and rotting food.

Like a real estate agent, the attendant walked us through the six trailers that his boss was trying to sell.

“These are from U.S. companies who worked with the military, and they sold these to us,” he said while smoking a cigarette. “I don’t know where they are from. They brought them from all over. I heard some came from the airport, some from the north.”

The inside of the trailers were filled with broken office furniture, empty lockers, bed frames and old magazines. Other items included a hat that said “God is Good,” computer guides, American candy wrappers and a tattered American flag banner. One of the trailers was marked “transit room.”

It was a mildly revealing snapshot of life living and working in a trailer during a war, but little more. I said that I had seen enough and headed back toward the car with my guards.

On the way to the car, I walked past a fire pit and saw a piece of paper on the ground. I picked it up and saw the word “interview” and the name of what appeared to be a Marine. I glanced upward towards the fire pit and saw that there were a few other pieces of paper strewn on the ground, so I went over and picked them up.

Like the other piece of paper, these had the word “interview” at the top. I dug through the trash on the ground, and right next to a well-wishing card to the troops from an American child I found a thick red binder filled with more interview documents. I continued to wade through the trash, picking up every piece of paper I could find. Eventually, I uncovered two maps that were marked classified.

I headed to a small shack to ask the attendant how the documents got there and if there were others.

“We had lots of containers that came with maps, binders and files,” the attendant said inside the shack, where he had a small bed. “What can we do with them? These things are worthless to us, but we understand they are important and it is better to burn them to protect the Americans. If they are leaving, it must mean their work here is done.”

The attendant said he had spent the past few weeks burning dozens and dozens of binders to smoke his masgouf, a carp that Iraqis treat as a delicacy. I had found the last ones, he said.

“I’m a guard — it is my job to protect these secrets,” he said. “The military didn’t tell us to destroy them.”

He added: “These are secrets for the Americans and it’s not appropriate to let people see their secrets. We were doing them a favor.”

Still, he let me leave with all the binders and the maps.

We loaded the trove into the back of the car and headed back to the bureau. I hadn’t had a chance to read the documents, so I wondered about what could be in them. The military creates lots of bureaucratic paperwork — maybe it was just that. Or maybe it was an untold tale of the war.

Back at the bureau, I spread the documents and maps out on a table and asked my colleagues to help me go through them. We started reading and googling, and quickly it became clear what the documents were from: an investigation into the 2005 massacre of 24 civilians, including women and children, in the town of Haditha. The maps showed routes that helicopters take in Iraq, including how high certain aircraft fly, and how far radar extends from bases in Baghdad.

A week later, the documents were scanned, and I began trolling through them and eventually wrote this article. But I still can’t help but wonder what else the attendant burned and what other stories may never been told from the war.

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