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.

American drone killings leading to one thing; predictable blow-back

Washington’s drone wars against countless countries receives far too little media scrutiny (is it because the White House says they’re killing “terrorists” and clueless reporters believe it?) and private companies are increasingly involved.

Joshua Foust writes in the Atlantic that the US should be worried:

The Intelligence Community (IC) as a whole has been reoriented to support the killing machine. While that isn’t of itself a bad thing, we should be asking very probing questions about whether it is necessary and if it is accomplishing the goals it should. The IC already struggles with making useful predictive analysis (i.e. understanding threats to the country and thinking of ways to respond to them). By focusing the IC so strongly on the identification of individuals to kill, the drones program is distorting the collection and analysis priorities of the IC, and in a very real way restricting the resources available to responding to larger economic, military, and nuclear threats. Bureaucracy becomes its own force after a while, and the possibility of ever reassigning these analysts and decision makers becomes less and less realistic the longer the program exists.

A final, important consequence of the dramatic expansion of the drone program is the continued degradation of the IC’s Human Intelligence capabilities and the increasing reliance on liaising with “local partners.” In both Pakistan and Yemen this has led to severe consequences both for our reputation and for our relations with each government. In Afghanistan, poor HUMINT tradecraft has led to a lot ofunnecessary deaths because we relied on sketchy local sources instead of doing the hard work to develop thorough human intelligence. The result, way too often, is firing blind based on “pattern of life” indicators without direct confirmation that the targets are, in fact, who we think they are — killing innocent people in the process. In Pakistan, the drones program has become so contentious that it’s inspired death squads that summarily execute people they suspect of participating in the targetting process. And in Yemen, we are nowslowly realizing that our “local partners” are really anything but, and we face the very uncomfortable possibility of being used as pawns to violently resolve conflicts that have nothing to do with us.

It’s hard to disagree with these points but the essential The Exiled website has an amazing take-down of Foust and his deep connections to the military-industrial complex. Read.

4 comments ↪
  • examinator

    It seems to me that the USA is doing what the USA does best, its myopic self interest. So much so it has elevated naval gazing beyond and art form but to an integral part of its culture, and through its heavy handed hegemony has mandated its seeding through out the world.

    What I mean by my criticism is that while the USA isn't alone in it's idolatry of the excesses of capitalism but has been it's *foremost exponent. The corollary which is 'stuff you I'm all right' which can be parsed as 'My selfishness is good but yours isn't'. A dichotomy, better described as "(vulture) capitalism". It feeds on, exacerbates the worst of humanity's flaws and adds the most extreme of all possible ills of capitalism. When delivered with near messianic zealotry it creates toxic quasi-religious syncretism labelling it 'free enterprise' (sic) raising it beyond(beneath?) reasoning to a matter of assumed faith.

    This article clearly raises the probable consequences of both how the domination of this form of capitalism is on USA's governmental reasoning. How its amoral/immoral grasping for profit leads to the crushing of that which *might obstruct it, be that by direct , proxy or simply allowing Corporations to be a 'convenient' political law unto them selves while simultaneous provide some degree of plausible deniability.

    Such is the corruption of public's moral responsibility of power(to others), that if it doesn't involve them or their soldiers aren't involved it doesn't matter enough, even if were made public. This is a stark contradiction on the countries claims to being a model of so called Christian democracy. Both qualifications are objectively untrue.

    Sadly the rising reliance on drones as the method of enforcement (of their beliefs) is also an example of the USA's political myopic thinking.
    Reality dictates that this avoidance of 'boots on the ground' at risk will be more than compensated for because it only deferred and increased the inevitable of another 911 type reckoning. Simply put this tactic potentially accumulates more enemies more quickly.

  • DICKERSON3870

    RE: "the essential The Exiled website has an amazing take-down of Foust" ~ A.L.

    MY COMMENT: Wunderbar! Better than a delicious seven course meal.
    "spite-fueled Waffentwerps" = LOL!!!

  • Headlines saying "the real cost of X" really gives me the shits. The real cost of X (in this case, drones) is how much money you spend on the damn things, and how many lives they take. Ascribing anything else is just wankery. PR damage doesn't count.

  • Joshua Foust

    Anthony,

    Thanks for endorsing Ames' knowingly false statements about my employment, his knowingly incomplete translation of a Russian-language article to "prove" that every other journalist who visited Zhanaozen is lying, the surprisingly shallow misrepresentations of my writing for The Atlantic (seriously: click his links and see for yourself if he's portraying those articles honestly), and — oh yeah — his obviously accurate mockery of my youth as a bullied gay teenager just to prove that I'm somehow a worse person for it.

    Courageous liberal journalism at its best, eh?