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.

How vulture capitalism in the “war on terror” really works

I’m on a number of global email lists that discuss privatised security post 9/11. This is from an anonymous retired navy captain:

Somebody’s civilian friends or benefactors have always been making money on our wars. The funny twist is how the “military industrial complex” of years gone by has evolved into a “personnel support complex” in addition. When I went to Iraq in 09 I brought all the learning CDs for Arabic in anticipation of that being the language I would need to know. When I came home I spoke more Hindi and Swahili. KBR and others take their contracts …and sub-contract to some Arab company,, like in Dubai. They in turn hire “third” world country employees for peanuts..say $500 a month…charge them a finders fee for the job and front them their airfare to Iraq. Then the worker has to work for 5 or 6 months to repay the debt before they can send dollar one home to their starving family in Nepal, India, Peru, Uganda or the Philippines. Sounding like slave labor yet? Hold your horses…then some of them live in unsafe shanty towns built right inside our bases, like Camp Victory. Add insult to that already abusive relationship and some, like from Sri Lanka, get a small portion of some nondescript “chicken” dish two or three times a day as their sustenance. I gave most of my “care” packages from caring US citizens to them, just so they could have something better.

So where did that huge check for the contract go? …in some fat cat’s (corporation’s) pocket…with the second largest payment to the Dubai company. All the time, the workers keep at it for a small pittance of what any soldier or western worker would make. I befriended the Indians and Ugandans the most. The Indians ran all the mess halls and the Ugandans provided armed security for the ECPs (Entry Control Points – to wit: entrance gates and provided the armed guards at the mess hall entrees). Did you get that one? Our personal safety was placed in the hands of someone from a continent where they could likely have been a child soldier….and they had guns with bullets at the entrance of the mess hall to keep you out if you didn’t have the right ID or uniform.

and as for the why? Have you all forgotten? We were downsizing in Iraq. D.C. had to show the numbers of military going down. You have never seen a report in the media showing the numbers of civilians working for the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan unless you dig pretty deep into Google. You also didn’t see the numbers of those civilians killed in the nightly news reports.

When Blackwater got a all the bad press they passed those same contracts over to foreign companies like Aegis (British) who had an excess of UK infantrymen from the IRA war that were unemployed. So get this, US Army generals have all their security detail from the UK. It’s all numbers. Of course, we are entirely out of Iraq now, right? Maybe not! Who is doing the “on the ground” security for the US State Dept now that we have left? I think you get the picture. 

Reinstate the DRAFT! America now has 1% of the population defending our freedom. There is a Warrior Class now that is not understood. When we pull our troops out of Afghanistan how many Americans will thank those in uniform for their service when they travel in the airports? 

As the Roman Empire got weaker, the emperors hired Germanic people to work as Roman soldiers. It all went down from there. Do a Google for “Romans hired Germanics. It’s all academic from there. 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” George Santayana (1863 – 1952), The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905. When Rome ran out of money, the empire collapsed. 

I hope the USA can last as long as Rome…but I don’t hold much faith in that proposition. 

Let’s start a pool. Which “next” war comes first? Syria, Egypt or Iran? Extra point spread if it is another country.

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