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.

Please, Washington, keep those conflicts bubbling along for our bottom line

The “war on terror” has been a lovely earner for many Western corporations. For them, wars winding down in Iraq and Afghanistan could be bad for business.

Here’s Walter Pincus in the Washington Post:

The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command on Feb. 1 approved a $330 million five-month extension on a five-year contract.

That contract now totals $2.3 billion and provides more than 8,000 interpreters working for U.S. forces at 200 sites in Afghanistan.

The Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) contract extension is another reminder of the varied expenses of this war and how some people are profiting.

In Columbus, Ohio, in 2004, a police officer and two Special Forces reservists who spoke Arabic started Mission Essential Personnel (MEP). The goal was to provide language and security training to the U.S. government and corporations focused on the Middle East.

MEP really began to grow in 2005 with a 30-month State Department contract for interpreters and security services at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. But the big breakthrough came in 2007, when MEP, as a “small business,” won the contract that INSCOM extended last week.

The original ceiling was to be $703 million, but as more troops kept coming, the ceiling rose by $78.5 million in March 2010 and by $679 million in May 2010. By last March there was an additional $525 million.

The Army wanted to put out a new contract for competition in late 2010, but a series of appeals and threatened court actions by prospective bidders delayed the final offering. The result was the latest extension for MEP.

Meanwhile, as the Army said in its justification document, “the need for linguists in theater evolves on a daily basis while remaining critical to current and future operations.”

Afghanistan’s population is spread out, with a high illiteracy rate and “dozens of languages and dialects.” The number of linguists needed by U.S. troops far “exceeded the number of locals that could take jobs,” according to the Army.

In addition, there are three types of interpreters needed — locals and others who have no security clearances; U.S. citizens who have secret clearances; and U.S. citizens with top-secret clearances and “capable of supporting continuous operations on a 24/7 basis in austere/hostile locations throughout Afghanistan,” according to the Army.

Salaries can range from as low as $900 a month for an Afghan to $200,000 or more a year for an American working at forward operating positions. It is a dangerous business, and even more so for Afghans, who become special targets for the Taliban.

MEP in September said that over the years 73 of its employees had been killed, with 312 injured and 10 missing.

Meanwhile, MEP is rising on Washington Technology’s list of the 100 biggest defense contractors. It was No. 42 last year, up from No. 62 in 2010. The company was even mentioned at a July 26, 2010, hearing of the Commission on Wartime Contracting.

Former representative Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), co-chairman of the panel, noted that MEP got its interpreter contract increased without competition. Although Shays said that MEP had received at that point more than a billion dollars and “was a great American success story,” he added that it hadn’t had any audits. “Whatever your costs are, you get something plus,” he said, meaning that the company gets a fee and whatever its operating costs are.

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