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.

MSM has duty not to replay Iraq 2003 with Iran 2012

While some in the corporate media, such as this article in the LA Times, question how the US has any idea about Iran’s actual nuclear program, the bigger question is how journalists report the information given by military and government sources. Do they become, like in Iraq in 2002 and 2003, propagandists for war?

The New York Times’ Public Editor asks some questions (which virtually no other MSM outlets are doing) even though I personally disagree with his findings (being far too soft on his superiors over war-mongering):

“We talk about generals fighting the last war,” said Tim McNulty, who served as foreign editor for The Chicago Tribune during the Iraq war. “I think journalists also do.”

Nine years after the start of the Iraq war, the scene has shifted to Iran, and Mr. McNulty has a more detached view of events, as co-director of the National Security Journalism Initiative at Northwestern University. Now he cautions journalists against falling again for a kind of siren song: “the narrative of war.”

“The narrative of war, or anticipating war, is a much stronger narrative than the doubters have,” he said. “It is an easier story to write than the question of, well, is it really necessary?”

In recent months I have heard from many readers concerned that The New York Times is falling for this siren song, the narrative of war, in its coverage of Iran’s nuclear program. Not infrequently, readers and critics invoke Judith Miller’s now-discredited coverage in The Times of Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction, as if to say it is all happening again.

Among the criticisms are that The Times has given too much space to Israeli proponents of an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities; has failed to mention often enough that Israel itself has nuclear arms; has sometimes overstated the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency; has repeated the questionable assertion that Iran’s leaders seek the eradication of Israel; has failed to analyze the Iranian supreme leader’s statement that nuclear weapons are a “sin”; and has published misleading headlines.

William O. Beeman, author of “The ‘Great Satan’ vs. the ‘Mad Mullahs’: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other,” told me he believes The Times’s coverage has contributed to a dangerous public misunderstanding of the situation.

“The conventional wisdom with regard to Iran is that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and that they are going to attack Israel and going to attack the United States,” said Mr. Beeman, who is chairman of the anthropology department at the University of Minnesota. “But all these things are tendentious and highly questionable.”

Mr. Beeman faulted The Times for mischaracterizing I.A.E.A. reports and for a “disconnect between headline and the actual material in the stories that really affects public opinion,” saying these problems raised a question about the “civic responsibility of The Times.”

This bill of particulars against The Times’s coverage weighs heavily, but it is clear to me that this is not a replay of the Judith Miller episode. I do find examples that support the complaints mentioned above, but also see a pattern of coverage that gives due credence to the counternarrative — not of war but of uncertainty and caution.

Jill Abramson, executive editor of The Times, told me the paper is “certainly mindful that some readers may see an echo of the paper’s flawed coverage of Iraq,” but she also noted distinct differences. This time, she said, the United States government is expressing doubts about weapons of mass destruction, not leading the drumbeat for war. And there is no question that Iran has a nuclear program; it’s just unclear whether it is for civilian or military use.

Times journalists “are mindful of our responsibility to be vigilant, skeptical and fair,” she said. “Last month, when the calls for striking Iran began to grow louder, we brought together the foreign and Washington desks and came up with a run of stories designed to examine closely the statements made by those on both sides of the argument, especially the rising calls for a military strike.

Hooman Majd, an Iranian-American journalist who spent much of 2011 in Iran, observed that news coverage has left Americans with a caricatured understanding not only of Iran’s leaders but of its people “as being completely oppressed or completely lunatic.”

“Neither is accurate,” said Mr. Majd, author of “The Ayatollah Begs to Differ” and “The Ayatollahs’ Democracy.”

What is needed from The Times, he added, is more effort not only to get ordinary Iranian voices into the coverage but also to reach across the cultural divide to fully understand significant statements from the Iranian leadership, like the fatwa against nuclear weapons by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader.

I share this view and believe the West’s inability to understand the other side’s leadership may have a parallel with the run-up to the Iraq war. Once again, the stakes are high for all involved, including The Times, which has an opportunity to get it right this time.

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