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.

Memo to media; US massacre in Afghanistan is about Afghans not US military

Another tragedy in Afghanistan. And what do most of the corporate media focus on? How will this affect NATO strategy? What will US troops do? Will Obama’s supposed counter-insurgency tactics be derailed?

What about wondering about the Afghans themselves?

Here’s FAIR:

The news that a U.S. Army sergeant killed 16 civilians, most of them children, in southern Afghanistan early Sunday morning was treated by many media outlets primarily as a PR challenge for continued war and occupation of that country.

“Afghanistan, once the must-fight war for America, is becoming a public relations headache for the nation’s leaders, especially for President Barack Obama,” explained an Associated Press analysis piece (3/12/12). Reuters(3/12/12) called it “the latest American public relations disaster in Afghanistan.”

On the NBC Today show (3/11/12) the question was posed this way: “Could this reignite a new anti-American backlash in the unstable region?” The answer: “This is not going to bode well for the U.S. and NATO here in Afghanistan,” explained reporter Atia Abawi. “Obviously people here very fearful as to what’s going to happen next, what protests will come about throughout different parts of Afghanistan, and how the Taliban are going to use this to their advantage.” “People,” as used here, would not seem to include Afghans, who are presumably less frightened by protests against a massacre of children than they are by the massacre itself.

The front-page headline at USA Today (3/12/12) read, “Killings Threaten Afghan Mission.” The story warned that the allegations “threaten to test U.S. strategy to end the conflict.” In the New York Times (3/12/12), the massacre was seen as “igniting fears of a new wave of anti-American hostility.” The paper went on to portray occupation forces as victims:

“The possibility of a violent reaction to the killings added to a feeling of siege here among Western personnel. Officials described growing concern over a cascade of missteps and offenses that has cast doubt on the ability of NATO personnel to carry out their mission and has left troops and trainers increasingly vulnerable to violence by Afghans seeking revenge.”

The fact that the massacres occurred two days after a NATO helicopter strike killed four civilians was “adding to the sense of concern.”

This morning’s ABC Radio AM fit perfectly into the mould, playing quotes from Western leaders and White House flaks:

TONY EASTLEY: There are fears that the shooting rampage by a lone US soldier may derail the Afghan peace process and undo months if not years of work.

The Afghan army is on a higher alert after the American soldier killed 16 Afghan civilians and burnt their bodies. Nine of the dead were children.

The Afghan parliament has passed a resolution demanding the soldier face a public trial in Afghanistan, and already talks on a new strategic partnership between Kabul and Washington look like being put on ice.

Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: The deaths of 16 Afghan civilians at the hands of a rogue US soldier continues to outrage and worry world leaders, especially as the Taliban is now promising to strike back. 

The British prime minister David Cameron. 

DAVID CAMERON: Really is an absolutely appalling thing that has taken place and of course it will have its impact, but we must do everything we can to make sure that it doesn’t in any way derail the very good work that American and British and other ISAF forces are doing in Afghanistan. 

And it is worth remembering why we’re in Afghanistan – we’re there to train up the Afghan army and the police so that that country is able to look after its own security 

EMILY BOURKE: The Taliban has described the Americans as terrorists and barbarians, but White House spokesman Jay Carney says the US led mission will continue. 

JAY CARNEY: I’m sure there will be discussions ongoing between US military leaders as well as civilian leaders in Afghanistan and the Afghan government in the wake of this incident, but our strategic objectives have not changed and they will not change. 

4 comments ↪
  • James O'Neill

    To that may be added the usual inane comment from Gillard and Smith to the effect that Australia will continue its "mission" in Afghanistan. What that "mission" is may never be debated in any serious way. Completely absent from any discussion in the Australian media is a consideration of the fact that the "mission" was founded on a lie, is sustained by a series of lies, and not incidentally is contrary to international law.
    We have been involved in this expensive (in all senses of the word) fiasco for more than 10 years, but with only one parliamentary debate and that only becuase the Greens insisted on it as part of their conditions for supporting the Gillard government.
    The so-called 'security experts' called upon by ABC are no better than the politicians in mouthing platitudes. It is long past time for a serious debate by informed people about how we got into this war and why we are still there.
    Revelations in the SMH this morning about how our special forces are sneaking around several African countries, again contrary to internaitonal law, is a further measure of how far we have sunk in our capitulation to American interests.

  • Gail Malone

    Finally a journalist with the integrity to shine a light on the lopsided response to the horror that engulf Afghans in their own land. This is not an isolated incident, and I doubt it was one 'rouge' soldier. Eye witness accounts say otherwise, but as usual the West is not concerned with what Afghans say or their sensibilities. Most Afghan homes would have a weapon and this 'lone' murderer can kill 16 people in 3 different homes, wound many others, drag the dead together, poor fuel on them and set fire to their bodies and no one turns a gun on him…I don't think so, it's another 'Kill Team', this is par for the course for night raids, that we in the West are kept in the dark about. However, there is no fooling Afghans, they see these atrocities on a daily bases. They know our troops are the barbarians, I hear it often from Afghans, they know who the real terrorists are! Jim Carney call this senseless slaughter an 'incident'. Would he feel this way if it were his family, or would the perpetrators be labelled terrorists? He also mentions 'strategic objectives', I'd be very curious to know exactly what those are. The MSM and Politicians just keep dragging out the same old tired platitudes…'saying the course', 'turning a corner' etc. They have turned so many corners they are going round in circles. We have been in Afghanistan over 10 years, I'm curious, just how long does it take to train Afghans. I would think as a fighting force, it is the West that should be taking lessons from them. 10 years and an ill equipped force has the might of the US/NATO/ISAF Military machine jumping at shadows.

  • Marilyn

    Yes, the US will treat this mass murderer with a good deal more mercy than they show Bradley Manning.

  • Kevin Herbert

    James O'Neill: agree 100%…I'm ashamed to say I'm an Aussie given the obseqious stance of both our major parties to the US's revenge based foreign policy, driven of course by the MIC.

    I wish I could see the DFAT briefing that informs our political leaders of the absolutely necessity to strictly adhere to every US command..it must make some very serious allegations concerning our future security without US backing. However, what are these allegations based on? Will we ever get to see them or will 'national security' considerations permanently block their public release.
    The whole grisly affair is pewkworthy.