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.

What our media don’t tell us about the Middle East

Yet more fascinating insights from the recently released Wikileaks documents of Stratfor, published by Lebanon’s Al Akhbar.

One:

US government officials requested that an American private security firm contact Syrian opposition figures in Turkey to see “how they can help in regime change,” the CEO of one of these firms told Stratfor in a company email obtained by WikiLeaks and Al-Akhbar.

James F. Smith, former director of Blackwater, is currently the Chief Executive of SCG International, a private security firm with experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. In what appears to be his first email to Stratfor, Smith stated that his “background is CIA” and his company is comprised of “former DOD [Department of Defense], CIA and former law enforcement personnel.”

“We provide services for those same groups in the form of training, security and information collection,” he explained to Stratfor. (doc-id5441475)

In a 13 December 2011 email to Stratfor’s VP for counter-terrorism Fred Burton, which Burton shared with Stratfor’s briefers, Smith claimed that “[he] and Walid Phares were getting air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick to engage Syrian opposition in Turkey (non-MB and non-Qatari) on a fact finding mission for Congress.”

Walid Phares, named by the source as part of the “fact finding team,” is a Lebanese-American citizen and currently co-chairs Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Middle East advisory group.

During his involvement with Stratfor, Smith provided intelligence on missing surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) (doc-id 5321612) and allegedly “took part” in the killing of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. (doc-id 3980511)

Two:

An Israeli intelligence agent claimed that contrary to common belief the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was “not assassinating people that easy.” He would add that the Mossad embraced false accounts of its successes because they bolstered the Mossad’s reputation as “an assassins organization that terrorists should be afraid of.” These statements came in an email exchange between David Dafinoiu, president of NorAm Intelligence, and Fred Burton, Stratfor’s VP of counter-intelligence, which were part of the Global Intelligence Files released by WikiLeaks.

The “confirmed Israeli intelligence agent” who is “suspected of being an agent of influence,” as Burton attributes to the FBI (doc-id 5362917), claimed that the Mossad was never involved in the death of one of the founders of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1978, Wadie Haddad (known as Abu Hani). Dafinoiu added that the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas member killed in Dubai by the Mossad two years ago, was merely an “accident” as the Israelis intended to kidnap al-Mabhouh in order “to exchange him with the Israeli soldier in Iranian custody.”

The emails dated 15 June 2011 between Fred Burton and David Virgil Dafinoiu, who is also chairman of the Homeland Security Committee at the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, discuss the fates of Haddad, al-Mabhouh, and Carlos the Jackal.

The email exchanges began with Burton asking Dafinoiu if he could confirm that Haddad was assassinated by the Mossad by means of poisoned chocolates and to clarify why the Mossad had not eliminated Carlos the Jackal during that time period as well.

The assassination-by-chocolate scenario appeared in a book published in 2006 by Aharon Klein, an American journalist, and was propagated by various Western news agencies.

Later that same night, Dafinoiu sent a follow up email in which he said “contrary to what many people believe, Mossad is not assassinating people that easy. Even the most recent incident in Dubai was an accident, they tried to bring the victim [Mahmoud al-Mabhouh] to Israel and exchange him with the Israeli soldier in Iranian’s custody.” (doc-id 383433)

Al-Mabhouh’s assassination was considered a success by the Mossad despite the fact that Emirati police were able to blow the cover of 26 Israeli agents involved in the operation.

2 comments ↪
  • blowback

    What prisoner in Iranian custody? Almost certainly couldn't be Ron Arad as he is dead according to Hezbollah. Unlikely to be Gilad Shalit as he was held by Hamas.

    Yet more Mossad bullshit?

  • aberombietherezombie

    Statement released by Wallerand de Saint just, vice-president of the Front National

    For the attention of Ms. Buffet, Messrs. Mélenchon, Bayrou, Sopo, Loewenstein and others: you thought you could disgracefully instrumentalise the tragedy in Toulouse against the Front National and the candidate Marine Le Pen. You have been discredited yet again. Your attempt to drag 20% of the French population through the mud has failed. To the horror of the drama, you attempted to add your malign political condemnation. You ought to apologise to the Front National, to its voters and to Marine Le Pen. The very least you can do is remain silent for a considerable time.