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 serious media would have reported about Wikileaks (but did not)

So many stories and so much missed deliberately or wilfully ignored. Interesting extract from a new book, The phone hacking scandal: journalism on trial. This is by Justin Schlosberg and details how many key media outlets consistently fail to hold power to account (and no, it ain’t an accident):

The performance of serious media in relation to the WikiLeaks cables reveals a troubling picture. Far from championing the whistleblowing cause, the strategy adopted by the mainstream media effectively deligitimised WikiLeaks, marginalised stories of significant public interest, and succumbed to the very whims of exclusivity and sensationalism which foreground the Hackgate scandal.

Above all, it resulted in an ideological filter which side-lined stories pointing to domestic political corruption of an acutely serious and pervasive nature: the subversion of accountability institutions.

In particular, two cables highlighted apparent attempts by officials to mislead parliament over cluster bombs legislation and to undermine the on-going Iraq war inquiry, both with a view to suppressing sensitive aspects of transatlantic military cooperation.

These stories were distinct from the more headline-friendly controversies featuring charismatic personalities and easy-to-tell narratives…

Amidst the avalanche, certain cables did emerge during the sample period which pointed to serious political corruption in the UK, particularly as regards military co-operation with the US. Two stories stand out in this respect.

The first emerged on the third day of the cables and revealed that, according to the US ambassador in London, British officials had assured the US government that they had ‘put measures in place’ to protect US interests during the Iraq war inquiry.

The news value of this cable, both in terms of ‘new information’ and public interest weight was underlined by several journalists interviewed for this study.

According to Carl Dinnen, reporter for the Channel 4 news, ‘if somebody’s potentially saying that they’re capable of influencing an independent public inquiry into something as important as the Iraq war, that’s hugely significant’.

Television journalists were asked during interviews to rank selected stories based on their news value.

Seven out of the eight respondents ranked the above story as of equal or greater news value than the story regarding criticism of the UK war effort in Afghanistan by US and Afghan officials.

Five of the respondents considered it to be headline material warranting extended analysis and investigation.

This contrasts sharply with the content sample analysed in which criticism of the UK war effort attracted more airtime than any other story during the first five days of coverage, despite only emerging on the penultimate day of the sample period.

In stark contrast, the Iraq inquiry story was absent from all news reports and received only passing mention as a ‘news in brief’ piece on one edition within the sample.

This marginalisation was broadly reflective of The Guardian’s coverage which featured the story only as a relatively minor 300-word article on page 12.

The second story pointing to UK political corruption over military cooperation with the US emerged on day four of the coverage. It was based on a secret account of a meeting between British foreign office officials and their US counterparts in 2009.

In it, UK officials are said to have suggested that a planned loophole in forthcoming legislation banning cluster bombs should be kept from parliament.

Crucially, the loophole would allow US cluster bombs to be kept on British soil in the island territory of Diego Garcia…

The striking implication of this communiqué is that the the US and UK governments had effectively colluded in an attempt to mislead parliament and undermine a crucial piece of human rights legislation.

Once again however, the story was all but entirely absent from the television sample analysed, mentioned only briefly during a live two-way at 11pm on the BBC‘s second channel.

The topic was introduced by the anchor not as a story pointing to corruption, but rather ‘confusion over what the former foreign secretary said about cluster bombs’.

Curiously, however, in this case marginalisation on television was not entirely reflective of The Guardian’s coverage which featured the story as a 900-word article on its front page.

The title also contrasted starkly from the anchor introduction onNewsnight: “SECRET DEAL LET AMERICANS SIDESTEP CLUSTER BOMB BAN: Officials concealed from parliament how US is allowed to bring weapons on to British soil in defiance of treaty.”

Nevertheless, the edition as a whole was dominated by reports about Russian state corruption which dwarfed the cluster bombs story in both billing and word count.

We are left with a picture of the British ‘serious’ news sector, consisting of the paper that brokered Cablegate and the core of public service television, as seemingly more concerned with diplomatic gossip and corruption in foreign governments than that within the British state.

For all the resources and publicity that the mainstream media brought to bear on the cable releases, information arguably of the most acute British public interest remained confined to the side lines…

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