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.

Shadow of Bin Laden continues to haunt

The life and times of Osama Bin Laden post 9/11 remains shrouded in mystery. During my recent visit to Pakistan, I spent time with Shaukat Qadir, a retired Pakistani Army Brigadier, who personally investigated the story behind Bin Laden’s killing last year.

This lead story in the Guardian by Jason Bourke adds more details to the picture (though frankly, after more than a decade of Western-led war in AfPak, and our empowering of brutal warlords in the process, the role of Al Qaeda and the Taliban seem almost secondary):

Documents found in the house where Osama bin Laden was killed a year ago show a close working relationship between top al-Qaida leaders and Mullah Omar, the overall commander of the Taliban, including frequent discussions of joint operations against Nato forces in Afghanistan, the Afghan government and targets in Pakistan.

The communications show a three-way conversation between Bin Laden, his then deputy Ayman Zawahiri and Omar, who is believed to have been in Pakistan since fleeing Afghanistan after the collapse of his regime in 2001.

They indicate a “very considerable degree of ideological convergence”, a Washington-based source familiar with the documents told the Guardian.

The news will undermine hopes of a negotiated peace in Afghanistan, where the key debate among analysts and policymakers is whether the Taliban – seen by many as following an Afghan nationalist agenda – might once again offer a safe haven to al-Qaida or like-minded militants, or whether they can be persuaded to renounce terrorism.

One possibility, experts say, is that although Omar built a strong relationship with Bin Laden and Zawahiri, other senior Taliban commanders see close alliance or co-operation with al-Qaida as deeply problematic.

A reliable account of Bin Laden’s life on the run can now be established, pieced together from the testimony, viewed by the Guardian, of one of Bin Laden’s wives, the recollections of the ISI officers who interviewed her compiled by retired Pakistani army brigadier Shaukat Qadir, statements of militants detained by the US published by WikiLeaks and interviews with former US officials.

Following the collapse of the Taliban regime in November 2001, Bin Laden’s wives and children fled Afghanistan , travelling first to Karachi, the vast Pakistani port city, where they spent several months. Bin Laden himself headed north into the remote Afghan province of Kunar after the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001. According to ISI officials quoted by Qadir, a senior militant detained by the ISI in 2006 told interrogators that Bin Laden had met Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the Afghan insurgent leader, in Kunar at this time. ISI officials also maintain that Khaled Sheikh Mohamed told them that the al-Qaida chief was there.

Former American officials this weekend told the Guardian that there was considerable intelligence indicating that Bin Laden was in eastern Afghanistan and making occasional journeys across the border into Pakistan at this time.

By the summer of 2004, Bin Laden appears to have moved into Pakistan permanently. According to the testimony of his youngest, Yemeni-born wife, she and her two children were reunited with her husband in a house in a remote district of the rugged Swat valley, in northwest Pakistan, in March 2004, before moving to another safe house in a small town called Haripur, 20 miles from Abbottabad, that autumn. In early summer 2005 the family then moved into the newly constructed compound where they would spend the next six years. They were joined there by Bin Laden’s second wife and her three children.

According to ISI officers interviewed by Qadir, the location had been scouted a year previously by senior militant Abu Farraj al-Libbi who then travelled to Swat to get Bin Laden’s approval for the move. The al-Qaida chief insisted that the land for the house be bought, not rented, and sketched out a design for the construction – currently in the possession of the ISI.

The al-Qaida leader himself evaded detection while on the move by pretending to be an ailing Pashtun former militant, still on Pakistan’s wanted list, who hoped to return home to die, Qadir has written.

Western security officials believe Bin Laden’s oldest wife joined him in Abbottabad after being released in deal between Iranian authorities and a Pakistani militant group holding an Iranian diplomat.

By November 2010, the crucial courier had been identified and located. He then led the hunters to the Abbottabad house.

2 comments ↪
  • Ned

    Fascinating account but hardly believable as to the alleged circumstances of uncle
    Bin's death dumped in the sea without an autopsy or usual process.
    Believe the US account?
    Even the FBI say they have not the evidence to put uncle Bin on the wanted list for 911.
    Sorry Antony, the official BL story is full of scientific holes that one could not hang a dog on.
    Do some research; try Mike Rivero at whatreallyhappened.com under the category 911.

  • Kevin Herbert

    To see Obama & Bill Clinton this week celebrating the the murder of Bin Laden marks the continued downward spiral of the US as a democratic society.

    The trashing of due process by the neocons and their puppet Obama will never be forgotten by those of us around the world who tenaciously support the rule of law as the basis for free, democratic societies.

    The neocons & their US Governmen toadies are a criminal class in the mould of the German Nazis & Stalin's Russia.

    Check out what the US Congressman Ron Paul has to say about the murder of Bin Laden.