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.

Not every frightful terror story is really so frightful

Since 9/11, far too few journalists have questioned the avalanche of spin emerging from the White House and other official sources when it comes to so-called terror threats. This short story in the Guardian is necessary to challenge the narrative:

While serious questions remain about the origins and source of the Yemeni “bomb plot”, a clearer picture is emerging of an audacious and, as far as the CIA is concerned, a successful sting operation.

Sources familiar with the operation suggest that a CIA informant and putative suicide-bomber originally recruited by Saudi intelligence infiltrated al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) and said he wanted a bomb in order to explode an aircraft bound for the US.

The double agent was handed the latest bomb devised by AQAP and passed it on to his Saudi handlers and the CIA.

Western intelligence sources do not dispute it was a sting operation. But it seems it was more than that: the “suicide bomber”was an agent provocateur – that it is to say, there is no evidence that AQAP was already planning such a plot and that without his approach to the militant group, no such plot wouild have taken place, not yet at any rate.

“It seems the double agent was planted and offered himself up to AQAP, it was an opportunity for them to test new technology”, said Tobias Feakin, director of national security and resilience at the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

He added that claims of an AQAP-inspired plot did not seem to quite fit as both core al-Qaida and AQAP were in the process of “regrouping”, adopting more of a role in support of the local population rather than planning ambitious bomb plots.

Western intelligence officials have made it clear that the “underwear” bomb, now in the hands of the FBI, will prove extremely useful in testing airport security measures, specifically over whether a bomb such as this one with no metallic content could be detected by existing screens.

The sting operation may be a morale-boosting propaganda coup. The alleged plot also served to defend the Obama administration’s decision last month to step up US drones on targets in Yemen. According to the New York Times reported, the double agent also provided intelligence that led the CIA to conduct a drone strike in Yemen on Sunday that killed the AQAP leader Fahd al-Quso.

But, it seems, he did not know of the whereabouts of the bombmaker himself, Hassan al-Asiri, who must now be the prime target of a US drone attack.

Judging by the responses of sources approached about the operation, it was set up by the CIA and the Saudis, and no other intelligence agency was involved.

It does, however, raise the spectre of crying wolf – will reports of the next plot refer to a sting, or a real terrorist operation?

  • Here's another 'terrorist' prevented from flying…

    18-month-old baby pulled from flight, parents interviewed by TSA

    Luckily that baby lives in the US rather than Yemen, Pakistan or elsewhere, otherwise she and her family would have been incinerated in their home by a US drone strike…

    • Ned

      She was delayed 'baby boomer' who crawled through a time worn hole from 1945. Be alert but not alarmed by such threats.

  • Ned

    This latest claimed 'sting' is reminiscent of the Christmas day underwear bomber. He was enabled on the aircraft without a passport by a well dressed Indian male.
    A lawyer and his wife witnessed the boarding procedure. Search Kurt Haskell Christmas day underpants bomber. Hassle also witnessed the event Nd the aftermath including attempts to silence him. Of course that led to the introduction of the scanners. Very profitable for the owners of the scanners!?
    We have been suckered again.

  • kevinherbert1

    Remember the Iranian Amercian who was planning to murder the Saudi DC ambassador about 12 months ago?

    That BS sank without trace.

    What is most annoying is the way Aussie media report these "stories" as fact.

    I'd believe say, the Iranians any day ahead of the gr8 Satan USA, who since 1960 has killed more than 4 million civilians in Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia, Iraq & Afghanistan..with every conflict an illegal war waged outside the powers of the US Constitution. Did I forget to mention that the US government has sacrificed more than 80K of its young men & women during that time..and for what gain? The only gain has been to the bank accounts of the MIC and the power trip of the unseen armed forces & civilian criminals who control the Pentagon & the Congress.

    For the record, how many illegal wars have the Iranians waged around the globe since 1960?

    Ron Paul Ron Paul!!!!…..his revolution is underway in the US, and is picking up steam among those majority of US citizens who no longer accept what the neocons, MIC & AIPAC serve up as foreign policy.