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.

Just what Africa needs; a US-funded, partly privatised military force

The LA Times reveals yet another Washington-led proxy war, this time in Africa. Privatised and essentially unaccountable, this is another example of the US never learning from history. Arming and training such a force will almost inevitably blow back on the West at some point:

The soldiers stood at attention, rifles at their sides, as U.S. Army Maj. Gen. David Hogg walked down the ranks, eyeing the men heading off to fight in Somalia.

“You will push … the miscreants from that country, so Somalia can once again be free of tyranny and terrorism,” he told them, according to a video of the May ceremony. “We know you are ready.”

These weren’t American soldiers. They were from impoverished Sierra Leone in West Africa. But Hogg, a top U.S. Army commander for Africa, was in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, because this was largely an American operation.

Nearly 20 years after U.S. Army Rangers suffered a bloody defeat in Somalia, losing 18 soldiers and two Black Hawk helicopters, Washington is once again heavily engaged in the chaotic country. Only this time, African troops are doing the fighting and dying.

The United States is doing almost everything else.

The U.S. has been quietly equipping and training thousands of African soldiers to wage a widening proxy war against the Shabab, the Al Qaeda ally that has imposed a harsh form of Islamic rule on southern Somalia and sparked alarm in Washington as foreign militants join its ranks.

Officially, the troops are under the auspices of the African Union. But in truth, according to interviews by U.S. and African officials and senior military officers and budget documents, the 15,000-strong force pulled from five African countries is largely a creation of the State Department and Pentagon, trained and supplied by the U.S. government and guided by dozens of retired foreign military personnel hired through private contractors.

Like CIA drone strikes in Pakistan and Somalia, and the overthrow of Moammar Kadafi’s regime in Libya, the U.S. backing of African troops in Somalia is an example of how, after a decade of ground combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Obama administration is trying to achieve U.S. military goals with minimal risk of American deaths and scant public debate.

The U.S. can underwrite the war in Somalia for a relative pittance — the cost over four years has been less than $700 million, a tenth of what the military spends in Afghanistan in a month — but the price tag is growing. More than a third of the U.S. assistance has been spent since early 2011.

No U.S. military personnel are deployed to Somalia with the African troops. Instead, the State Department pays a private firm to hire the retired foreign military personnel who advise the troops on tactics and operations.

“The U.S. is willing to be very open-minded about whatever the key components are that need to be funded, without which this mission would fail,” said Michael C. Stock, president of Bancroft Global Development, the Washington-based company that hires the combat advisors. “When it comes to things like ammunition, when it comes to the mentoring and advising that we do, the U.S. is really playing the most important role.”

Bancroft now has about 75 advisors in Somalia, double the number from a year ago, Stock said.

The only major part of the Somalia operation that the U.S. doesn’t supply or pay for are the troops’ salaries and logistical expenses, officials say. Those are handled by the European Union and the United Nations, although the U.N. contribution is partially funded by U.S. dues. Only Washington is willing to provide lethal aid, officials and contractors say.

“It’s incredible bang for the dollar that we’ve gotten,” said Michael Bittrick, a State Department official who oversees the effort. “It isn’t just about getting infantry shooters to go do their work. We’re training their intel people, we’re training their indirect fire people, we’re training their medical people, we’re training their engineers.”

That training is done mostly by U.S. contractors and small teams of American military personnel before the troops deploy from their home countries. But the military also brings African soldiers to the U.S. for training.

In December, the Pentagon brought eight Ugandan soldiers and one of Bancroft’s advisors to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., to train them to use the Army’s Raven drone. The hand-launched, propeller-powered drone beams live video back to a laptop computer when used on the battlefield, as it was last month in Afgooye.

3 comments ↪
  • examinator

    Americans (the rump) are as arrogant and well insight challenge as the 1/3 Rump of most countries. the difference is they have the biggest army/ military manufacturing complex (MMC). Which not surprisingly CONTROLS a lot of Jobs and therefore votes. I have no doubt that the placement of their factories is no accident. they are strategically placed among many reasons in those electoral seat that will either neutralise antiwar (liberalism) or ensure political sway.
    Research I've seen shows that few big MMC factories are in strong ( liberalism) electorates.It isn't a big mental stretch to follow the orchestrated paranoia $ back to its source and then rightly assume the profit motive.
    I'm not suggesting some uber conspiracy simply, we shouldn't be naive.
    The MMC needs an outlet for their product (wars oppressive/force controlled compliant ) .
    In recent times the returning body bags/coffins have begun to bite in the rump…
    The answer Proxy wars. Let's suppose this succeeds (a BIG ask) the MMC can at least bank on a 'captive 'client market… i.e. security…. in short good for business.
    business. American rump generally have the same absolute conviction that God if not American he/she is campaigning for citizenship.
    Because of the insular nature they just can't conceive that their correct and therefore will ultimately win. (despite history proving this not to be true.) Blind faith over logic= manipulation = PROFIT. their national mythology is built on it.

  • rehmat1

    Somalia’s Islamic Resistance Al-Shabaab has mocked Washington’s offer of $33 million for information leading to the arrest of resistance’s chief Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed (Abu Zubayr). On Friday, Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, a senior leader of Al-Shabaab made a counter offer of 10 camels for tip-offs enabling the arrest of Barack Obama.

    The western powers have labeled Al-Shabaab as a terrorist organization linked to the factious al-Qaeda. Al-Shabaab which controls most of southern Somalia – opposes any form of foreign intervention. Al-Shabaab is former youth wing of Islamic Courts Union (ICU) which was removed from power by the US and its anti-Muslim African proxy regimes.

    The US and Israel have been drone-attacking Somalia since July 2011 – killing hundreds of civilians. US backed Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi and AU troops while the Zionist entity backed Kenya and the CIA, Mossad, MI6 are all operating within Somalia.
    http://rehmat1.com/2012/06/11/somalia-10-camels-b

  • Pingback: US Army distributes guide to troops: “Avoid arrogance” and “respect Islam” in order to avoid « CITIZEN.BLOGGER.1984+ GUNNY.G BLOG.EMAIL()