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.

Don’t think for a second that a militarised US empire is going away

Nick Turse in TomDispatch provides a terrifying overview of what Barack Obama has merely accelerated in the last four years:

In the 1980s, the U.S. government began funneling aid to mujahedeen rebels in Afghanistan as part of an American proxy war against the Soviet Union. It was, in the minds of America’s Cold War leaders, a rare chance to bloody the Soviets, to give them a taste of the sort of defeat the Vietnamese, with Soviet help, had inflicted on Washington the decade before. In 1989, after years of bloody combat, the Red Army did indeed limp out of Afghanistan in defeat. Since late 2001, the United States has been fighting its former Afghan proxies and their progeny. Now, after years of bloody combat, it’s the U.S. that’s looking to withdraw the bulk of its forces and once again employ proxies to secure its interests there.

From Asia and Africa to the Middle East and the Americas, the Obama administration is increasingly embracing a multifaceted, light-footprint brand of warfare. Gone, for the moment at least, are the days of full-scale invasions of the Eurasian mainland. Instead, Washington is now planning to rely ever more heavily on drones and special operations forces to fight scattered global enemies on the cheap. A centerpiece of this new American way of war is the outsourcing of fighting duties to local proxies around the world.

While the United States is currently engaged in just one outright proxy war, backing a multi-nation African force to battle Islamist militants in Somalia, it’s laying the groundwork for the extensive use of surrogate forces in the future, training “native” troops to carry out missions — up to and including outright warfare.  With this in mind and under the auspices of the Pentagon and the State Department, U.S. military personnel now take part in near-constant joint exercises and training missions around the world aimed at fostering alliances, building coalitions, and whipping surrogate forces into shape to support U.S. national security objectives. 

While using slightly different methods in different regions, the basic strategy is a global one in which the U.S. will train, equip, and advise indigenous forces — generally from poor, underdeveloped nations — to do the fighting (and dying) it doesn’t want to do.  In the process, as small an American force as possible, including special forces operatives and air support, will be brought to bear to aid those surrogates.  Like drones, proxy warfare appears to offer an easy solution to complex problems.  But as Washington’s 30-year debacle in Afghanistan indicates, the ultimate costs may prove both unimaginable and unimaginably high.

Despite a history of sinking billions into proxy armies that collapsed, walked away, or morphed into enemies, Washington is currently pursuing plans for proxy warfare across the globe, perhaps nowhere more aggressively than in Africa.   

Under President Obama, operations in Africa have accelerated far beyond the more limited interventions of the Bush years.  These include last year’s war in Libya; the expansion of a growing network of supply depots, small camps, and airfields; a regional drone campaign with missions run out of Djibouti, Ethiopia, and the Indian Ocean archipelago nation of Seychelles; a flotilla of 30 ships in that ocean supporting regional operations; a massive influx of cash for counterterrorism operations across East Africa; a possible old-fashioned air war, carried out on the sly in the region using manned aircraft; and a special ops expeditionary force (bolstered by State Department experts) dispatched to help capture or kill Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony and his senior commanders.  (This mission against Kony is seen by some experts as a cover for a developing proxy war between the U.S. and the Islamist government of Sudan — which is accused of helping to support the LRA — and Islamists more generally.)  And this only begins to scratch the surface of Washington’s fast-expanding plans and activities in the region.

6 comments ↪
  • Kevin Herbert

    Obama is a worse version of a war mongering, evil neocon than G W Bush.

    What a monumental failure he has turned out to be…an Uncle Tom pegoratively speaking.

    And to think this fascist pig has proudly announced the existence of State sanctioned murder list…….have I been asleep for 20 years & just woken up???

    • examinator

      Mr Herbert,
      I get that you don't like Obama . I'm not a particular fan either. But I draw the line with your * Racist * remark about him being an Uncle Tom. He is not now or ever was a slave . Would you have called Bush 2 an Uncle Tom? He was just as much a marionette of similar Corporate forces… as will Romney if he gets there.
      In truth your comment wasn't about about the man or his lack of meeting expectations it is about of his colour….That sir is Racism at it's most contemptible.
      I'm by no means a Steinbeck but I at least could rubbish his lack of performance (which is the substance of your complaint) and not denigrate him on the grounds of something as irrelevant to the issue as the colour of his skin. As for the Fascist … do you know what a fascist is ? apparently not.
      That by no means implies That I am any more accepting of his death lists.
      They too are obscenities.

  • rehmat1

    Obama knows the Americans don't like coffins coming home – therefore, it's better for defeated US forces to train and fund proxy wars – making Muslims and africans kill each other.

    As for Somalia is concerned – like Afghanistan and Iraq – it's not the "Islamists" but the "nationalists" who're fighting the Zionist colonialists. However, like US defeated in both Afghanistan and Iraq – it's doomed to fail in Somalia too.

    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.

    Both 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. The CIA, Mossad, MI6 are all operating within Somalia.
    http://rehmat1.com/2012/07/31/us-to-set-somalia-f

    • examinator

      "Zionist entity backed Kenya?" You imply that Kenya is a puppet of Zionists ? Really? do the Kenyans know?

  • Kevin Herbert

    Examinator:
    You should move with the times, Sir.
    Calling an African American an Uncle Tom today conveys the meaning that they've sold out…nothing more nothing less.
    For the record, the editorial committee at Crikey have no problem with the term.
    Save your indignation for something important.
    Obama has sold out to the white US establishment without question…end of story
    Finally, I wonder whether you'll be man enough to apologise for your unfounded accusation of racism.

  • Kevin Herbert

    Hey Examinator:

    Your silence is deafening…..all who read this exchange know now that your views have to be checked for accuracy…..everytime