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.

Demanding an investigation into how Australia followed America into murderous Iraq war

This statement, issued last week in Australia by the Iraq War Inquiry Group, is vital despite already being (unsurprisingly) dismissed by the political elites who have no desire to examine their obsequiousness to Washington:

On 16 August 2012, a group of concerned Australians met in Parliament House, Canberra, to call for an independent inquiry into how and why Australia decided to take part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The group included a former prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, a former secretary of defence, Paul Barratt and a former chief of the defence force, General Peter Gration. It was hosted and endorsed by three parliamentarians – Melissa Parke, Andrew Wilkie and Senator Scott Ludlam.

The group described the invasion of Iraq as a humanitarian, legal, political and strategic disaster that left a trail of death and destruction and millions of refugees, some of whom are trying to seek sanctuary in Australia today.

It was also concerned that although several independent inquiries about the war have been held in the United States, and three official ones, including the current Chilcot Inquiry, in Britain, Australia has shown less concern about inquiring into the war than about bushfires and floods. Two inquiries, in 2003 and 2004, reported on the role of the Australian intelligence services, as if government bore no responsibility for the decision to invade Iraq.

Why not? A journalist, commenting on the Canberra call for an inquiry, dismissed the call for an inquiry as if Iraq was a long ago and far away war with few Australian casualties, so it doesn’t matter. The Prime Minister, Defence Minister, and a former Defence Minister also dismissed the need for an inquiry. Julia Gillard said she could give a long answer about the war’s circumstances, but ‘we’ve now got other issues’. Stephen Smith said lessons had already been learned, and an inquiry wasn’t warranted.

Robert Hill, who was Defence Minister when Australia went into Iraq, said that ‘in his humble opinion, it would probably be better for Australia to focus on the issues of today and the issues of tomorrow than to try to re-guess matters of 10 years ago.’

But that is precisely the purpose of an inquiry – to look forward. We are likely again to face a situation similar to Iraq in the near future. It could be an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities by either Israeli or United States air forces followed by Iranian retaliation with catastrophic results. The situation in Syria could drift out of control into a full-scale war dragging in Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. A confrontation in the South China Sea between the naval forces of China and other regional states claiming sovereignty over groups of islands could rapidly escalate. A clash between Korean and Japanese forces over disputed sovereignty of the island Takeshima (to the Japanese) or Dokto (to the Koreans) in the Sea of Japan, could prove similarly explosive.

In any or all of these scenarios, Washington would expect Canberra to join it in military intervention. American troops could be deployed from bases in Australia. And the government of the day could again decide to go to war, without explaining to the Australian people or the Australian Parliament how that would be in Australia’s national interests, or what its costs and consequences would be.

John Howard did it in 2003. Julia Gillard or any of her successors could do it again.

This is why the Iraq War Inquiry Group called for an inquiry, and a change in the war powers of the Prime Minister. A decade after the invasion of Iraq, these are concerns of pressing relevance to today’s international situation.

2 comments ↪
  • david warwick

    the decision to go to war should not be one person's alone

  • examinator

    David Warwick,
    I don't think it was. I seem to remember that originally our involvement supposed to be Minor, a rabbits' mating (would you like to, was it good for you? Was there a declaration of war as such, by us .
    We just agreed to be a whoopee cushion for Bush 2 It simply evolved into a 10 yeardisaster. That's what you get when you let numb nut politicians plan(? sic) an invasion of anything more than a brownie's meeting.
    Once there we were committed for the long haul.
    Context is everything. in context Our garden troll PM was there in the land of (trolls) on 911, given his nature and that of his fellow myopic politicians (both Sides) , would have let that sway (read didn't let it get out of bed) their judgement.
    Pollies generally these days tend to be centre right (or there a- bouts trending to the ridiculous) to them it would have seemed that 911 was a declaration of war on the 'free(ish)' world….hence the stampede to punish someone….anyone.
    At least my conscience is clear, I wouldn't let Howard run a law practice….oh wait they didn't, they shoved him into parliament, let alone a country. The man was all ideology and politics no real insight. A more rational PM would have seen what many other Aussies did, don't trust a Texan who has that much in common with his hat…big, empty and worn by Extremist neocoms.
    Mind you not much good has ever come from Texas by way of President or candidates for..