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.

Curious, conflicted but important WPost piece on Israeli nuclear weapons

This piece by the Washington Post Ombudsman Patrick Pexton is an important intervention in an issue that receives virtually no mainstream debate. His final paragraph, where he outs his true position and takes the predictable Zionist view that is vital if you want to survive in a corporate publication, is revealing and rather depressing:

I spoke with several experts in the nuclear and nonproliferation fields , and they say that the lack of reporting on Israel’s nuclear weapons is real — and frustrating. There are some obvious reasons for this, and others that are not so obvious.

First, Israel refuses to acknowledge publicly that it has nuclear weapons. The U.S. government also officially does not acknowledge the existence of such a program. Israel’s official position, as reiterated by Aaron Sagui, spokesman for the Israeli Embassy here, is that “Israel will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East. Israel supports a Middle East free of all weapons of mass destruction following the attainment of peace.” The “introduce” language is purposefully vague, but experts say it means that Israel will not openly test a weapon or declare publicly that it has one.

According to Avner Cohen, a professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California who has written two books about this subject, this formulation was born in the mid-1960s in Israel and was the foundation of a still-secret 1969 agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and President Richard Nixon, reached when the United States became sure that Israel possessed nuclear bombs.

President John Kennedy vigorously tried to prevent Israel from obtaining the bomb; President Lyndon Johnson did so to a much lesser extent. But once it was a done deal, Nixon and every president since has not pressed Israel to officially disclose its capabilities or to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In return, Israel agrees to keep its nuclear weapons unacknowledged and low-profile.

Because Israel has not signed the treaty, it is under no legal obligation to submit its major nuclear facility at Dimona to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections. Iran, in contrast, did sign the treaty and thus agrees to periodic inspections. IAEA inspectors are regularly in Iran, but the core of the current dispute is that Tehran is not letting them have unfettered access to all of the country’s nuclear installations.

Furthermore, although Israel has an aggressive media, it still has military censors that can and do prevent publication of material on Israel’s nuclear forces. Censorship applies to foreign correspondents working there, too.

Another problem, Cohen said, is that relatively few people have overall knowledge of the Israeli program and no one leaks. Those in the program certainly do not leak; it is a crime to do so. The last time an Israeli insider leaked, in 1986, nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu was kidnapped by Israeli agents in Italy, taken home to trial, convicted and served 18 years in jail, much of it in solitary confinement.

And perhaps most important, Americans don’t leak about the Israeli nuclear program either. Cohen said information about Israeli nuclear capabilities is some of the most compartmentalized and secret information the U.S. government holds, far more secret than information about Iran, for example. U.S. nuclear researchers, Cohen said, have been reprimanded by their agencies for talking about it openly.

George Perkovich, director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said there are benign and not-so-benign reasons that U.S. officials are so tight-lipped. The United States and Israel are allies and friends. “Do you ‘out’ your friends?” he asked.

And not being open about Israel’s nuclear weapons serves both U.S. and Israeli interests, Perkovich noted. If Israel were public about its nukes, or brandished its program recklessly — as North Korea does every time it wants something — it would put more pressure on Arab states to obtain their own bomb.

Among the less benign reasons U.S. sources don’t leak is that it can hurt your career. Said Perkovich: “It’s like all things having to do with Israel and the United States. If you want to get ahead, you don’t talk about it; you don’t criticize Israel, you protect Israel. You don’t talk about illegal settlements on the West Bank even though everyone knows they are there.”

I don’t think many people fault Israel for having nuclear weapons. If I were a child of the Holocaust, I, too, would want such a deterrent to annihilation. But that doesn’t mean the media shouldn’t write about how Israel’s doomsday weapons affect the Middle East equation. Just because a story is hard to do doesn’t mean The Post, and the U.S. press more generally, shouldn’t do it.

one comment ↪
  • examinator

    With all respect to the 'ombudsman' in question, I would rate the piece as worthy of a high school 'journalism' (?) effort.
    Who amongst us didn't know virtually everything written in the article and more? Then again he is writing for USA and it's citizenry not to mention under their paranoid military manufacturing complex and assorted Corporates' domination.

    A trawl through the 'Guardian' archives goes a lot further actually discussing the nature of the nuke site and how the Israelis fooled the USA .

    The Ombudsman sort of neglected to say that 2-3 decades later Vanunu although now a Christian, an adopted son of a USA couple, he is still under effectively house arrest, contacts are tightly controlled and isn't allowed to leave the country.
    What this says about Israel's paranoia duplicity towards its friends I'm not entirely sure.

    What is missing is the simple logic that the USA (probably Russia, France et al) has for years been able to monitor from space and via sophisticated seismic equipment can tell any underground or air testing of nukes anywhere in the world. Yet we're lead to believe by this article that the US et sec doesn't have very convincing evidence either way. What? A piss ant country with what 6 million people (same population of Iraq) like Israel which is the US's biggest recipient of aid, particularly military aid, hold off US dominance? I know the US arrogance in supplying weapons is a bit like a water buffalo with a bad attitude, (all bull and no long term smarts) …. But really…they don't know ?

    The only alternative is that if Israel has nukes they haven't tested them tested above ground since the 70's or underground since the late 80's … That I find very hard to believe.

    As for his finish about if he was a child of the Jewish Holocaust …relevance? Justification for what he knows ? (i.e. he reads papers outside the US).
    The final and most banal comment about ' because it is hard doesn't mean it shouldn't be done' what a cop out! Tell the truth sir it isn't done because the powers to be (the military manufacturing complex, Commercial and Jewish commercial interests with whom they deal, don't want it done. They have already punished a media outlet of broadcasting an Israel “unfriendly” story by cancelling ads. There is little doubt in my mind of the US government is a captive of these interests.
    Playing a high school teacher I'd give this essay C-. (you can do better see me after class)