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.

Desmond Tutu rightly calls for Bush and Blair to be brought before The Hague over Iraq war

Legendary South African figure Desmond Tutu pulled out of speaking alongside Tony Blair recently due to the former British Prime Minister’s criminal record in Iraq. Now, writing in the UK Observer, Tutu expands the argument. Everybody in the mainstream media, who still fawn before Tony Blair, take note:

If leaders may lie, then who should tell the truth? Days before George W Bush and Tony Blair ordered the invasion of Iraq, I called the White House and spoke to Condoleezza Rice, who was then national security adviser, to urge that United Nations weapons inspectors be given more time to confirm or deny the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Should they be able to confirm finding such weapons, I argued, dismantling the threat would have the support of virtually the entire world. Ms Rice demurred, saying there was too much risk and the president would not postpone any longer.

On what grounds do we decide that Robert Mugabe should go the International Criminal Court, Tony Blair should join the international speakers’ circuit, bin Laden should be assassinated, but Iraq should be invaded, not because it possesses weapons of mass destruction, as Mr Bush’s chief supporter, Mr Blair, confessed last week, but in order to get rid of Saddam Hussein?

The cost of the decision to rid Iraq of its by-all-accounts despotic and murderous leader has been staggering, beginning in Iraq itself. Last year, an average of 6.5 people died there each day in suicide attacks and vehicle bombs, according to the Iraqi Body Count project. More than 110,000 Iraqis have died in the conflict since 2003 and millions have been displaced. By the end of last year, nearly 4,500 American soldiers had been killed and more than 32,000 wounded.

On these grounds alone, in a consistent world, those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in the Hague.

But even greater costs have been exacted beyond the killing fields, in the hardened hearts and minds of members of the human family across the world.

5 comments ↪
  • examinator

    Hmmm,
    Interesting point. One wonders if we were to follow Desmond Tutu's logic how far should we go? and what is the line between culpability drawn i.e. We know that Bush's NeoCon dominated white house leaders , Cheney, Rumsfeld, Fife, Pearl et al all being members if not directors of a "conservative think tank" ( read self referencing 'stink tank') had previously submitted the plan to invade Iraq first to Clinton who rejected it. Then tried the Israelis who also rejected it (where did that smarts go?) .
    Should we charge them for Crimes against Humanity after all, these actions clearly indicate their premeditated goal….. Colin Powell isn't blameless either he gave a "secretary of information" type speech to the UN . Remember what the US did to the Iraqi Minister of Information? How about the now exonerated CIA 'torturers and those who wrote the rules of their engagement?
    Blair and his cabinet they must have known or will the others simply claim the Nuremberg Defence. And let's not forget our own John Howard. His complicity or his incompetence/ political ambitions should qualify him for war crimes. Oh yes his cabinet …. While I agree eliminating a whole raft of neocon or political zealots like Abbott etc is appealing to some. I think the reality is some what different . Firstly The USA claims Exceptionalism ( read they can do what they like, how they like and when with total impunity by weight of of force if they decide…. sounds like another regime we know doesn't it?)
    Can you imagine Australia giving up Howard and his ilk ? same goes for the Brits and Blair.
    In short it's a lovely stance by Desmond one he can make with impunity because he KNOWS it's never going to happen….good PR .
    Surely the logic stands that just speaking at a worthwhile program with Blair (spit) doesn't mean Tutu accepts everything that Blair has done merely that they agree on ONE POINT the point of the speech in the first place.
    Neither can any body be tarred with Blair's previous crimes ( i.e. guilt by association)…they're not fleas that jump they are Blair's.
    Tutu could have pulically stated his disgust at Blairs actions in the conflict but this doesn't relate to authenticity of THIS issue. Truth knows no exclusivity of source.
    Seriously folks once we start rejecting to talk to those we disagree with or jointly speak for something good we're doomed. If I took that stance I'd be very, very, very lonely…. (I think there's a word or three for people like that)….The consequences of this wanton moral/ideological (?) superiority can be seen in the Israel/ Palestine conflict (and that is going so well!)

  • John Salisbury

    Tutu consistent. Spoken out against Mugabe,and, recently,against present Israeli Govt.

  • Patrick Connor

    Examinator : I always enjoy reading your clear & knowledgeable comments , & I can't fault the logic in this one .
    But , like Desmond Tutu , I don't share your opinion about his tactics . To me , he has not lost his objectivity & judgement – what he did (publicly withdrawing & then published an explanatory article in the Observer) attracted more impactive & effective attention in his audience than would have been possible had he gone ahead with the engagement , debated the disgusting Blair (spit) , & left out the article in the Observer .
    I think Des is still on the job .

    • examinator

      Thank you Patrick,
      it's indeed refreshing to have someone disagree with me civilly let alone be prepared to make their point equally so.
      I do hasten to clarify that I didn't mean Tutu has lost it, only that I disagreed with THIS action specifically.
      I try to focus on actions and explain why, rather than personalities or people as a whole.
      If I believed in heroes Tutu was and is be one. notwithstanding he's human and as such has a lessor side. Likewise the opposite applies to Bush 2, Blair and Howard they would have their good side.
      The Blair (spit) was double intentioned . The first was Spit (negative) at Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq the acquiescence to Bush and entourage.
      And the second as a dig at those who assume that one action as a PM qualifies the total Blair the man to absolute and utter condemnation. As PM he is forced to make compromises not all of which are what we as outsiders would call good. I would go as far as to say the outcome which he didn't anticipate made a poor decision an utterly obscene one. Keep in mind the US wouldn't have just said “Hey Tony we want you to support us in a short term Shock and awe Iraqi war”… there would have been all sorts of pressures that would have affected the UK economy negatively (jobs ordinary people) Plus they did say if you DON'T HELP US you get any of the 'reconstruction' contracts (read spoils) again this would have affected the average and not so average Brit. ( that was widely know at the time. In fact Aus claimed our share BECAUSE we helped the US. Here we get into political corporate stagnant foetid (much peed in) Bath water. To totally vilify Blair would , in my mind, close off the good decisions which he did and is likely to make. I have no doubt that Blair today does try his best to smooth over troubled Middle Eastern political seas. Howard on the other hand has simply played with his (short statued) local 'legacy' and precious little else. So you tell me who has at least tried to make amends for what was an appalling lack of long term vision… for what some short term Corporate gain?
      As if the oppositions in both countries wouldn't have done exactly the same.
      Likewise Tutu has made some not so good choices too.
      I apologise for my long windedness.

  • Patrick Connor

    Thanks examinator , but stop being so easy on the self-serving & recklessly indifferent Tony Blair (spit) .