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.

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.

How war language has infected Afghanistan

Moving story by Habib Zahori, a reporter for The New York Times’s Kabul bureau. During my visit to the country last year I constantly heard how the war consumed the lives of most Afghans, though I deeply respected the individuals who tried and not let it control their lives:

It is a cliché anymore to note that three decades of war have changed Afghanistan. But sometimes, even the little differences have the power to shock when they are noticed — like the realization of how profoundly war has worked its way into everyday conversations, and has even changed vocabulary.

My family is originally from the Arghandab district of Kandahar Province, in the south where the Taliban are strong. Arghandab is famous for its pomegranate orchards and its greenery. Although my parents have been living in Kabul for the past 30 years, we still own a small house and some farmland there that relatives look after. My parents visit every now and then, especially when someone dies or if someone is getting married, and out of curiosity, I sometimes come along.

It was during one of these visits that I noticed how war- and military-related terminology had crept into the language of the locals. Words like “ISAF,” “casualties,” “suicide attack,” “Al Qaeda,” “night raid” and many others have become part of my relatives’ daily conversations.

For example, one of my relatives, Mohammed, had lent some money to a villager who had not paid it back on time. One Friday after lunch, I heard his side of a telephone call with the borrower, who still was not able to pay. Joking, Mohammed brought the phone up to his mouth and said, “You gotta pay me back, or I’ll send a squad of zanmargai” — suicide bombers. Then, he laughed.

The changes may be most noticeable in the south, where war and its terminology have become inseparable companions to my people. But if you could take a walk through any Afghan bazaar and listen to people’s conversations — in either Dari or Pashto, the main Afghan languages — you would start seeing the pattern.

When two friends tease each other and one gets angry, maybe he will say: “Leave me alone, or I’ll put on the vest” — referring to an explosive suicide vest. If you are a little Westernized and express slightly different ideas from the predominant ones, then you are called either “Son of Bush” or “Son of Obama.” On the other hand, if you are even slightly religious, especially if you have a beard, then you are called “Al Qaeda” or “Taliban.”

As our languages have changed, perhaps it is not so surprising that poets have changed along with them. Many younger poets, in particular, are focusing on scenes of suicide bombing, the Taliban, American soldiers and civilian casualties.

After an American soldier killed 16 civilians, mostly children, in Panjwai district last year, Majid Qara, a young Afghan poet, wrote a poem criticizing the Americans, and it fast became widely shared on social media here in Afghanistan.

Here is part of another poem, by Matiullah Turab, a Pashtun from eastern Afghanistan.

War is a female fly
female flies lay 100 eggs every day.
War is destruction, calamity
it brings disaster.
War is gambling
don’t get used to any winnings.