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.

Life today in blighted Iraq

Australian film-maker David Bradbury and Australian writer and activist Donna Mulhearn are currently in Iraq witnessing the devastation that the West has bought in the last decade. Here’s a message from Bradbury in the city of Fallujah:

Met two very interesting women doctors today. Dr Samira is the doctor at the frontline of birth defects here at Fallujah hospital. We saw one little chap this morning – Hassan – born two days ago with a small head. His birth defects don’t allow the brain to grow properly and therefore mental retardation and convulsive fits will be his future. Doctors will operate but problematic. They don’t even have a specialist ultra sound machine here that would allow doctors to diagnose in early pregnancy birth anomalies in the womb. That would give the doctors a big start to assemble and prepare a specialist team for the birth so they can do what is necessary to give the baby a better fighting chance at least upon birth. They can’t reverse the anomalies and genetic malformations the use of US weaponry brings to the life of these little ones. But at least ease the burden and do basic surgery if can do upon birth. As it is now, the poor bub comes out, the mother freaks out and they have to deal with it. Still many babies born at home with midwife. And quietly buried if they die after a few days. Big shame factor and denial for stunned parents who suddenly discover they have a ‘monster’ on their hands. Death is a blessing in most instances but many live with these birth defects causing hardship and tensions within the family. As well as shame. Imagine stepping into the market place with a baby with a big head, a cleft palate or club foot or twisted face or hunch back etc.

We met little Safe today. Same age as my darling little 3 year old Omar back home. Safe is a sweet little boy. Normal face and arms etc. But at 8 months it became obvious he had problems. He still can’t sit up or walk. He can only crawl. He has no speech other than shrill noises. Seems a handful. His father completed his Masters in Islamic Science. He is a respectful, educated and humble man who holds his head high with dignity.

Safe’s parents told us of their entrapment in Fallujah by the Americans who wouldn’t let them out of the city when the heavy fighting began first in April 2004. Then again in November. Aerial bombardment by the Americans and door to door, street by street fighting with many civilians forced to stay in their homes as the fighting intensified. American snipers practised on little kids. The civilian casualties mounted as they were laid out in rows on the footpath. Hair samples taken in recent years gives the game away. Traces of enriched uranium, and other heavy metals. The Americans it is alleged used not only ‘depleted’ uranium which they used widely in Iraq in 1991 and 2003 but traces of the much more radioactive, potent concentrated uranium — enriched uranium which is the next stage of processing towards purifying uranium from which nuclear bombs and nuclear fuel rods for power plants are made.

Safe’s parents believe it was uranium weapons responsible for his deformities – though there is no way of proving it. Interestingly enough, the woman gyno told us this morning until they have the equipment to do the genetic testing (they have the trained people, they just can’t get the machines…), it’s speculation always whether it was genetic, chromosomal abnormalities or environmental pollution (which includes DU). So aside from ‘might makes right’ so like with Agent Orange there is no reciprocity on the American military or Pentagon in a World Court of Human Rights (which there should be in our modern times…), the American military manage to tough it out yet again and slide out from any responsibility to clean up the mess they left behind and make some token restitution for what they have done en masse to the Iraqi people and their environment.

Dr Muntaha, the sole gynocologist here is about 40, not married and lived through the siege of Fallujah too. She told us they have 14,000 babies born a year. 50 a day. 43 maternity beds. The mothers, whether they have natural birth or a caesar are obliged to be ‘tipped out’ after 8 hours in the hospital after birth…to make way for the next shift. They have 7 staff total to give birth and deal with any complications, lab testing etc. She says Fallujah is so big they need 3 children’s hospitals, not the one. Iraqis were a sophisticated and highly educated people in the 1980’s despite Saddam’s tyranical reign.  Dr Muntaha said they lead the Arab world in so many areas, including medicine and health. Now she said with a tinge of bitterness they are at the bottom of the pile.

She got quite angry (fair enough) when she told us of her experience travelling to her fellow Arab countries where with her Iraqi passport, she is ‘treated like a dog’. Her words. Her Iraqi friends present their British gained passports and slip straight through. She has to wait and wait and be treated like a criminal or a ‘terrorist’ (my word, not hers) because she comes from Iraq. A highly educated, sophisticated, lovely, lovely warm woman. And so it goes on and on. Sound familiar?
Regards,
David.

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