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.

What mainstream media deliberately ignores over Hugo Chavez

Almost on queue, the mainstream press coverage of the passing of Hugo Chavez followed a predictable pattern. The underlying agenda is that any leader who seriously challenges US hegemony will receive abuse from less than independent thinking journalists and commentators.

Medialens examines the record:

Following the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez on March 5, the BBC reported from the funeral:

‘More than 30 world leaders attended the ceremony, including Cuban President Raul Castro, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.

‘A message was read out from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.’

A rogues’ gallery of the West’s ‘bad guys’, in other words. To the side of the main article, the BBC quietly noted that, in fact, ‘Most Latin American and Caribbean Presidents’ attended the funeral, not just the Bond villains.

Following the same theme, a BBC article appeared beneath a grim photo montage of Osama bin Laden, Chávez, Kim Jong-il, Muammar Gaddafi, Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein. The report asked: ‘Is the era of the anti-American bogeymen at an end?’

Like many independent nationalists, Chávez was not ‘anti-American’, although he was anti-empire. US foreign policy, on the other hand, was certainly anti-Chávez, ‘variously portrayed as a six-times elected champion of the people or a constitution-fiddling demagogue’, the BBC piece noted.

Similar ‘balance’ was offered by the Guardian’s Rory Carroll, lead author of the newspaper’s Venezuelan coverage between 2006-2012:

‘To the millions who revered him – a third of the country, according to some polls – a messiah has fallen, and their grief will be visceral. To the millions who detested him as a thug and charlatan, it will be occasion to bid, vocally or discreetly, good riddance.’

Fair comment, one might think, until we try to imagine a UK journalist writing anything comparable to the second sentence in response to the death of a US president or UK prime minister.

And yet, unlike so many US and UK leaders of recent times, Chávez did not invade nations, overthrow governments, commit mass murder, mass torture, or mass starvation through sanctions. Indeed, in his years as president from 1999-2013 he was not credibly accused of a single political murder.

If it is to be considered fair, condemnation of Chávez should be proportionate to the extent of his alleged crimes and consistent with the level of condemnation directed at US-UK leaders’ far worse crimes. If Chávez gets much more for doing far less, we are in the realm of propaganda, not journalism.

To be consistent, then, a senior Guardian journalist should respond to the death of George H.W. or George W. Bush, for example, with something along these lines:

‘To the tens or hundreds of millions who detested him as a mass murdering and torturing thug, war criminal and charlatan, it will be occasion to bid, vocally or discreetly, good riddance.’

Fairness also requires that reporters take account of the fact that recent US presidents and UK prime ministers have not had to govern small countries in the face of political, military and economic attacks – including guerrilla warfare, outright invasion, economic strangulation and terrorism – launched, over decades, by a global superpower.

What lies behind the Western media’s obsession with Chávez? Why the extreme hostility and bias? A clue was provided by the Guardian when it observed that Venezuela is sitting on ‘The world’s biggest oil reserves’.

In discussing Chávez, Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, summed up the reality:

‘He applied the huge increase in revenues to massively successful poverty alleviation via social programmes, housing and education.

‘The western states of course do everything to stop developing countries doing this, on behalf of the multinationals who control the politicians. They threaten (and I am an eye-witness) aid cancellation, disinvestment and trade sanctions. They work to make you a political pariah (just watch the media on Chávez today). They secretly sponsor, bankroll and train your opponents. The death of such “dangerous” leaders is a good outcome for them, as in Allende or Lumumba.

‘Chávez faced them down. There are millions of people in Venezuela whose hard lives are a bit better and have hope for the future because of Chávez. There are billionaires in London and New York who have a few hundred million less each because of Chávez. Nobody can deny the truth of both those statements.’

One of the great tasks of our time is to appreciate how these undeniable realities distort coverage right across the supposed corporate media ‘spectrum’. Our ability to understand and respond to this problem is vital for the future, not just of Venezuela, but of all of us.

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