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.

News flash: Afghan war about India and Pakistan

The kind of perspective far too rarely heard in the West; William Dalrymple writes in the Guardian with an extract from his recent paper, A Deadly Triangle: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India:

The hostility between India and Pakistan, ongoing for more than 60 years, lies at the heart of the current war in Afghanistan. Most observers in the west view the conflict as a battle between Nato on one hand, and al-Qaida and the Taliban on the other. In reality this has long since ceased to be the case – we think this is about us, but it’s not. Instead our troops are now caught up in a complex war shaped by two pre-existing conflicts: one internal, the other regional.

Within Afghanistan the war i s viewed primarily as a Pashtun rebellion against President Hamid Karzai’s regime, which has empowered three other ethnic groups – the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras – to a degree that Pashtuns resent. Although Karzai himself is a Pashtun, many view him as window dressing for a US-devised realignment of long-established power relations, dating back to 2001 when the US toppled the overwhelmingly Pashtun Taliban. By aligning with the Tajiks of the northern provinces against the Pashtuns of the south, the US was unwittingly taking sides in a civil war that’s been going on since the 1970s.

Today the Tajiks, who constitute 27% of the Afghan population, make up 70% of the officers in the Afghan army. Because of this many Pashtuns – who make up 40% of the population – support or at least feel residual sympathies for the Taliban.

Beyond this indigenous conflict looms the much more dangerous hostility between the two nuclear-armed regional powers, India and Pakistan. In reality the US, the UK and Nato are playing little more than a bit part – and, unlike the Indians and Pakistanis, are heading for the exit. The simple truth is that the Taliban are doing as well as they are in Afghanistan because they are being supported by Pakistan. And they are being supported by Pakistan because the Pakistani generals fear being squeezed in an Indian nutcracker, faced with not only a massive Indian presence to their south but a pro-Indian regime to the north in Afghanistan. Since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars – the most recent in 1971 – and they seemed on the verge of going nuclear against each other during the Kargil crisis in 1999.

After the Taliban were ousted by the US, a major strategic shift occurred: the government of Afghanistan became an ally of India, thus fulfilling the Pakistanis’ worst fears. Karzai hated Pakistan with a passion, in part because he believed that the ISI – Pakistan’s intelligence service – had helped to have his father assassinated in 1999. At the same time he felt a strong emotional bond with India, where he had gone to university. When I interviewed Karzai in early March, he spoke warmly of his days in Simla as some of the happiest of his life. With Karzai in office, India seized the opportunity to increase its political and economic influence in Afghanistan, re–opening its embassy in Kabul, opening four regional consulates, and providing reconstruction assistance totalling $1.5bn.

Pakistani generals have long viewed jihadis as a cost-effective and easily deniable means of controlling events in Afghanistan as well as Kashmir. It is unclear how many still endorse this strategy and how many are having second thoughts. There are clearly those in the army and the ISI who are now alarmed at the amount of sectarian and political violence the jihadis have brought to Pakistan. But that view is contested by others who continue to believe the jihadis are a more practical defence against Indian hegemony than even nuclear weapons. For them, support for carefully chosen jihadis in Afghanistan is a vital survival strategy worth the risk. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the commander-in-chief of the Pakistan army, was once in this camp. How far he has changed his position remains a matter of debate.

Pakistan-watchers are, however, unanimous that while Kayani is mindful of the Taliban threat in his own country, his burning obsession is still India’s presence in Afghanistan. As I was told by a senior British diplomat in Islamabad: “At the moment, Afghanistan is all [Kayani] thinks about and all he wants to talk about. It’s all he gets briefed about and it’s his primary focus of attention. There is an Indo-Pak proxy war, and it’s going on right now.”