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.

US selling drone warfare to impoverished African nations

The future of surveillance and warfare, and US-based arms manufacturers are very happy about it.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Taking a cue from the U.S., more African governments are spying from the skies.

From Kenya to Nigeria, African air forces are acquiring surveillance drones—often made in the U.S.—to track militants, poachers and drug traffickers moving across vast and often inhospitable terrain.

The drive to expand Africa’s air surveillance comes as the U.S. seeks to outsource some of its work fighting terrorism in the world’s most remote places.

“Controlling the borders, the arms trafficking,” said Col. James Birungi of Uganda, in explaining how drones can meet his country’s security challenges. “We have seen that this equipment can do all that for us.

After a flurry of terrorist attacks across Africa this week, governments on the continent are looking for a quick fix. Shooting sprees in Kenya and Nigeria each left scores of people dead, illustrating why governments that already struggle to give their citizens tap water or electricity might spend millions of dollars on 21st century surveillance planes.

In recent years, Nigeria and Ethiopia have purchased small fleets of drones to track militants and pirates, according to air force officials in Nigeria and the U.S. Last year, the U.S. agreed to give eight small drones to Kenya to monitor al Qaeda-backed rebels there, according to Pentagon documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, two U.S. Air Force officials said Botswana has approached them requesting drones to track their endangered population of elephants.

For the past few years, the U.S. Air Force has dispatched about a hundred small groups of advisers annually to Africa, said these U.S. Air Force officials, who weren’t authorized to be identified by name. Those U.S. Air Force advisers say they are training mechanics, pilots, technicians, and intelligence analysts in roughly 20 African countries.

At a higher level, U.S. Air Force generals say they’re talking regularly with defense leaders in Africa—and increasingly are pushing surveillance aircraft as a cost-efficient way to quash the many insurgencies cropping up across the continent.

Two of those officers, U.S. Air Force Gen. Frank Gorenc and Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, spoke about the initiative in broad terms, describing it as an effort to farm out some of America’s anti-terrorism work.

For the U.S., African assistance, however minimal, could help ease pressure on America’s own fleet of drones. The U.S. Air Force keeps tabs on Africa, a continent three times the size of the U.S., with only two drone bases. They are 2,500 miles apart, in Niger in West Africa and in Djibouti in the east.

“This continent has too often been land-centric; we solve our problems with land forces,” said Gen. Franklin. But he said he’d seen a change: “From the smallest countries, you have air chiefs that…are thinking about: ‘OK, with this amount of resources, what can we do?'”

U.S. military assistance to African countries comes as many of them are growing richer and the cost of surveillance equipment is sharply falling. It’s an auspicious confluence of trends for defense contractors in the U.S. and elsewhere that are seeking a toehold on the continent.

Last month, the U.S. Air Force created a private website for African defense chiefs—a social network where they could share product reviews, and go in on bulk purchases together.

Earlier this year, Ghana purchased a DA42 surveillance plane, manufactured by Austria’s Diamond Aircraft Industries. Defense industry analysts estimated the price at roughly $10 million. U.S. and Ghanaian officials say the country flies the aircraft over the ocean, inspecting ships plying pirate-infested waters. The plane maker’s chief executive, Christian Dries, says he’s sold similar surveillance planes to Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and South Africa.

“We have steady orders,” he said. “Definitely, this market is growing.”

A half dozen other countries—among them Senegal, Uganda and Mauritania—are looking to purchase similar aircraft, say U.S. officials. “We have a real need for these things,” said Senegal’s General Ousmane Kane. Asked what surveillance assets his air force currently possessed, he pointed to his face and said “above all, what we have are our eyes.”

For defense contractors, African air budgets represent a still-small but fast-growing market. Having failed to maintain their previous air fleets, many African governments are paying vendors this time around to toss in contracts for maintenance, technical support and training, said retired Air Force Col. Cedric Leighton, now a defense consultant with experience working in Africa.

“It’s a great business for these folks,” he said. “There is a lot of gold in those hills.”