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 and in paperback in January 2017.

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.

Why Pakistan and America will never see eye to eye

One of the strongest impressions of my recent visit to Pakistan – meeting journalists, dissidents, writers and intelligence people – was the profound disconnect between Pakistan and the West. The country has suffered due to a range of factors since 9/11 – corrupt government, American bombardment, unaccountable intelligence services, drone attacks, countless murders and economic challenges – and the idea that Pakistan should help Washington in its war against terrorism is dismissed by most (if not all) citizens.

I’ve rarely been to a country where getting to the truth about matters is so difficult. Key elements of the state quite clearly act above the civilian government, an out of control intelligence service that sometimes backs militants, kills journalists and still loves US largesse.

This piece by Steve Coll in the New Yorker indicates a Pakistani elite that both criticises America but enjoys getting money from them:

“I think it’s important for us to get it right,” President Obama said on Tuesday of the American relationship with Pakistan. Lately, though, we haven’t. After 2009, the United States and Pakistan constructed what they called a “strategic dialogue”—addressing Pakistan’s needs for economic growth, its search for energy and water security, Afghanistan, and possible negotiations with the Taliban—to define and solidify a long-term partnership. Three years later, those ambitions are in tatters, undone by the Raymond Davis affair, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and continuing drone strikes, which most Pakistanis regard as acts of war.

In late February, I travelled to Pakistan and met with a number of military officers there, including several senior ones. They explained how they saw, from their side, the rise and collapse of the strategic dialogue with Washington.

It is a story laced with the generals’ resentments, geopolitical calculations, fears, and aspirations. Listening to them after absorbing the recent months of Pakistan ennui and Pakistan bashing in Washington was like watching one of those movies where a single narrative is told and retold selectively, from irreconcilable points of view.

Some of the basics of the Pakistan Army’s arguments about the Afghan war and the struggle against Al Qaeda-influenced terrorist groups are contained in a twelve-page document called “Ten Years Since 9/11: Our Collective Experience (Pakistan’s Experience).” The document, labelled “Secret,” is below; it has not previously been published.

Despite its classification, the essay is perhaps best understood as part of a Pakistani strategic communications or lobbying campaign. (Presumably, the sources that provided the document to me were undertaking an act in that campaign.) This particular text was a basis for briefings that General Ashfaq Kayani, the powerful Army chief, provided to NATO leaders at closed meetings last September, around the tenth anniversary of the 2001 attacks. It updates a case Pakistani generals have been making in meetings with their counterparts for years: that the casualties, economic disruption, and radicalization Pakistan has suffered from because of spillover from the American military campaign in Afghanistan are deeply underappreciated. The essay declares that Pakistan’s total casualties—dead and wounded—since 2001 in the “fight against terrorism” number about forty thousand.

Because of its record of past lying about its covert-action programs (and other matters), the Pakistani military does not engender much trust. One question, then, is whether this document represents a reliable expression of what the Pakistani security services actually believe—as opposed to what Pakistan’s generals have learned that the world wants to hear from them.

But there is another question: what are the implications for NATO’s exit strategy from Afghanistan if Pakistan’s military means what this document says—or at least some of what it says?

The document, written in a pleasing form of South Asian English, provides an outline of Pakistan’s political analysis and assessment of the Afghan war, asking, “How should success be measured?” It offers four criteria:

“Are policy options opening or getting restricted?…Are we gaining or losing the public support[?]…Is the military strategy creating necessary conditions to help political strategy (military strategy is not an end in itself)…Are the constraints of time and resources being met?”The answers to those four questions, if they are asked about the NATO campaign in Afghanistan this spring, are depressing.

Elsewhere, the essay provides glimpses of Pakistan’s deeply cautious position on negotiating with the Taliban. Pakistan’s timeline in Afghanistan extends much longer than that of NATO, which has announced that it is leaving by 2014. Pakistan will always be a neighbor, so its generals see no reason to rush into endgame talks that they cannot control or predict. “Pakistan is prepared to help,” the document says. “However, the extent of this help should be correctly appreciated. We can facilitate but not guarantee. Ultimately it will remain Afghan responsibility.”

Many Afghans, who have suffered immeasurably during the past thirty years because of Pakistani interference, doubt that the Pakistani security services have anything constructive in mind. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, or I.S.I., has backed Islamist militias fighting in Afghanistan since the 1980s, and there is evidence that the I.S.I. continues to harbor the Taliban. “Ten Years Since 9/11” lays out various ideas for winding down the Afghan war; how fully those align with what Pakistan actually does on the ground is another question.

The document is silent about the most toxic subject in U.S.-Pakistani relations: America’s determination to continue firing missiles from drones at those it has identified as militants inside Pakistan without seeking Pakistan’s permission.

Pakistan’s generals told me that while they have, in fact, quietly sanctioned some American drone operations against Pakistani militants, they have never issued approval for lethal strikes carried out unilaterally by the United States—they only sanctioned aerial surveillance in defined areas. The generals say that they are willing to use Pakistani F-16s loaded with precision weapons to strike at Al Qaeda targets identified with intelligence from the United States—a form of partnership that would not violate their pride or sovereignty because it would be the Pakistani military carrying out operations against its own enemies. In the past, the U.S. has been reluctant to share such intelligence with Pakistan, because it has sometimes leaked, allowing the target to escape. The Obama Administration has signalled to Pakistan’s military leadership that it is willing to try again, but has urged the Pakistanis to accept that the U.S. reserves the right to attack any target that threatens American lives or other important interests. I was told that at least one operation of this type—a tip from American intelligence, leading to a strike in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas by Pakistani aircraft—has been carried out without publicity this year.

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