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.

Tamils remain occupied and monitored in Sri Lanka

The BBC’s Charles Haviland reports from the previously sealed north-eastern corner:

I was with the army as they detonated left-over munitions near a major battle scene.

“Here, crouch behind these sandbags,” they told me as we stood, in protective clothing, a few hundred metres from the detonation site. “If shrapnel comes anywhere near, just duck.”

I decided to retreat a lot further back. The thud was impressive.

We were in the devastated land which saw the last bitter fighting of the war. Many tall palmyrah trees had lost their tops.

Half-submerged in the arid ground I saw a single flip-flop and a plastic shoe. Who had worn them?

This is where tens of thousands of people cowered – trapped between the Tamil Tigers who conscripted their children and shot those trying to escape – and the army bombardments.

Large tracts are still mined. There are buildings sliced in half; buses with an end missing. Most poignant are the mundane things: someone’s trousers, a plastic chair, cushions, a rusting bedstead.

I looked towards a damaged Catholic church (there are both Catholics and Hindus among the local Tamil population). The church had been cleared of mines and a Sinhalese soldier took me inside. “I’m a Roman Catholic,” he told me – a minority in the mainly Buddhist military.

Sections of the roof had been ripped out, leaving a zigzag pattern of light. The soldier stood by the broken glass of a small shrine to Mary and told me he felt consoled that 13 of the 14 Stations of the Cross were undamaged.

Earlier I met a man born and bred in this place. He had lost his brother and his sister as this area was being besieged. “We were climbing over bodies,” he said.

Only now, after demining, are families beginning to return to their plots in these villages, many coming on recce visits from refugee camps.

Surviving buildings are mostly unsafe and will have to be destroyed. And people here have little with which they can rebuild.

Not far away, life seems more normal. A Tamil fisherman wades into the Nanthidakal lagoon and casts his net. There is a jetty and fishing boats here, a low causeway across which trucks trundle into the town of Mullaitivu.

There is little evidence of what happened here in 2009. Huge numbers of Tamils fled from the besieged zone across this lagoon. On its shore the body of the dead Tiger leader, Prabhakaran, was filmed, his scalp covered to conceal the fact that much of it was missing.

In fact the number of soldiers on patrol has fallen sharply. They have been asked to reduce their visibility. And many places like the army-run cafes and shops which had sprung up, have now been closed.

But the government says it still fears a resurgence of the Tamil Tigers and it is not loosening its grip.

In one place an officer told us the army’s intelligence network had actually expanded. “We’ve been asked to keep a register of what people do and where they go,” he said. “We even monitor schoolchildren’s activities. We know what people eat for their lunch.”

one comment ↪