Book Review: Profits of Doom by Antony Loewenstein

Profits of Doom book cover

Antony Loewenstein’s book “Profits of Doom – How Vulture Capitalism is Swallowing the World” is an apt extension of the investigations conducted in Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” and Jeremy Scahill’s “Blackwater – Rise of the Words Most Powerful Mercenary Army”.

What does the book promise/offer?

Antony’s focus on giving a voice to those directly impacted by vulture capitalism makes for a refreshingly honest and compelling read. There is no false pretext of neutrality in this book. Antony’s purpose is clear from the get go – to pick up where Klein & Scahill left off exposing massive international industries which profit from the perpetuation of human misery – and there is no doubt he achieves this goal.

Naomi Klein exposed the history of vulture-like multinational corporations and their exploitation of disasters both natural and man-made to reap massive private profits. Jeremy Scahill examined how unaccountable privatised military organisations grew to be the favoured tool of exploitative governments and corporations, used to enforce unpopular policy and redistribute military spending to achieve maximum private profit from the public purse.

In Profits of Doom Antony expands this research to include a variety of other contexts, including how disaster capitalism has made itself at home in Australia. Continue reading Book Review: Profits of Doom by Antony Loewenstein

All in one years work

As I begin writing this post it is January 16, 2007. If I track back one year the Olivebranch Network was yet to exist even as an idea- but would within a matter of days.

I had recently won web hosting through a competition run by Sydney-based journalist/author/blogger Antony Loewenstein – who has since released a best-selling book entitled “My Israel Story” and is now working on a new book.

In the year since winning this prize I have, albeit with a lot of encouragement and support from many others, built a network in excess of 30 members- the vast majority of whom are Iraqi, most of whom were already bloggers, but some of whom were not. The first post on the Olivebranch Network was on January 25, 2006.

The Olivebranch Network has been cited on television in the United States of America as the “Most Insightful look in to the Iraq war anywhere” by NBC News Tech Reporter “Mike Wendland”. I personally have been interviewed here in Western Australia by a local broadcaster “Access 31” on their morning show “Wake Up Perth”.

The interview was a 7 minute breakdown on what the Olivebranch Network is, how it came to existence  what it contains and where it is headed in the future. Just last month the Olivebranch Network was featured in the Pakistani monthly magazine “Spider”.

On top of this we have recruited many of the Iraqi Blogosphere’s prominent and not-so prominent bloggers and I have personally befriended most of them; which for me was a major source of gratification and inspiration which helps me continue this project through to this very day and hopefully far into the future.

Importantly a sense of community has developed at the Olivebranch Network with chit-chat and comment exchange occurring regularly in the comments sections; especially amongst the girls. The first year has seen many events of significance and nearly 10,000 hits- which means our aim of educating people about Iraq is truly beginning to work.

Who ever said one man can’t make a difference?

The Olivebranch Network’s New Contributors

Cross posted from the Olivebranch Network

Though some members of the network have yet to post it’s time to pay thanks and say a little tribute to the wonderful Olivebranch Network contributors.

Though not yet two months old the network now includes prominent Iraqi bloggers (Baghdad Treasure24 Steps to LibertyMajed Jarrar and Hassan (from Average Iraqi).

Other excellent if not so prominent bloggers have also joined the team including, John Hennington (US soldier//blogger returned from Iraq), Salam Adil from Asterism (Iraqi in UK), Meso Rock (Teenage Iraqi Girl in Saudi Arabia), Z from No Pain No Gain, Shahram Kohldi from SCAN-IRANIC and Farid Pouya from WebGardian (Irani blog about Irani Blogs).

I would also like to save a special mention for Baghdad Doctor for his most wonderful contributions, particularly the post “Unforgettable Day“- watch for more from him soon.

Two other people need mention (other than myself):

Attawie our excellent female Iraqi writer//poet now living in the United Arab Emirates, *yet to post*- and last but not least Antony Loewenstein, whose generosity and kind heartedness is the reason this network came to be.

We look forward to including more contributors and covering more areas of discussion- but for now stay regularly tuned as these contributors become actively involved in educating you about Iraqi and Middle Eastern culture.

A big thanks must also go to those who offered support and encouragement, there are too many to mention individually.