On The Monitor this week:
- Ali Al-Ahmed on the sentencing to death of a Palestinian poet by Saudi court
- Gareth Porter on the real reason Turkey shot down a Russian jet
More about this week’s guests:
Ali Al-Ahmed is director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, which just released a report on “The Saudi government school in Paris and the content of its schoolbooks that promote terrorism and hatred.”
Background: Reuters reports: “A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a Palestinian poet to death for apostasy, abandoning his Muslim faith, according to trial documents seen by Human Rights Watch, its Middle East researcher Adam Coogle said on Friday. Ashraf Fayadh was detained by the country’s religious police in 2013 in Abha, in southwest Saudi Arabia, and then rearrested and tried in early 2014. Middle East Eye reports: “The exact charges under which Fayadh was initially held were not made clear, although some have suggested that his arrest was linked to his publication of a video showing religious police in Abha beating a young man in public. … Saudi Arabia has put to death nearly 150 people so far this year, the highest figure in two decades. Most people are executed by beheading with a sword, a method Saudi authorities say is more humane than other alternatives.”
Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian who specializes in U.S. national security policy. He is the author of several books, including Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, Porter just wrote the piece, “The real reason for Turkey’s shoot-down of the Russian jet,” for Middle East Eye. He has published investigative articles on , the Nation, the American Prospect, Truthout and The Raw Story. His blogs have been published on Huffington Post, Firedoglake, Counterpunch and many other websites. Porter was Saigon bureau chief of Dispatch News Service International in 1971 and later reported on trips to Southeast Asia for The Guardian, Asian Wall Street Journal and Pacific News Service. He is the author of four books on the Vietnam War and the political system of Vietnam. Historian Andrew Bacevich called his latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War , published by University of California Press in 2005, without a doubt, the most important contribution to the history of U.S. national security policy to appear in the past decade. He has taught Southeast Asian politics and international studies at American University, City College of New York and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.