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Fault Lines’ Seb Walker travels to the Perisan Gulf to look at US policy in the region, and to explore why the United States has taken an interventionist policy in Libya, but not in Bahrain, where there has been a brutal crackdown on protesters. Why does the White House strongly back democracy in one Arab country, but not another?

Fault Lines travelled to Bahrain to hear from those who had been protesting, to ask them what they think about the lack of real US pressure on their country’s rulers. The country is also home to the US 5th Fleet, where Fault Lines gained exclusive access to the USS Ronald Reagan, an American aircraft carrier deployed in the Arabian Gulf.

The film traces America’s response to the protests in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and examines how the stability of oil prices, the steady supply of crude, and concerns over Iran have affected America’s response.

This episode of Fault Lines, “The US and the New Middle East: The Gulf,” first aired on Al Jazeera English July 25, 2011 at 2230 GMT.

Livetweets during last night’s first episode airing from the program staff appear at @AJFaultLines

Producer Jeremy Young describes the most challenging aspects of filming on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in this video extra from the upcoming episode of Al Jazeera Fault Lines.

"It’s an incredible boisterous place…You have headphones on, so you can’t communicate with your team."

The new episode of Fault Lines, “The US and the New Middle East: The Gulf,” first airs on Al Jazeera English July 25, 2011 at 2230 GMT.