If you missed it, this is totally worth the watch. My friend Seb Walker traveled to Bahrain for Fault Lines to ask what’s more important to the US: Human rights or a strategic base? It’s produced by friend and foodie Jeremy Young and filmed by Ben Foley, both of whom you’ll find frequent references to on this blog.
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
Sectarian violence looms over US pullout from Iraq…
I traveled to northern Iraq last year to film an episode of Fault Lines about the coming Iraqi elections, but instead found a story about deep divisions between Kurds and Sunni Arabs along a line from Kirkuk to Mosul known as the trigger line. Yesterday’s Washington Post ran a front-page story about a report that predicts violence along this rift if the US military pulls out this year. From my experience, which you can watch in the clip above, I concur.
Here are a few pix from the trip:
Inside a detention cell in a Kirkuki jail. Arabs say Kirkuk police are mostly Kurdish and that they unfairly and disproportionately target Arabs as part of a plan for Kurds to pull Kirkuk—and its oil—into Kurdistan. Arabs also claim to be the target of a kidnapping campaign by the Kurdish secret police, Asayish, in which Arabs are disappeared into prisons inside Kurdistan. Kurdish officials deny this.
At a meeting in an Arab village south of Kirkuk. Arabs here are suspicious of the Kurds and their presumed backers, Americans.