Two weeks ago, Raymond Davis, an American embassy worker in Pakistan, killed two Pakistani men. The US asserts Davis is a diplomat and must be afforded "diplomatic immunity." A Pakistani on the street declared, "There's not that much immunity on Earth."
The Obama administration wants Davis released. The Pakistani people want him tried in a Pakistan court. The grief-stricken widow of one of the men has already committed suicide. Other members of that man's family threaten to do the same if the Pakistani government turns Davis over to the US.
The US is threatening to withhold foreign aid if Pakistan does not release Davis. The Pakistani people don't care. (They never see that money anyway.)
If Obama does not secure the release of Davis, the US loses face. If Pakistan releases the American, the people of Pakistan may rise up en masse and add another American-friendly regime to the list of those fit to topple.
Such a regime is Bahrain, a small island nation in the Persian Gulf. America's 5th Fleet is based there. There, also, a Sunni royal family has ruled the Shiite majority for the past 200 years. Today, the royals of Bahrain are facing sustained protests from the Bahrainian people. Secretary of State Clinton has urged the royals to "exercise restraint." Apparently, she did not "urge" them in Arabic, and they must not understand English. On February 16, in the middle of the night, while protestors slept in Central Square, government forces attacked from two directions. There was blood everywhere.
At first, the people there simply wanted reforms. After the Central Square killings, they want change. They want the king to become a figurehead - to replace his power with a constitutional democracy. The US does not want that. That would put the Shiite majority in power, which would amount to another feather in (Shiite) Iran's cap.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is frantic. Not only did they urge Mubarak to withstand the Egyptian protests - going so far as to offer him billions if the US withdrew their aid - they continue to exhort the royals of Bahrain to withstand their protestors, too. Seeing their fellow overlords on the brink must haunt the Saudi royals with visions of their own fat necks on the chopping block.
One consequence of the Egyptian revolution: The favors the US had come to expect from Egypt are over, many never to be revisited again. For instance: No longer can the (freed) Egyptian people be expected to help the Israeli government imprison the entire population of Gaza. That linch-pin in American-Israeli strategy is rightfully doomed.
Add to that: On Feb. 18, the Palestinians put forth a UN resolution condemning the building of Jewish settlements on the West Bank. The Obama administration had urged the Palestinians not to file the resolution; they did it anyway. That put America on the spot: Of 15 Security Council members, 14 voted in favor of the Palestinian resolution. The US, alone, voted to uphold that which the rest of the international community deemed illegal.
America is reeling. For the first time since 1979, Iran has sent warships up the Suez Canal.
Hezbollah has grasped the reins of power in Lebanon.
There are rallies against American-friendly governments in Djibouti, Yemen, Jordan, and Kuwait.
The one Middle East nation the US "blessed" with democracy (Iraq) is demanding an apology from the US and a billion dollars.
Mexico is on the verge of anarchy.
China is eating our lunch.
Social media has snatched the covers off of the world's leaders. (All of the emperors have no clothes!)
And this: America sits atop a 14 trillion dollar debt. (It may explode.)