The Americans Radhika Sainath and Huwaida Arraf were arrested and deported by Bahrain for showing solidarity with democracy protesters in the kingdom.
Political suicides by fire rise among many Tibetans and Arabs as their situations grow desperate. But such a tactic often fails to ignite protest, and itself raises questions.
As Iran has been promoting its naval prowess and ability to shut the Straits of Hormuz, US naval assets have been busy rescuing Iranian sailors.
The Obama administration must recognize that a total military withdrawal would have effects beyond Afghanistan's borders. It would devastate US interests – both political and economic – throughout Central Asia, a critical region where China and Russia now dominate.
Crude oil prices surged after Iran dialed the threat-o-meter up to 11 with a vow to attack a US aircraft carrier if it returns to the Strait of Hormuz. The US 5th Fleet is likely to take up the challenge.