I turns out the woman who was arrested by the Saudi police for sitting with a man in a Starbucks is American! Her “great sin” was to sit with a male business partner in a booth at Starbucks in order to enjoy the convenience of wireless Internet.
Here’s more on the story from the TimesOnline.
If this had happened in the nineteenth century, an American warship would be dispatched to the area–as in the case of the arrest and imprisonment of Julio Santos by Ecuador in 1885–with the threat of force backing up an ultimatum demanding immediate restitution.
As the above Times article suggests, however, I predict that the American government will have nothing to say about this incident.