The recent diplomatic tiff over mistreatment of an Indian diplomat by U.S. law enforcement authorities is neither about rule of law nor about diplomatic immunity. It involves the issue of courtesy for representatives of foreign governments, which is essential for the conduct of international relations.
American diplomats are extended considerations over and beyond the law in most countries.
Almost every U.S. diplomatic facility abroad is surrounded by barriers often erected on public property that violate municipal ordinances. American diplomats are allowed to board flights and exit airports through different exits than other passengers. These facilities protect U.S. government representatives in an era of terrorist threats.
American law enforcers need to be mindful of these global realities before setting off another storm while arresting a foreign diplomat or consular agent.