Re: Although ...
"I don't see the press lambasting, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya..."
Well, actually I see that fairly often, but usually we have come to expect those countries to act like that. If you want the USA to be categorised in that list, then your wish is close to being granted.
How can America be Leader of the Free World, if no one respects the leader? And that's not a political thing: there are plenty of highly regarded Republicans who could do it. McCain would be a good example of someone who would have some credibility.