Powers are obviously trying to manipulate the Arab (plus) Revolution. They have one main goal: reduce its impact, keep the status quo as much as possible.
Exceptions? When a dictator may be a nuisance, like Gaddafi. In such cases, supporting the rebels is at least an option.
According to Pepe Escobar (at Asia Times Online), citing two unnamed diplomats, the USA and Saudi Arabia agreed to the following: the Saudis quelled the rebellion in Bahrain and the USA (and allies) removed Moamar al Gaddafi, deeply hated by the House of Saud.
Escobar argues that NATO is now allowing Gaddafi to counter-attack, in what it seems a way of pressuring the provisional government of Benghazi to make all kind of concessions, to bow to the Empire as a vassal. The recent "accidental" attack against rebel forces by NATO may also be part of this ambiguous strategy.