Bin Laden got his just deserts – those who live by the sword tend to die by the sword – but did he get the “justice” that President Obama talked about? Many Arabs – and this theme was taken up by the Arab press, which spoke of his “execution” – thought he should have been captured, taken to the international court in The Hague and tried.
Of course there will always be those who do and will believe he was a brave martyr ignominiously murdered by the proxy arm of “Zionism”. Islamist groups in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and many ulema in south-west Asia have said as much already. In reality, needless to say, he was a has-been. His promises of overthrowing the pro-American or non-Islamic Arab dictators were fulfilled by the people of Egypt and Tunisia – and perhaps soon by Libyans and Syrians – not by al-Qa’ida and its violence.
The real problem, however, is that the West, which has constantly preached to the Arab world that legality and non-violence was the way forward in the Middle East, has taught a different lesson to the people of the region: that executing your opponents is perfectly acceptable.