A decade of waiting has finally yielded a result: Osama bin Laden is no more. A trial, while superficially appealing, would have been a nightmare for a whole host of reasons. The Muslim world must accept that the level of wickedness Bin Laden was responsible for could only have merited one just outcome.
Saddam Hussein went to the gallows following a trial by his own people; it would have been altogether differently perceived if the trial had been arranged by the Christian West. There would have been no trial like it since Oliver Cromwell arraigned his own king in 1649, and like Charles, Osama would have ended up—at least among his own people—a martyr.
This outcome will not see the end of Muslim terror by its unbalanced, extremist wing, but it has decapitated its loudest, most sinister proponent. To quote Churchill, after the long awaited victory in the Egyptian desert: ‘Now this is not the end; it is not even be beginning of the end; but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning’.
Although a necessary task has been accomplished, there should be no gloating from the West. A few more years of evading his pursuers would have turned Bin Laden into a latter-day Robin Hood, and if he’d never been run to ground the West would have seemed supine as well as hopelessly incompetent.