My first reaction was "Good". Please note the lack of an exclamation mark. More accurately we should say Osama Bin Laden was executed - there was no sense in the News I have heard today that any attempt was made to capture him. British leaders praised the actions of the Americans, perhaps because the destruction of the twin towers was also the worst terrorist atrocity to hit the British people.
After just a little thought I realised there is a serious problem here. There is no justice. U.S. President Obama is wrong: Justice has not been done. The intention should have been to capture and put him on trial. We cannot tell which of these to options, execution or trail, would cause the most suffering in the world. I suspect we have the worst of the two options.
Worse that that was the unedifying sight of Americans gathered outside their seat of government chanting "U S A ... U S A". Why? You just killed an enemy, you just won a battle, but the war isn't over. Someone in the baying crowd said to the interviewer "This is an end". How wrong can you be. This is neither an end nor a beginning, it may be an escalation.
It may be an escalation because an executed icon is a martyr. Those left behind will, perhaps rightly, be aggrieved at the actions that have been taken. They will respond in the only way they know how. As a result more 'innocents' will die.
Now we are all on high alert looking for reprisals.
When they happen, then what?
We go and execute those who commit further acts of terrorism and each time there are 100 more ready to take their place. We have understood this effect for centuries as the Hydra myth proves.
There is a better way - arrest and trial and then to attempt to win the peace, not the war.