The real blow to Bin Laden creed
The White House displayed astonishing discipline and discretion in the planning stages of the operation. Perhaps elation about the success had allowed them to become sloppy in the immediate aftermath. There will be some misgivings in the UK and Germany about what appears to have been a kill rather than capture mission, as our Berlin correspondent Stephen Evans suggests. By the way, he survived the collapse of the Towers.
Europe and America deliver justice in different ways. Put it down as another way we're divided by a common goal. In Pakistan there seem to be plenty of people who still can't accept the fact that Osama Bin Laden is dead, either because they prefer to think of him as invincible or because they shudder at the thought that he was hiding a stone's throw away from Pakistan's equivalent of West Point Academy in the local version of a MacMansion for six years.
Then there is the debate about the Bin Laden photos, a discussion which will no doubt continue despite the president's decision not to release them - too gruesome and inflammatory or just what's needed to prick the Osama mystique once and for all?
Again it's surprising and unhelpful that this delicate debate is being played out by the administration in public on network and cable TV.
But all of the above are footnotes to a bigger point that the real blow to Bin Laden and his twisted creed was delivered by young Arabs in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Libya and Morocco in recent months. The Arab Spring is a rejection of Osama's antiquated mission of resurrecting a caliphate.
The people in Tahrir Square didn't want to return to the 10th Century. They would like to be able to live and thrive in the 21st Century like the rest of us, without being defined by the many hatreds that have haunted their region, often nurtured by their rulers. But the Arab Spring is a work in progress, to say the least. The die has not yet been cast and the danger is that too much chaos and too many power vacuums will resurrect Bin Laden's appeal, if not the man himself.