I doubt there will be many tears shed in most parts of the world as people wake to the news of Osama bin Laden's killing in Pakistan - other than tears of joy, relief and a feeling of justified revenge. (By the way, does this killing create a moral dilemma for Christians who do not believe in the death penalty ?)
Be that as it may, an evil, most dangerous man and one of the greatest menaces to humanity of modern times is gone. Indeed, we should rejoice.
And with this news one can't help but wonder how Colonel Gaddafi will be feeling this morning - even more vulnerable perhaps than yesterday? I certainly hope so, although I would still prefer this particular issue to be resolved by the Libyans themselves, with appropriate support if requested and not just from Western sources.
But, of Bin Laden? The next few days will be filled with multi-media reports, breaking news, latest updates, interviews, analysis and expert comment as everyone tries to piece together the story, the scoop, the background. It will make interesting viewing, listening, reading and is likely to result in information overload out of which people will still pick the pieces they want.
For all those reasons plus the fact that I am an observer, not an expert, I am not going to add my thoughts, except for one, on what all this might mean. Others are so much better qualified than me, and will have access to more information than I do. In addition the readers of my Blog all most certainly have their own opinions, and already have ideas on what is likely to happen as we look into the aftermath from this event.
My thought is this.
The Hydra, from Greek mythology was a multi-headed snake that for every head you cut off, two grew in its place. Therefore, just because we may have removed the head of this particular Al Qaeda snake, beware the repercussions. Retaliation may not come swiftly, but don't believe that it will never come.
The pundits will be debating whether Bin Laden was still the mastermind of his organisation or if he was now merely a figurehead and others were doing the strategy and plotting. If he was still the master planner, then he will have probably planned something spectacular in the event of his death. If he was not, then the wannabes will make some sort of attempts to avenge their leader - and they will likely be crude and very indiscriminate. The US warning to their citizens seems appropriate.
Sadly, amongst our global population even if it is a tiny fraction of them, there are still enough people out there willing to cause untold and wanton damage at whatever cost to themselves. They don't care.
It will be a brave person who declares the "war is over" and that the world is now a safer place in which to live. It is certainly better off without the Al Qaeda leader, but we will have to remain vigilant for a long time to come and hope that we have our own Hercules to provide the final blows.
So in the meantime ... Beware the Hydra.