Monday 23 January 2017

Robert Fisk: How US turned tired has-been into a martyr

Robert Fisk

Published 05/05/2011 | 05:00

Bin Laden got his just desserts -- 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 not of his killing but of his "execution" -- thought he should have been captured, taken to the international court in The Hague and tried by law for his crimes.

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Of course there will always be those, in the Middle East but especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 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 fearful 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.

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