Now that Osama bin Laden is swimming with the fishes, the state of play has changed at home and abroad. What are some of the consequences?
* The 2012 election has always been Barack Obama's to lose because the Republican Party is so resolutely stuck on stupid.
The president's popularity bump (10 points in some polls) following the successful raid on Bin Laden's compound won't have long legs, but his tough stance further undercuts the bloviators in the GOP's weak field of wannabes, notably Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who have called Obama an appeaser.
* The tense relationship between the U.S. and Bin Laden's helpmates in Pakistan, greased with billions of dollar in squandered taxpayer money, will be reassessed.
The worst case result is that it will be same old same old after the dust settles. The best case is that the U.S. turns off the aid tap stops just short of declaring Pakistan a terrorist state, but warning its leaders that they can expect future raids, national sovereignty be damned.
* Al Qaeda, while not dead, has been dealt a huge blow by Bin Laden's death, depriving it of the charismatic leader that was behind all of its major attacks.
Trouble is, there have been no major attacks in the West since 2005, while some Arab nations have moved on beyond its violent rhetoric in making significant moves toward overthrowing its oligarchs without Al Qaeda nowhere to be seen.
* A golden opportunity is presented to undo some of the remaining excesses of the Bush era War on Terror.
This would include closing Guantánamo Bay, closing the remaining operational black sites, affirm that suspects will not be held indefinitely without trial, compensating suspects wrongly confined, reforming domestic eavesdropping policies, easing humiliating airport boarding policies, and making sure that terrorism-fighting grants for local police departments to purchase military equipment are not used to serve drug warrants and other inappropriate uses.IMAGE: "Clash of Civilizations" by Werner Horvath