"Since they went on their murderous rampage through the streets of Paris, there have been a lot of voices describing Isis as an 'existential threat'.
No, they are not.
That description flatters them and tends to infer that we are so powerless to deal with this menace that we should not even bother to try.
The Soviet Union was an existential threat during the cold war. The Kremlin had the capacity to wipe out everyone in the west and we the capacity to annihilate them.
The Nazis were an existential threat. While Isis is unquestionably ambitious to spread as much as it can of its especially psychotic brand of death and havoc, and principally does so against Muslims in the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq, it cannot and will not defeat liberal democracies.
Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer, 22.11.15