(part 2 - had to split post)
Now with our recent panic-stations talk about security against home grown Jihadists, it is nice to see a pretty switched on and actually informed person of the gravitas of Paddy Ashdown put it in perspective:
'Paddy Ashdown slams 'kneejerk' Tory response to jihadi terror threat':
Tensions between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats over how to counter the terrorism threat from extremists have been exposed as Paddy Ashdown accuses Tory ministers of "kneejerk" responses and of stoking fear in the minds of the British people.
The former Liberal Democrat leader and former high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, writing in the Observer, also criticises David Cameron for ill-judged rhetoric that he says could alienate ordinary Muslims and hamper the battle to defeat jihadis.
Ashdown's intervention comes as Cameron and the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, try this weekend to hammer out a package of anti-terrorism measures in time to announce them to the House of Commons when MPs return from their summer break on Monday.
On Friday the level of threat of a terrorist attack in the UK was raised to "severe" by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) due to fears about British jihadis returning from Iraq and Syria. This prompted Cameron to warn that the danger posed by Islamic State (Isis) extremists presented the biggest security threat of modern times, surpassing that of al-Qaida.
While not attempting to deny or play down the threat from jihadis returning to the UK, Ashdown says that the threat level in Northern Ireland has also been "severe" for the past four years, as it was in all of Britain for much of the 1980s and 1990s when the IRA posed the greatest danger.
He argues that the current threat is "one we have faced before and one we know how to deal with – effectively, without panic and without a whole new range of executive powers which could endanger our liberties.
"Indeed, when it comes to facing threats, it was surely far more difficult to cope with IRA terrorists slipping across the Irish Sea than it is to stop jihadis returning from Iraq."
In terms that are bound to anger many Tories, he says that after the threat level was increased, senior Conservatives "from the prime minister downwards … took to every available airwave to tell us how frightened we should be and why this required a range of new powers for them to exercise".
While he argues that Cameron appeared, initially, to be aware of the need to avoid over-hasty responses, Tory ministers had recently "indulged in a spasm of kneejerking which would have made even St Vitus feel concerned. And Labour, frightened as always when it comes to liberty and security, capitulates to the demand."
I can't help thinking that documentary series 'The Power of Nightmares' is going to be a classic study for students of geo-politics in our period, as it pretty much nails this whole anti-muslim/Islam as bogey man narrative (not saying radical Islamists are not crazy/nasty/Evil(TM)) 'we' are all getting rich on (if you have shares in our arms industries or even work for them etc):