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Reply #82: My Thoughts About That Quote [View All]

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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-09-06 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #22
82. My Thoughts About That Quote
The idea of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" isn't itself garbage, it's simply misunderstood and misused by many out of context. While I'm personally unsure of its origin (Wikipedia claims it is an Arab proverb), it is a strategic concept, like those of Sun Tzu, not a literal commandment for lay people. In a battle, it is strategically advantageous to limit the number of fronts you must defend to the smallest number possible, preferably one (or none, if that's possible). It is also strategically advantageous to force your enemy to fight on as many fronts as possible, thus limiting and draining their resources. The idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend extends from this, as by helping your enemy's enemy, you are hurting your common enemy, assuming that they are fighting as well. This does not literally mean that you make friends with them and go on vacation together once a year, simply that by combining forces against a common enemy, you can be more successful in eliminating that enemy. It also says nothing about your relationship once that enemy is defeated. Again, this is a military concept, not a rule for social behavior.
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