My enemy's enemy
| Part of the series on|
Logic and rhetoric
“”Remember — the lesser of two evils is still evil, and the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.
|—Penn Jillette, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!|
"My enemy's enemy is my friend" is an old Arab saying.
It explains some strange political, religious and epistemological alliances, such as the Second World War alliance of the US and Britain with the USSR, the alliance between the US and the Khmer Rouge, or the right-wing Mormons and right-wing Catholics during the Proposition 8 campaign in California.
A short-hand version of the saying provides the name for this proverb's entry on TV Tropes, where it's known as "Enemy Mine" (the film starring Dennis Quaid and the story it was based on by Barry Longyear were named after this).
The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) uses this argument extensively in international relations.
One of the more well-known examples of this was the Soviet Union in World War II. At first, they signed a non-aggression pact with the Nazis so neither one of them could get in the way of their plans to invade Poland, and later on when the Nazis invaded the Soviets they entered a pseudo-alliance with the Allies. However, what is perhaps the most ultimate example of the concept is the apparent alliance between Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea, because they are all enemies of the United States and her countless
- Penn & Teller: Bullshit! - "Holier than Thou" (S03E02)