I was discussing the trouble Greeks have with the name Macedonia with friends on Friday. Actually more trying to understand how they feel about it. I argued it is not the right of Greece telling what name Macedonians use for their country, and Macedonia has no right claiming Greek territories. That seems to be what Greeks believe. Argumentation goes, what comes after the name, territory claims? We must draw a red line somewhere.
It reminded me the exact same argument against acknowledging the terrible atrocities committed against the Anatolian Armenians around 1915. The knee jerk reaction is: "What happens after the apology, territorial claims?"
Nowadays Turkish political agenda is focused around what is called "The Kurdish Expansion" -which should be "Human Rights Expansion" in my opinion- which boils down to the recognition of Kurdish identity in Turkish. Status Quo protectors -who in a travesty of the term happen to be Social Democrats- cry out the same argument: "What comes after recognizing Kurdish identity, an independent state?" They go on and add "We have red lines."
The day after I read a news story about Karamanlis, the conservative Prime minister of Greece who will most likely loose his place in the coming elections, stating that "He has red lines when it comes to the Aegean borders issue."
Then it struck me. "Red line" is just a lousy euphemism for a dogma. Put dogma in place of red lines, and re-read the statements. Everything suddenly makes sense. Dogmas born when there are no evidence, reason, justification for an idea. Then adults become little children again, and stubbornly defend a position, and refuse to discuss.