It's amazing the way obviously flawed ideas and beliefs can become widely accepted as certainties. Take, for example, the certainty that war is inevitable. I hear over and over that there is absolutely no chance -- zero, nil, nada to the power of nada -- that there can ever be true peace between, say, Israel and Palestine.
Likewise, India and Pakistan will continue to fight forever, and so will North and South Korea, Russia and Chechnya, Iraq and Iran, Tamil and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, China and Tibet, Croatia and Serbia and Bosnia and Kosovo. Or, as one variation on this belief goes, if these hatreds were to ever stop, they'd be replaced by others as bleak and violent.
We hear this everywhere. We hear it from our friends and our relatives, in blaring newspaper headlines or in scholarly books by authorities like Victor Davis Hansen. We see it on the morning and evening news (and, on this rare topic, it doesn't matter whether you watch Glenn Beck on FOX or Rachel Maddow on MSNBC -- the lead story is not going to be about the possibilities for long-lasting global peace).