How long can hate fuel a conflict? There are the religious wars between Islam and Christians going on for nearly two thousand years. The English vs French wars still have an ongoing issue in Canada. There is also the issues of racism. These areas of violent conflict are the areas in which we know must end. Societies along with entire nations of people have been killed due to the belief that one is better than the other. Sometimes the conflicts are continued to seek revenge. There are circumstances that we have set up on purpose to ensure there is protracted conflict. One such example is the multi-party political system.
Conflict exists. How we perceive and act upon the emotions created from conflict will sway our opinion of conflict. Society needs an outlet for every emotion. Hatred, anger, frustration, aggression, desire, lust and love are emotions that fuel many of the protracted conflicts. The inability of society to deal effectively with these emotions creates drama. For many the drama of conflict is what life becomes as they get sucked into the mantras of, win at all cost or with or against. We can see the advent of attack adds, corporate spying/sabotage, pressure to over consume as indicators that a protracted conflict is both overt and subversive.
Each of us has to step back and truly understand the reality of what a protracted conflict provides and takes. The conflict of the information age brings with it many questions. Information such as Wiki leaks puts forth is labeled as secrets. However the reality is that the information is only secret to those that are not paying close attention to the subject matters, thus the drama begins. In this realm we are experiencing the balance of what we need to know as opposed to what we want to know. Need versus want.
In every conflict you have to look at the balance of need and want. Does a peaceful society need to have a specific religion or political party in power? No it does not, but some want a particular religion or party and that creates the drama for a protracted conflict. The drama will cloud the real goal of peace.
Often the phrase "perception is everything" is used to prop up the drama of a protracted conflict. Perception is deception, to use a different phrase, optics are all that matters. Each of those phrases points to the need to mask reality in order to "sell" something. In each case the drama will work and life goes on. Soon the perception becomes held as reality until the moment the fog of perception clears. Then the reality of the conflict is seen. This is exactly what took place in 2006 when the economic collapse was becoming very clear.
The world was sold on consumerism for decades. The impact of that consumerism has filled garbage dumps, inflated health problems, created ghost suburbs and brought down governments the world over. We have not seen the end of this conflict as the want for such a reality is still being sold. We are still being sold freedom, adventure, individuality, identity, and choice as a material possession. This is the very essence of the "you have look your best to be your best" ideology. In all truthfulness, how you look is not even on the list of needs and success does not care either. These are the items which ensure a protracted conflict continues.
In Syria the people are being held hostage due to the drama of international brinkmanship. Syria could have been avoided if the drama/perceptions of a few did not get in the way. Yet here we are now on the verge of a regional war all due to the protracted conflict of certain countries/ideologies. Such situations are life and death and yet the seriousness is lost in the drama of a protracted conflict.
On a personal level, I often get ridiculed and chastised for my views. However, after deep contemplation my views are always agreed upon, it may take decades for the reality to set in peoples minds. That is a protracted conflict.