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There is no doubt about it: We humans are, at best, a peculiar species. It seems that we feel obliged to display brazen hostility toward each other, to the point of engaging in violence, before we can reconcile to friendship.

This was brought home to me last week during a three-day trip to the New South Wales country town of Cowra, some 300 km west of Sydney. Today, Cowra calls itself a “town of peace” — but 68 years ago it was the scene of an event of horrible disorder and brutality.

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