Some questions from Frank the Yank over at Tim Blair’s blog:
We haven’t really been following this in the U.S. What’s the
problem with this Hicks guy? As far as I know, we caught him with the enemy, carrying guns, etc. So, we gave him a break and treated him just like any captured enemy soldier. (Maybe not the best idea, in hindsight.) We’ve probably treated him better than the thousands of German, Italian, and Japanese soldiers we captured in WWII. We certainly didn’t get them lawyers or worry about “charging” them. (As far as I know, Australia acted the same way in WWII.) If there’s a “legal” question here, it’s whether we would have been justified in shooting him immediately. If we did turn him over to you guys, wouldn’t it be a lot rougher on him? What’s the penalty for treason in Australia?
Frank’s not to know, but he’s wrong on one individual count as far as Australia’s treatment of Italian POWs go.
A fine resident of Winchelsea in Victoria, Martin Bruno, was sent to Winch as a POW to work on farms there. At war’s end, he went back home, got the paperwork settled and emigrated back to Australia — to Winchelsea.
For decades Martin won blue ribbons at Geelong Show for his vegetables and fruit.
He was also a master at grafting fruit trees and delighted in presenting visitors to his comfortable but unassuming home with oranges and mandarins, plums and nectarines, peaches and apricots, every pair from the same tree.
I’ve tried a google but can’t come up with verification, but I think Winch Hospital has a unit named after him.
I had the pleasure of visiting Martin and interviewing him almost 20 years ago, and his joy of life still warms me.
Contrail at Blair’s has another twist on poor widdle Davy’s pwedicament:
I think Hicks should sue the travel company who sent him on this holiday. The poor bugger got on a plane with his Hawaiian shirt and boogie board thinking he was off to a tropic paradise and what happens when he gets there – they give him a bazooka and tell him to kill Serbs. Back on the plane again, hoping that this time the travel company got it right and lo and behold, there he is perched on a mountain top shooting at what he thought were clay pigeons when in fact they were Indians. Back to the travel company office to complain. “Where’s the sand in the brochure,” David says. And next day he is under a camel skin tent with a bunch of smelly bearded men jabbering in a foreign language. And what to they do? They give him another gun. Plenty of sand this time, but no surf. Poor Davy, what an awful, awful holiday. Everywhere he goes there are guns, guns and more guns. Finally he sees a life-saving sight – men with the Stars and Stripes on their uniform. Please, he begs, get me away from this terrible place. All I wanted was a holiday on a tropical island. So what the Americans do, they give him a holiday on a tropic island. And still he’s not happy and neither is the Australian left. Have they thought about complaining to Consumer Affairs and not the Prime MInister. Is it his job to fix holidays that have gone awry? Think not.
You want ratings, Eddie McGuire? Hire buggers like this for a prime time comedy show. No guts, no glory.