Thursday, February 2, 2017

Manus, A Point in Time

Manus is one of the Admiralty Islands north of New Guinea. I find the current debates, I guess one can call them that, of interest.

First, Manus is north of New Guinea. It is part of the Admiralty Island and was one of the major bases during WW II.
At the southern end of the above is a tip of Australia. Manus was a major repair depot during WW II. That was after MacArthur managed to secure New Guinea from the Japanese. Now it is a relatively deserted island with what appears is a prison.

As the NY Times states in a video:

Here is what daily life looks like for an Iranian dissident at an Australian-run camp on Manus Island.

The Guardian has a more detailed discussion:

Those who try to come by boat – who are more likely to be from poorer and more troubled countries – have been assured by Canberra they will never come to Australia. Australia needs the people on the islands of Nauru and Manus to be removed from them – the policy is morally reprehensible and illegal. Domestic politics has made this hard – and this is why the US stepped in.

Frankly how people got sent to Manus is itself problematic. It is a tropical island which was brutally fought over during WW II.

Below is my fathers Destroyer in Manus in November 1944 after the Battle of Leyte Gulf. (DD-649, USS Albert W. Grant). At that time Manus was a major repair depot. Sadly the ship n the background was an ammunition supply ship and shortly after this photo it exploded killing dozens. Manus has a bit of a spotted history.

The issue is; why choose Manus? Having a spot in the Pacific rear its head again is quite interesting. Especially since men like my father and his crew mates had bloodied themselves saving Australia from Japanese atrocities. Strange how the world turns.