Courtesy Reuters

Italy After Mussolini

NOW that the armies of the United Nations are distributed along the southern shore of the Mediterranean it does not seem farfetched to assume that sooner or later Sicily will come within the scope of their operations. Some of the programs of action which one hears discussed might postpone the day; but in view of Sicily's dominating position in the center of the Mediterranean, I hardly think it will be excluded permanently and entirely from the reckoning of American and British military leaders.

In Sicily there is not a village, whether it be lost among the mountains of the interior or sprawled along the slopes of Etna, which has not sent whole families to work and live in the United States. Up to the outbreak of war, a steady correspondence was always maintained between those at home and their American relatives. There also were many "Americans" (as they are called in Sicily) who went back to the old country and bought houses and farms with their dollars. Often the street where they settled or built is called "the street of the Americans." All through the island, then, the starred flag of the United States is known and loved as a friendly flag.

This seems to me an important psychological consideration, and when the time comes for the occupation of Sicily I think it should lead to the use of American troops for the purpose in preference to any others. The Sicilian people would understand that they were not coming to Sicily to conquer her, to keep her in pawn, to develop permanent naval bases there (as has sometimes been alleged), but instead to bring about the liberation of Sicily, as of the whole of Italy, from both Nazi and Fascist domination.[i]

Many Italians are fighting the present war reluctantly and only because they cannot do otherwise. They are deeply worried over their national future. They ask themselves anxiously whether the United Nations will respect the territorial integrity of the country after

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