It is wrong, it seems, and wickedly wrong, for persecuted families to flee Iran, and if they die in the Arafura Sea it serves them right. It is wicked of them to want to live in Australia instead, and raise their children here. If they drown, well, we warned them, we told them not to come. They shouldn’t have come. We told them to risk the vile rule of Adaminejab but not the sea voyage here. And we were right to do so.
This is the moral stance we are now defending, the moral stance the Australian Labor Party, long an ally of human rights, is now defending: don’t flee persecution, stay persecuted, risk your children’s lives under persecution, because some of the boats you plan to escape in, well, the boats might sink. We won’t send you back to Iran, but the boats might sink. So stay in Iran. Risk being tortured. Risk the coming nuclear war with Israel. The boats might sink. So stay in Iran. Stay in Iraq, where fifty people are blown up every week. You know it makes sense.
How feeble-minded all this is. It’s like telling British soldiers on Dunkirk Beach not to risk the voyage to Dover in frail fishing boats through stormy seas because they might drown on the way. Better stay and take your chances under the Third Reich. Better seek work in Occupied France in your British Army uniform. You know it makes sense.
And it’s worse because we burn the boats they come in. Families fleeing Adaminejab are drowning because we burned the better boats they might have come in, years ago. Every boat that comes is seized by uniformed Australian pirates and either given to a local white person or burned on the beach.
No protest has ever been made against this policy, which is essentially the same as the Vikings raiding England in the seventh century. By what moral right do we steal a man’s boat and burn it? Is it a lethal weapon? No. It’s a boat. Why burn it? Why not invite the owner to pick it up and sail it home?
We do not burn the Qantas planes on which most illegals come. Why not? The logic is the same. These unwelcome refugees from persecution are being assisted by Qantas pilots to come here, so we are gaoling the Qantas pilots — of course we are — and we’re burning the 747s on the tarmac as well.
It’s a measure of how racist, how otherist, how heathenist we are that none of us has yet protested this kidnapping, piracy and arson by our duly elected government. Our victims are brown and Muslim, and their travel arrangements unwelcome to us, so we kidnap them on the high seas and traumatise their infant children, and burn the boats they come in. Which causes worse and worse boats to come, expendable boats, overcrowded because so many good boats have been burnt, and on these rickety, rotting, splintered craft children drown.
And all this unwanted migration can be stopped, we reckon, and Ba’Hai and Sunnis and Christians and educated secular women persuaded to stay in Ademinejab’s Iran, the desired outcome, by telling them the voyage is dangerous and we’ll send you to Malaysia if you come here.
Only a racist would believe this is rational policy, only the kind of racist that thinks ‘these people’ throw their children overboard or can be daunted from seeking a better life by the threat of Nauru, Malaysia, Woomera, Baxter, Villawood or Curtin.
And that sounds pretty much like all of us.
Or perhaps you disagree.