This is an open letter to Operation Sovereign Borders architect Jim Molan in response to his Q&A appearance in which he defended Australia's detention centres as "a success". (Identities and other details have been concealed due to possible deportation and execution.)
Last night, via ABC Q&A, you were beamed into living rooms around the country.
In many of these living rooms, including mine, were people who have struggled to survive your policies, introduced under Operation Sovereign Borders.
While you sat there, smug and self-aggrandising, you were speaking to people who have lost loved ones as a direct result of these policies.
You were speaking to parents who haven't seen their children in two, five, seven years or more.
You were speaking to people who have seen the bodies of their friends who suicide in immigration detention.
And you approached this discussion as a self-proclaimed saviour.
In my household, it was too much. My husband disappeared for over an hour. Today he's shivering under a blanket (it's well over 30 degrees inside), having Villawood flashbacks. I'll drag him out into the sunshine when he stops saying, "I hate myself", over and over again.
Around the country, there will be similar scenes. My family is, sadly, far from unique.
You, Mr Molan, seem to think that preventing harm by causing harm, gives you the moral imperative.
Tell it to the Iraqi man who I saw pleading with Immigration to be reunited with his children after seven years:
"Please, please, I am human. I am HUMAN."
Tears streamed down both of our faces — and my heart broke in a way that has changed it forever. One year later, he is still in limbo.
Tell it to my Kurdish friend, riddled with bullet scars, who has lost four friends in offshore detention.
Tell it to my husband, who cut his best friend down from the ceiling on Christmas Island – too late – and who still blames himself.
Mr Molan — you did tell it to these people and thousands more.
The question I have is,
"How DARE you?"
You told them that their suffering is essential for the survival of others.
This is a millenia-old political argument that history has shown to be invariably incorrect. As humans, we can do better. We must do better than accepting that we must kill so that others can live.
Aside from being factually incorrect (please show us the thousands of people you've saved; let's see the interviews with people who say that Operation Sovereign Borders saved their lives), this is a complete departure from the most basic of ethics that we should expect from any government.
Mr Molan, you have blood on your hands.
And history, as it invariably always has, will prove this to be correct.
Please, in the future, spare us your thoughts on this, because you've made it clear you won't be sparing any lives.
Watch Jim Molan on Q&A below:
Does the success of this policy depend on subjecting people to suffering? @Jim_Molan & Shen Narayanasamy #QandA https://t.co/EDVqkfTG7j— ABC Q&A (@QandA) October 10, 2016
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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