The Coalition’s absurd militarisation of refugee policy is capped off by its grandiose title of “Operation Sovereign Borders”. Following the example of “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, code names aimed at keeping military campaigns secret from the enemy are replaced by marketing labels aimed at promoting them to domestic audiences.
However, the resemblance ends there. The illegal Iraq invasion was nonetheless a genuine military event, while the Liberals’ thought-bubble is the result of taking too literally their own hyperbolic rhetoric of “border security” and “sovereignty”. Those terms properly refer to military invasion, or at the very least, some kind of clandestine incursion. Australia’s response to people openly seeking asylum here belongs in neither category.