Arab and Muslim leaders say retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner’s involvement with the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs–including the document he signed and a trip he took to Israel–raises questions about whether he is the right person to oversee Iraq’s reconstruction. Garner was one of more than 40 retired U.S. military leaders to sign his name to a letter 2 1/2 years ago amid renewed Mideast violence. The letter strongly supported Israel for exercising “remarkable restraint” and blamed the crisis on Palestinian leaders. A Palestinian tactic to “use civilians as soldiers in a war is a perversion of military ethics,” the statement said. Palestinian leaders taught children the mechanics of war while “filling their heads with hate,” and Palestinian police and military commanders were “betting their children’s lives on the capabilities and restraint” of Israeli defense forces, the statement added….Sarah Eltantawi, spokeswoman for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, called the choice of Garner “very unwise–it will not reinforce among the Iraqis the sentiment that their leadership is representative.” [Associated Press, 4/8/03]

Taranto: “Given the Palestinians’ open sympathy for the Iraqis’ oppressor, we’d be surprised if the Iraqis have any sympathy at all for the Palestinians.”

But let’s suppose that’s what the Iraqis think–if so, then their leadership shouldn’t be representative. We are conducting this war to forcibly prevent Iraq from conducting and supporting terrorism. If the Iraqis are really going to insist on supporting terrorism, that will merely prove to us that we haven’t killed enough of them. Such an outcome would put me squarely behind everything Leonard Peikoff said the other night: Target as many of them as it takes–including civilians–until they are terrified of twitching a single muscle that even looks like supporting terrorism. There is no such thing as a right to assist the use of force against a free state–and no right means no protection: No principle forbids using as much force as it takes to suppress your action.

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