This isn’t all that important, but what the heck, it’s Friday afternoon, and I think this little story is indicative of the funhouse mirror that is Washington, DC.
Jim Marshall, a former Blue Dog Democratic House member from Georgia, was picked to become the President and CEO of the US Institute of Peace. I suppose it could be worse; it’s not a lobbying job, really, and hey, conflict management and resolution is a nice gig.
Only who is Jim Marshall? Well, he was the biggest bitter-ender in the House Democratic caucus on Iraq. Not only did he vote for the war in 2002, but by 2007, at which point virtually everyone on the left side of the aisle understood the war was a failure, he was one of only two Democrats to vote against a resolution opposing the surge. Here’s what he said about it: “The anti-surge resolution is akin to sitting on the sidelines booing in the middle of our own team’s play because we don’t like the coach’s call.”
This was the policy that sent hundreds if not thousands more Americans to their deaths for a mistake, to say nothing of the tens of thousands of Iraqis.
In 2009, Marshall tried to maintain support for various defense programs, warning against unnamed threats, and basically ensuring the bloated military budget would survive. In fact, Marshall has said that the US Institute of Peace works most closely with the US military.
Jim Marshall voted for practically every belligerent action the United States has undertaken internationally over the past decade. And now, he’s your CEO of the US Institute of Peace.
Only in Washington does this make perfect sense.