This is not really something we do in the United States.
I mean, tin pot dictatorships, sure, but we’ve never had the need for it.
Then again, we’ve never had such a petty, emotionally stunted little troll as president.
According to the Washington Post, Trump’s vision of a military parade through Washington, as a show of our military might, is increasingly likely to become reality.
Trump’s admiration for authoritarian strongmen is well known, at this point. He needs to flex that muscle.
In a January 18 meeting between Trump and top generals in the Pentagon’s tank (a room reserved for top secret discussions), he broached the subject of a military parade, again.
Two officials briefed on the parade planning report:
Surrounded by the military’s highest ranking officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford, Trump’s seemingly abstract desire for a parade was suddenly heard as a presidential directive, the officials said.
“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” said a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the planning discussions are supposed to remain confidential. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”
It’s always about coveting something, keeping up with somebody else for that joker. He got his inspiration for this after attending the Bastille Day parade in Paris last year.
“It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” Trump told reporters. “It was two hours on the button, and it was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France.”
Seated next to Macron, Trump added: “We’re going to have to try to top it.”
So there are no set plans, to date. It’s all in planning, arranging for the most appropriate date and place.
Still, the official said Trump is determined to have a parade. “The president wants to do something that highlights the service and sacrifice of the military and have a unifying moment for the country,” the official said.
This won’t do it, no matter how grand our military may be. It will cost millions to move Abrams tanks and other high tech equipment to Washington, and no, just like with his empty campaign promises, Trump won’t be taking that out of his own pocket.
The planning is in early stages and involved White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who seems to have given up on trying to keep Trump sane and under control.
Of the dates being discussed for this debacle, there’s May 28 (Memorial Day) and July 4th, but the Pentagon is said to prefer November 11 (Veteran’s Day), in order to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
The hope is to try and have this thing not be associated with Trump or politics.
Yeah, I’m not sure how you make that happen, because it will be something on a level in no way associated with this nation, before Trump, and then there’s the inevitable Twitter rambling, sure to make it all about him.
With a few exceptions — such as former president George H.W. Bush’s 1991 parade down Constitution Avenue celebrating victory in the Persian Gulf War — presidents have avoided displays of military hardware that are more associated in the American mind with the Soviet Union’s Red Square celebrations or, more recently, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s efforts to show off his Taepodong missiles.
“I don’t think there’s a lack of love and respect for our armed forces in the United States,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University. “What are they going to do, stand there while Donald Trump waves at them? It smacks of something you see in a totalitarian country — unless there’s a genuine, earnest reason to be doing it.”
Of course, there are more practical reasons for avoiding such shows. Not the least of which is the weight of the tanks (70 tons) thundering down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Sure, pay millions to stroke Trump’s out of control ego, just in setting up the parade, then how many millions more in repairing the roads after tanks meant for battlefields, not U.S. streets pretty much destroy the roads?
Then there are the domestic pitfalls. At a time when Mattis and his top generals have been complaining about the state of military readiness and lobbying Congress for more money, pulling equipment off line for a costly parade could send the wrong signal.
It’s hard also, not to wonder if this is just his way of signaling to the other maniac in North Korea, Kim Jong-Un about our superior fire power.
Whether that’s the intent or not, no doubt, it could easily be seen that way.
There’s no good reason for it.
He’s saying it will be to honor our military, but the better way to do that is with adequate pay, benefits, and better care for our veterans.
Maybe take all the millions it would take for a parade and put it into programs for wounded troops?
We could do more for our military. They don’t need the kind of parade Trump is pushing for.
They deserve legitimate, positive efforts.