gpolit.com
gpolit.com February 21, 2018


Trump calls for Pentagon to plan military parade

10 February 2018, 02:03 | Rufus Hill

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"They are charged with carrying out the directives of the chief executive, who is Donald Trump, and they are doing a hell of a job".

"People will wonder, 'Well, what are they afraid of now?" Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia in Congress, said in an interview.

You know, I don't think it's a good look for us.

Critics are panning the President's supposed order for a parade as a waste of money and say it is reminiscent of events that dictators hold to celebrate their strength. Tammy Duckworth - herself a veteran - said "our troops in danger overseas don't need a show of bravado, they need steady leadership, long-term funding and resources so they can stay safe while protecting and defending our nation".

Kirby, the AP story reported, said a big military parade in Washington is a bad idea.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump's intention was to have "a celebration" of the military. And Trump's legislative director said it was too early to even guess about potential costs, though it's assumed it would cost millions. "As far as the parade goes, again, the president's respect, his fondness for the military I think is reflected in him asking for these options".

The Post's story also noted that the parade would be expected to follow "the same route as Trump's inaugural parade", which included passage over Arlington Memorial Bridge. Sadly, the Giant Tank Parade is canceled.

There were also suggestions on Twitter that the Mayor of Washington DC, which is a 90 percent Democrat-leaning city, could deny the Pentagon a parade permit.

Massive military parades of the kind that are common in authoritarian countries such as China and North Korea are not quintessentially American. The idea is that the world's pre-eminent military is strongest when its might is inferred, not shown off in boastful fashion or in an implicit threat to foreign powers.

"We do it at bases across the country already", the Lowell Air Force veteran, who served in Desert Storm, said last night.

The notion that the Pentagon should spend a moment or a penny on an exercise more befitting a Gilbert and Sullivan production rather than attending to the multiple battles it is fighting, or to suicide prevention among vets, or simply to the daily challenges of managing the military reveals how clueless and self-reverential the president is.

The last time a national military parade was held in the capital was June 1991 to celebrate the USA victory in the first Gulf War, when 8,000 Desert Storm troops marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, watched by 200,000 people. Some 8,000 veterans marched along with tanks that trudged down a flag-festooned Constitution Avenue as fighter planes roared over the National Mall.

Norton said the US was better than that.



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