Trump’s Toy Soldiers

Ken AshfordMilitary Issues, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

The order from Trump was “I want a military parade”

The parade would be modeled after the Bastille Day parade that Trump spectated last year during a visit to France. “The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” one military official told The Washington Post, which broke the story.

Trump was openly admiring of the Bastille Day celebration, calling it “one of the greatest parades” he had ever witnessed. (How many parades has he witnessed?)

The White House quickly sought to paint the idea as a natural outgrowth of the President’s love of and appreciation for the military.

“President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.”He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”

The last time there was a military parade in Washington was following the Gulf War in 1991.  It was to celebrate the end of a conflict.

When you think of tanks and/or missiles rolling through the streets, it’s North Korea or Russia that you think of, not the United States or France. (North Korea is set to hold a military parade in just days, in fact.) You think of shows of force, public measuring sessions to show the world that [fill in the blank country] is not to be trifled with. Very rarely do you think of the world’s leading superpower needing to send that message.

This is Trump though. But I don’t think he is sending a message. Nor is it really honoring the military. This is so the military can honor HIM.

Here’s a snag: Shipping tanks and military hardware into Washington could cost millions of dollars, and that military officials said they were unsure how to pay for it.

Also, we can’t afford to save Puerto Rico, but we can have a military parade? In the age of government austerity — tax cuts and talks of entitlement cuts — the president is proposing that taxpayers fit the bill so that he can create a monument to himself. VoteVets, a group devoted to veterans needs, called the protest request “not normal.”

VoteVets thinks this is not normal.  They’re right.