Ed.: 020818 – Words: 1290 – Audio: N/A
Alright… the following is the reason our Dear Leader.. Cadet Bone Spur (at least that nick will stick with him a little while), wants a military parade (as reported by The Guardian)…
“It was one of the greatest parades I have ever seen,” Trump said. “It was two hours on the button, and was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and the spirit of France.”
“And to a large extent, because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4th in Washington, down Pennsylvania Avenue,” Trump said. “We’re going to have to try and top it.”
He noted that France’s parade featured representatives from different wars and armed forces wearing different uniforms. “It was really so well done,” he said.
“So we’re actually thinking about 4th of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a great parade to show our military strength,” Trump added.
Oh, boy.. this guy is a real schmuck. You see absolutely anything in his remarks about memorializing veterans or active duty service personnel? He wants to brag about America’s military prowess, and more importantly, he likely wants a much bigger display than even the French. All because of his ego, a child-like affection for pomp & circumstance, and a relatively abstract view of his place in a world only he lives in.. and his desire to drag our entire country into it.
Crazy thing is, you can almost hear the right wing clicking their heels together to go along with this nonsense. Lindsey Graham, God rest his (occasionally objective) soul… said he had no desire to see America in some grandiose and “cheesy”, “Soviet-style display of military hardware”. Now, it seems each side on this argument has it’s generals and admirals supporting this or not, although it seems there is an anti-military parade majority taking hold. Trump has managed yet again to divide us further. But Trump is the CinC.. so he will get something out of this. Hopefully among the Pentagon plans is a good alternative.
Well, to the right the obvious question is.. what’s wrong with that idea? To me there are a few issues at play here.
- The entire idea is based on another country’s demonstration, fed by his affinity in being a TV promoter and thinking he could do better… as if there were a ratings war or something. There is nothing sincere about this at all as it relates to honoring our fallen or military service contemporaries and veterans. He just wants to claim bigger and grander.
- Secondly… America has never been about showing off our military hardware to impress the world. We don’t need that. Our men and women in uniform is all we need to prove our determination to defend our country and aid our allies should we ever need to, and to show our democracy through strength… and strength through democracy.
- Absolutely in our nation’s historical past we have had military parades of various kinds, and generally these parades have reflected the hearts and souls of Americans reflected in those times. The issue is regarding the large inclusion of military hardware for no reason at all other than to impress the world. . past military parades have included “some” hardware… but we surely do not need to emulate China, Russia, or North Korea’s pompousness and bravado.
When I was young, back in the 60’s, the big parade in our area of Chicago’s far northwest side was the Memorial Day Parade; some communities preferred the Fourth Of July. But we had damn near every civic organization represented, the local high school band, there was a community marching band, all the Scout units (Boy and Girl), the Shriners, the local high school ROTC drill team; floats galore, and of course the local politicians. But a popular part of these parades were the inclusion of some National Guard soldiers… driving a jeep or two, maybe a deuce-and-a-half (the popular canvas topped truck), and a color guard. The parade route itself went through the neighborhoods and ended up at a local cemetery where a memorial service to the fallen was held, with a 21 gun salute by Reservists, a veteran’s organization, or a squad of sharp looking Marines. There was nothing unique to our neighborhood parades; this same thing was across America.. cities, towns, and rural areas.
In the later 60’s when I was in high school I joined the ROTC and for my entire four years we would be trucked to at least two city parades a year in downtown Chicago. An occasional Flag Day, Veterans Day, Fourth of July. It was great marching down Michigan Avenue; there was a great sense of pride and privilege in being in those large city parades with thousands lining the avenues on both sides. For a bunch of questionably disciplined high school guys we looked sharp, marched in cadence, and there was no screwing around in the ranks; much unlike our practices at school. In only one parade I recall any true military hardware other than the gratuitous olive green jeep and truck. There was some wheeled armored personnel carrier with a 50 caliber machine gun on top. As the vehicle drove slowly with the largely foot units in front of it, the soldier would snap off about an eight round burst into the air at every other block. Obviously blank ammo, the immeasurable loud percussion of noise as it rattled and reverberated off every city high rise building was truly nuts. Even at the time I mentally thought.. “Cool.. but what nutcase authorized this in downtown Chicago, Mayor Daley?”
My point to all this “good old days” reflection is to try and place into perspective that military parades of the past did not always contain in their ranks large military hardware.. yet expressed the mood of the celebration just fine. We are now hearing a lot of comparison to the 1991 parade of the returning troops from Desert Storm/Gulf War. This was about as close of some type of victory parade that we were ever going to experience in our lifetimes.. wars being as they are now. There was some battlefield hardware being displayed… Abrams tanks, APC’s, etc., but again, this was meant to be a sort of victory parade, not a propaganda tool for the world to see. At the time I personally felt that the elephant in that room were the echoes of Vietnam; those guys and girls got no returning home parade and we wanted to make sure it was never repeated. Of course, the Commanding General of Desert Storm was, Norman Schwarzkopf, a kick-ass, no-more-mistakes-of-Vietnam kinda guy because he himself had been there.
Anyway, the Gulf War parade cost Uncle Sam 12 million; Trump’s dream is estimated thus far as in the 20-25 million range. But, you know, it’s not so much that the 25 mill is too pricey for a nonsense parade. If it truly made sense, we would do it. So I am not about the money here.
Look.. maybe there is some subtle message going on here. Our way of life, our kind of democracy, our personal freedoms, is far more important in our collective conscience than our military prowess. We are a nation not used to seeing any military presence on our streets, and we prefer it that way. It’s rather like having the rifle hanging over the fireplace mantel… we can see there, and we know where it is when we need it. Until then, Mr. President, perhaps all you need to impress the world is display the American flag… and let the world fill in the blanks. But please don’t make a mockery of yet another American institution. I was a member of this one. You weren’t.