Trump’s desire for a large-scale military parade on the streets of the nation’s capital it is reminiscent of what authoritarian dictators do.
Adam Weinstein, a prominent veterans’ leader who is now Senior Editor for the website Task and Purpose, in which military and former service members share ideas and news, covers all those bases and more in an epic rant about what a terrible idea Trump is pushing from the point of view of those who would be forced to march for his inspection.
“Let’s throw a military bash with missles and troops and bands for this rampaging golf-course rentier,” writes Weinstein in an essay dripping with sarcasm, “because nobody’s ever done anything like that before, except the Soviet Uniin, the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, Libya under Qaddafi, Iraq under Saddam, Zaire under Mobutu, the Nazi Reich under Hitler,” and many other dictators in Spain, Chile, Iran, Uganda, Yougoslavia, Romania and Serbia.”
“This is the America that our military is defending,” rants Weinstein. “It is not going well. The Afghanistan War, the United States’ longest in its history, has no obvious end; the general’s in charge now were field grade officers when the war started. The forever war is turning out so many veterans that the VA can’t keep up – and the department is largely trying to fire its way out of the problem, without filling any of its top spots or hiring any or its neary 50,000 job vacancies.”
“Some American war veterans are facing deportation. Others, with other than honorable discharges, are foundering with next to no help.”
“Let’s do it for the duly elected commander-in-chief,” continues Weinstein, “who was born on third base and blames the world for not just scoring it as a run. Whose entire ‘military’ service consists of a private boarding-school diploma and five draft deferments.”
“Who used the commissioning ceremony of the Coast Guard Academy’s graduating cadets to bitch about the media’s coverage of him, when he wasn’t confusing the Coast Guard with the Navy.”
“Who couldn’t stand still or remember the words for the National Anthem at Arlington on Memorial Day, next to his secretary of defense and Joint Chief’s chairman (but he’s still pretty sure NFL players of color who don’t show sufficient anthem-patriotism should be fired).”
“Who likes ‘people who weren’t captured;’ tells Gold Star families he’s ‘made a lot of sacrifices,’ and calls safe sex in the 1990s ‘my personal Vietnam’ and blames ‘the generals’ for battle casualties.”
“Let’s make America a banana republic,” concludes Weinstein. “Let’s have a fucking parade. For Don.
“You don’t need this. I don’t need this. But he sure does.”
This Navy veteran represents many others inside the military, who have served and who never served, when he says at a time America has so many big problems, a parade is not the answer.