09 February, 2018
President Trump has spoken of his desire for a grand military parade since the early days of his presidency.
Before I go on to share some excellent talking points from a petition campaign I'd like to point out the confusion exhibited by our president during a wonderful performance by a French marching band that closed the Bastille Day parade on July 14th. He said the two-hour parade was a "tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France", and said he wanted one on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on July 4 - grander than the one he saw in Paris.
Some 8,800 USA troops and tanks marched on Constitution Avenue as helicopters flew above, according to The Washington Post.
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"The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France", a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Post.
Although Trump's critics argued his parade idea was rooted in a need for self-aggrandizement, the White House said it was squarely an attempt to venerate America's military. "He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation".
While the Post report contained of range of dates, and the parade could be as soon as May 28.
"A military parade of this kind would be a departure from the values of our constitutional democracy", said Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the top House Armed Services Committee Democrat.
That said, Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News that the Pentagon would be giving Trump and co. recommendations on how to proceed.
"It is clear that a military parade isn't about saluting the military - it is about making a display of the military saluting him", retired Major Gen. Paul Eaton, a former commander in Iraq, said in a statement sent out by progressive veterans group VoteVets. Dictators around the world use parades like these to try to scare enemies and intimidate their own citizens. The US is now still mired in the longest war in its history as the Afghanistan war enters its 17th year, and US troops are now engaged in combat operations in several countries.
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It's unclear whether the Capitol Police would comply with Gosar's request. "Clearly, the speaker does not agree", Strong said. Congressional sources have told Fox News flat-out that they were "not going to do that".
An informal Military Times poll found that vast majority of the publication's readers oppose the idea of a military parade in Washington, D.C.
Even before he was inspired by the Bastille Day parade in Paris, the president was set on having a display of USA military might.
Although Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has not commented publicly on the idea of a Washington military parade, the idea is not an obvious fit with his emphasis on focusing strictly, if not exclusively, on military activities that either improve the lethality of the armed forces or enhance their preparation for combat, or both.
The victory display organized by former President George H.W. Bush estimated $12 million.
A Pentagon spokesman, Charlie Summers, said Pentagon officials are aware of the request and are "looking at options". Instead, they're seeing images of military parades in the Soviet Union, China, North Korea and even WWII-era German.
How much will Trump's military parade in DC cost?
Spending money on aid to Puerto Rico, eliminating college debt, and providing healthcare or a thousand other ways to strengthen the country troops are willing to die to protect.
Neither the Pentagon nor Dc's Mayor know.
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