- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Trump’s Parade and Our Endless Wars

Trump’s fascination with the military and his need for flattery have found their natural outlet [1]:

President Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces.

Trump has long mused publicly and privately about wanting such a parade, but a Jan. 18 meeting between Trump and top generals in the Pentagon’s tank — a room reserved for top-secret discussions — marked a tipping point, according to two officials briefed on the planning.

Trump enjoys ostentatious displays, and he likes making shows of military strength, so it’s not surprising that he would want a large military parade. The problem with this idea is that the president is interested in it because he means to use the military as a prop to celebrate Trump and to use the respect Americans have for that institution to bolster his own flagging political fortunes. He is not the first politician or president to do this, but when he does it more Americans realize just how garish and obnoxious this behavior is.

The president’s parade idea has been met with plenty of ridicule, much of it deserved, but it is telling that he has not encountered nearly as much criticism for his illegal warmaking or his escalations of endless wars. The administration’s determination to keep U.S. forces in Syria indefinitely without any legal justification is far worse for the country and the military than a ridiculous parade, but there was much less of a backlash to the former than there has been to the latter. When Trump illegally ordered an attack on the Syrian government last year, he was widely praised in Washington for how “presidential” he was instead of being condemned for trampling on the Constitution and the U.N. Charter. He has continued involving the U.S. military in an atrocious war in Yemen that makes our government an accomplice in war crimes and crimes against humanity, but outrage over that remains oddly muted. Last but not least, he has ordered more troops to fight in the desultory war in Afghanistan that no president has the courage to end. Despite putting more Americans in harm’s way without good cause, and despite making the U.S. party to the Saudi-led coalition’s crimes, Trump has faced limited resistance to all of these bad decisions.

Most Americans shrug when our leaders commit our military to fight open-ended, unnecessary wars that can’t be won at an acceptable cost, but they insist on making empty symbolic gestures of “support” for the men and women sent off to wage unwinnable wars unrelated to the defense of the United States. In that sense, Trump’s hoped-for parade is a reflection of the screwed-up priorities and warped understanding of “supporting the troops” that have prevailed in Washington every single day for the last sixteen years.

14 Comments (Open | Close)

14 Comments To "Trump’s Parade and Our Endless Wars"

#1 Comment By Uncle Billy On February 7, 2018 @ 4:20 pm

Yes, let’s have a military parade with tanks, big rockets on trucks and lots of goose stepping troops with fixed bayonets. Perhaps Trump could lead the parade and strut like Mussolini?

We are becoming more and more like Russia. What next? 50 ft heroic portraits of “Great Leader” everywhere like in North Korea?

#2 Comment By Christian Chuba On February 7, 2018 @ 4:59 pm

Uncle Billy, we are more like Russia of the 1950 – 1970’s with their military parades and Cold War mentality, ‘we must have our buffer states in eastern Europe’.

Only with us, we are told that our military has to be miles off the coast of Iran, Russia, and China or the world will fall apart. Oh, and our ‘Defense’ budget is both too small and inexpensive and it will eventually end the same way for us.

#3 Comment By Caissons Will Roll Oh My How They Will Roll On February 7, 2018 @ 6:04 pm

That’s the ticket. A grand military parade. Just like some third world s***hole. Who needs clean, honest government responsive to the voters? Who needs civilian control of the military? Who needs a military that looks after America’s borders instead of fighting forever wars half-way around the world?

Not us.

What America needs is for the “citizens” to learn their place. Which is in a faceless mass well behind the police lines, cheering for the military and its grand commanders. And when you’re not cheering, keep your mouths shut.

#4 Comment By Uncle Billy On February 7, 2018 @ 6:39 pm

I think that every President, on the day before his inauguration should spend a couple of hours alone at Arlington National Cemetery. No aides, no staffers, just the incoming President and those thousands of white markers. Read the names and understand that every one of them was someone once. Think about it and before launching another damn fool war, walk through Arlington.

#5 Comment By One Guy On February 7, 2018 @ 6:48 pm

Do Trump and his military advisors seriously think American voters will not see this for what it is? How does the GOP expect to ever win an election again if they allow this nonsense to take place? “We’ve been at war for over 15 years, with no end in sight, let’s celebrate!”

#6 Comment By SteveM On February 8, 2018 @ 7:52 am

Re: “The administration’s determination to keep U.S. forces in Syria indefinitely without any legal justification is far worse for the country and the military than a ridiculous parade”

Why is the military itself off the hook for its warped self-aggrandizement?

Trump’s “generals” are advising him, they control foreign policy, they determine the U.S. utilization of forces, they have shown little regard for the Constitution that they themselves have sworn to uphold. General after general makes war-mongering pronouncements without challenge from Congress or the sycophantic MSM.

Military sanctification and adulation conjured up by the “Warrior-Hero” class itself to rationalize and shield the busted hyper-interventionist Global Cop model is grotesque.

Until people that matter start calling a spade a spade, (the generals are fundamental cogs in the Big Con and a BIG part of the problem) the U.S. will continue on its perverse path to economic and foreign policy ruin.

This ain’t just about Trump’s ego…

#7 Comment By rayray On February 8, 2018 @ 12:06 pm

This is the very core of there issue. There is still a culture of military worship in the United States that provides sturdy and enduring cover to a class of government service that is massively bloated and toxically influential. While the GOP and its minions bash every other government agency, including the ones that guarantee drug and food and worker safety – you know, services that are actually USEFUL to AMERICANS – the military is sententiously sacrosanct.

But this ridiculous state of cultural affairs needs constant feeding, constant threat inflation, constant war.

#8 Comment By b. On February 8, 2018 @ 12:14 pm

“The president’s parade idea has been met with plenty of ridicule, much of it deserved, but it is telling that he has not encountered nearly as much criticism for his illegal warmaking or his escalations of endless wars.”

In the carnival mirror world we live, one is almost wondering whether the Trumparade signals that he won’t go for a short, victorious war in Korea after all, or whether this is meant to be a victory parade after all.

The select criticism from the “loyal opposition” is really simply explained. Democrats will yell “Russia!” in a darkened nuclear theater, but they will never take a principled stand against US wars and war profiteering – not as long as they are a party beholden to the same donors as the GOP, serving the same inbred elites as Judas goats delivering the other silent majority vote at the polls.

If the Democratic Party was indeed intent on serving the country, they would take a principled position opposing any and all illegal US military and CIA activities that erode the UN Charter, the international order, and the very idea of the nation state as introduced in the Peace of Westphalia. But then, they could have done that in 2002/2003, and run – and quite possibly lost anyway – in 2004 on a principled “Defense of America Only” anti-war platform.

Instead, we got the Monty Hall goat rodeo of Obama-Clinton-McCain, and we got the Nobel Piece Price winner that got the US into Yemen, and quite possibly “greenlit” Saudi Arabia’s intervention in the first place.

A principled stance against the war, despite being just and decent, might not win an election right now, but then, what wins an election has not changed this dangerous course that also erodes the Constitution and the institutions of democracy within the US. However, if US-led atrocities in Yemen, or Iran, or North Korea should come to pass in the near future, it might not take The People two presidential terms – and then some – to get an inkling of the terrible cost to others, and the increasing cost to ourselves.

It is the mission and purpose of the Democratic Party to ensure that the blowback from US impudency does not find an outlet in the intermittent expressions of democracy cargo cultism we refer to as elections.

No wonder the GOP is not afraid to fill the benches of this galley and row it into their personal sunset of payoff and profit.

#9 Comment By step off smartly now On February 8, 2018 @ 1:17 pm

A parade???

What are we celebrating? What did we win?

Or is this some sort of “social promotion” parade, where every child wins a prize, even the total goofs?

#10 Comment By b. On February 8, 2018 @ 3:13 pm

“Why is the military itself off the hook for its warped self-aggrandizement?”

Excellent question:

“Trump military parade might not be in Washington, Pentagon suggests”

Will the “brass band of brothers” hand out campaign ribbons to themselves for being part of the parade, or for making it happen in the first place, or both?

#11 Comment By michael in nyc On February 8, 2018 @ 9:44 pm

That Draft Dodging Donald wants, no hungers, to join the Stalin-Fidel-Kim Axis…is this even remotely a surprise?

Meanwhile, we still have endless war rolling merrily along for 15 plus years, with no end in sight.

As well as homeless Vets sleeping on the streets tonight.

Well done, Comrade Trump!

#12 Comment By Fred Bowman On February 9, 2018 @ 9:56 am

Nothing better than a parade led by a bunch of generals who never won a war to inspire the patoriotism of the American public who by and large have never served in our Armed Forces. How come this Vietnam Era Navy Corpsman is not impressed?

#13 Comment By P. Wolf On February 9, 2018 @ 1:38 pm

Every one of the above comments speak the truth of this clowns foolishness. Trump did promise to bring our troops home…but lacked the focus of his dismantling everything that disagrees with him. My heart is with those war torn families, not the bone spur “Commander in Chief”

#14 Comment By WorkingClass On February 10, 2018 @ 8:05 am

The corporate media loves war and hates Trump. So they are critical of everything he does that is not war.