In a move straight out of the former Soviet Union playbook, Donald Trump has decided he wants a military parade to take place on the streets of Washington.
After visiting France and watching the Bastille Day parade, Trump remarked that it was “one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen”. He immediately added that they would have to top it. He informed the Pentagon to organise a superior display of military might in the nations capital.
Many have accused him of emulating more autocratic countries. Representative Jackie Speier of the House Armed Services Committee, told CNN “I was stunned by it, to be quite honest… we have a Napoleon in the making here.”
First @realDonaldTrump says anyone who doesn't clap at his speech is treasonous & now demands our men and women in uniform give him a military parade.
What an absurd waste of money! Trump acts more like dictator than president. Americans deserve better.https://t.co/BlBTW8XkEh
— Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) February 7, 2018
Military parades in Washington DC are normally used to celebrate victory at the end of a war. The last time was when George Bush Snr celebrated the end of the Gulf war on 9th June 1991. It is thought to have cost $10m and was followed up by another parade the next day in New York.
The plan has been condemned by many former military personnel saying that the money and time required would be better put to use by improving the lives of military veterans or raising the wages of soldiers.
Lt Gen Mark Hertling said that while the military would do what they were ordered to, the parade itself was a bad idea for the American military. “I don’t know a whole lot of soldiers who like them”.
The mayor of Washington DC and its city council members have also derided the plans. Councilman David Grosso said if the parade goes ahead then he will hold a counter demonstration dedicated to “peace and nonviolence”.
Countries that enjoy large military displays include North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and Brazil. France uses it’s Bastille Day parade to remember its militaristic days. Saudi Arabia also hosts extravegent shows as well as Australia and Sri Lanka on armed forces day.