President Donald Trump claims that his military parade is thrilling the United States military leaders, but a Politico report suggests that former military leaders don’t feel the same way. According to the report, some believe that Trump is politicizing the armed services.
“This looks like it’s becoming much more of a Republican Party event — a political event about the president — than a national celebration of the Fourth of July, and it’s unfortunate to have the military smack dab in the middle of that,” said David Barno, a retired Army Lieutenant General who commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan under former president George W. Bush.
Retired Army Major General William Nash, a veteran of Vietnam, the Gulf War, and Balkans peacekeeping operations, echoed Barno and claims that Trump is using the armed forces in an attempt to benefit his reelection campaign — a ploy that Nash called “obscene.”
The Pentagon isn’t revealing much about the extent of their involvement in the spectacle, although the tanks and other armored vehicles that have arrived in the nation’s capital will reportedly be used for display ahead of Trump’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
Jason Dempsey, a former Army major who studies the military and society at the Center for a New American Security, believes Trump’s move is an attempt to shape his image with spectacle as opposed to his actions.
“Military displays like this are a favorite tactic of those who want to wrap themselves in the symbols of who we are rather than really celebrating who we are.”
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) July 4, 2019
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Trump’s parade isn’t attracting positive attention outside of the United States, either. The state-run Russia-1 television station appears to be mocking the parade, as well as the coverage that Fox News is providing the event.
This is not that first time Russia has made fun of Trump. Back in 2018, the hosts of the Russian news equivalent of 60 Minutes said that “Crimea is ours, Trump is ours,” after the country was expelled from the G-8. However, Trump blamed Obama for the incident.
“President Obama lost Crimea because President Putin didn’t respect President Obama, didn’t respect our country and didn’t respect Ukraine,” he said.
Outside of military critics, others have offered similar criticism, claiming that the parade resembles a Trump campaign event and pointing to the fact that the Republican National Committee (RNC) is in charge of VIP-only area tickets. Other critics have blasted Trump for breaking the celebration’s long tradition of being free of politics.