February 8, 2018
I Love a Parade!
President Trump has called on the Pentagon to provide a military parade on the 4th of July in Washington!
I find no fault in this presidential request, and I hope it becomes a recurring event.
Naturally, the brass disagrees. They say things like “We don’t need a parade to show how powerful we are!” and “We show our military strength around the world every day of the year!”
The military brass, the media, Trump’s progressive and reactionary opposition forces on the left and the right all disagree with me and Mr. Trump.
We don’t need no stinkin’ parade, they say! But of course, we do need one, a great big one that gets bigger every year. Bigger, shinier, louder, longer, slower and with mucho patriotic music.
But, they say, it will cost millions of dollars, money that might be better spent promoting US order and political desires around the world!
Look, when you are already borrowing an extra trillion a year just for government operations, why not show it off? Isn’t anyone proud of the military and what it does? At least an army and navy are actually mentioned in the Constitution. Come on, people!
Trump likes the idea of being proud of the military, of making people proud of their country and what it stands for, and he thinks a grand military parade, including tanks and missile displays, and soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, robots and drones, will help show people what they have invested in, or at least paid for several times over, keeping millions of otherwise productive people off the streets and away from their entrepreneurial and market-driven callings.
We must insist on many, many floats as well! Floats with black site mockups and civilian soldiers for hire! Over half of the parade will need to be civilian contractors, who bring technology, contracting officers, lobbyists, former soldiers, and second career military men and women back at the trough … er, table, and without whom we would not have the military we owe on today!
A special float should be dedicated to the US Constitution, as an artifact that all military men and women have sworn to uphold. It’s probably quite heavy, so I’m totally fine if the float is on an 18-wheeled trailer, with soldiers and sailors simply appearing to be carrying it.
There should be a marching group with green eyeshades, some recognition of the yeoman’s work to ensure an actual audit of the whole Pentagon system that appears to be started and might even be completed someday. This effort to find the trillions that have been misplaced, lost, stolen or otherwise dissipated by the Pentagon in the past few decades is so important. I think hiding painted rocks with clues throughout the parade route would be a nice touch for the children!
There is much that can be accomplished by a parade, and I think being able to talk about it, as it is planned and as it evolves over time, will be very healthy for American society.
For example, our young people don’t really want to serve in the imperial army anymore – I mean free college is fine, but if you can’t get a job even with a free education, is it really worth it? But a parade, showing the neat stuff you could do! Well, maybe not shouldering that Constitution, but you could take selfies and maybe meet a recruiter! They’ll need to bring lawn chairs though, because this parade is going to be long, over two hours of standing in the hot sun to beat the French.
The VA system probably should be left out of this first parade, only because so many people in the country have had some kind of dealings with it and might not appreciate the resource shift, which would probably mean more delayed appointments.
I’m very excited about a US national military parade, and I hope you are as well. The military loving left-wing media and the military loving right-wing media, and Hollywood, owned by this major US industrial sector, will be interesting to watch as they cover the parade – and boy/girl will they will cover it! Not wanting to criticize global war, military spending or the glorification of global domination, but despising Mr. Trump as viscerally they do makes for a public conniption fit more than suitable for Trump Year Two.
Referring back to the AP article on the parade, I do take exception to the reporter’s notion that, “The U.S. traditionally has not embraced showy displays of raw military power…” Why just yesterday, it seems, the US under Teddy Roosevelt concocted a global tour of a Great White Fleet, and not long after that, we jumped in the tail end of the war Woodrow Wilson was elected to keep us out of, in order to show our strength and to ensure we had “a seat at the table.” Not long after that we engineered a massive military mobilization complete with domestic economic centralization culminating is the dropping of a fancy set of atom bombs to “send a message to Stalin,” is how I think Truman referred to it. The longest war we have ever engaged in continues – not Vietnam, where we were again showing China, Russia and the French what big bombs we had, but Afghanistan where we went to kill some terrorists, to show them we could not be messed with.
It has long been observed that the US way of empire is different from historical empires, in that it has rarely if ever been a cost-effective empire, an empire that brought peace, or a reliable empire for its benefactors, dependencies or satraps. It is a powerful hegemony of political emotions, underpinned by a military that two-time Medal of Honor winner General Smedley Butler claimed was simply an arm of corporate capitalism. This was in 1935, a few years before we built the Pentagon in 1943, with the vain hope that it would just be a records storage building after WWII ended). I know all this sounds unbelievable, but for real, you can watch a guy playing Smedley Butler reading the speech here!
Reacting to the Trump desire for military parades, people are tweeting and sharing Orwell’s 1941 observation, “Beyond a certain point, military display is only possible in countries where the common people dare not laugh at the army.”
But of course we will laugh! This is precisely why the Pentagon prefers to avoid such a parade. The US Government has already spent trillions of your tax dollars over the last twenty years parading the Pentagon and intelligence community capability at all sporting events from high school to professional, hundreds of movies as irrelevant as Pitch Perfect 3, thousands of TV episodes, and the mainstream and government media. But an actual physical parade, where average people might stand together, shoulder to shoulder, pointing and laughing, chuckling and snorting at the ludicrosity of what will inevitably be an ostentatious, out-of-touch, and unconstitutional display of the centralized military state at home and abroad – well, it’s a bridge too far!
I sure hope we get that parade. It’s going to be tremendous!
Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, farmer and aspiring anarcho-capitalist. She ran for Congress in Virginia’s 6th district in 2012.
Copyright © 2018 Karen Kwiatkowski