In a column for the New York Times, a veteran who served in Iraq while a member of the Virginia Army National Guard mocked Donald Trump for using tanks at his Fourth of July Mall spectacle, saying they are a relic of the past while ridiculing the commander in chief as a “wannabe strongman.”
According to Elliott Woods, based upon his training taking out tanks during military conflicts, the choice of the armored vehicles as a sign of strength is now laughable — but the president seems to be unaware of the fact.
“With a few exceptions — the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the battle of Falluja in 2004 — the tank has become as irrelevant to modern warfare as the horse cavalry it replaced,” he wrote. “So what are we supposed to make of President Trump’s fascination with these hulking relics and his determination to display them in Washington during Thursday’s Fourth of July celebration?”
“Mr. Trump seems to see tanks as a symbol of military strength, of America’s ability to bend the world to its will by means of brute force and threats of ‘fire and fury,'” he added. “Having avoided service in the Vietnam War by way of draft deferments, Mr. Trump has presumably never been closer to warfare than has a child playing on the floor with toy tanks and green plastic army men.”
Pointing out that “Mr. Trump’s fondness for tanks is part of the insidious nostalgia that undergirds his entire ‘Make America Great Again’ ideology,” Woods dropped the hammer of the president as a playing-acting dictator.
“Mr. Trump is a wannabe strongman, and no doubt he sees in the tank what all strongmen see in tanks: a weapon to be used against his enemies, foreign or domestic,” he explained. “By displaying tanks in our nation’s capital, Mr. Trump signals that he is willing to use the military for personal political purposes, as he did in May when the White House asked the Navy to hide the U.S.S. John McCain during his trip to Japan.”
Woods then mocked the president for wanting the tanks despite the fact that they can’t roll through the streets as a sign of power as a metaphor for Trump’s stalled administration.
“Apparently, during Thursday’s Fourth of July celebration, Mr. Trump’s cherished tanks will have to be stationed in a ‘static display,’ because driving them into position would damage Washington’s streets. A stationary display is all too fitting, for it is the most common posture of tanks on the modern battlefield,” he wrote, before concluding, “Like President Trump’s false promises, they won’t be going anywhere.”
You can read the whole piece here.