President Donald Trump's demand for a military extravaganza has put top military officials in an awful position.
"President Trump has described his Fourth of July extravaganza on the National Mall as the “show of a lifetime!” and an unprecedented celebration of American military strength," The Washington Post reported Wednesday. "The patriotic event, though, is proving to be a problem for the U.S. military’s top brass who must navigate the intense partisan squabbling the event has generated."
"More than any president in modern history, Trump has ignored norms intended to keep the armed forces out of partisan fights," the newspaper noted. "Trump’s July 4 celebration, which he’s calling a 'Salute to America,' has elevated his norm-defying behavior. The celebration will include flyovers by U.S. fighter jets, fireworks, tanks brought in from Fort Benning, Ga., and a speech by Trump at the Lincoln Memorial."
"The military brass have reacted to the partisan squabbling by hiding out and hoping it all blows over. Pentagon officials have declined to provide details about the tanks, planes and other military hardware requested by the administration, referring all questions about the event to the White House," The Post noted.
University of Denver political scientist Seth Masket sent out a highly-shared tweet "from a friend of a friend in the military."
"The parade of tanks became a static display of two Abrams put in place via flatbed trucks," the message read. "You have no idea how much pushback was required to achieve this change."
"It's basically the Pentagon telling the president, 'hell no' when they can't really tell him hell no. So when you see those two tanks sitting there, remember someone, probably several someones, risked their careers to prevent tanks from rolling down the streets of DC. The symbolism of this should not be underestimated," the message concluded.
Very important perspective on Trump’s tank display, from a friend of a friend in the military: https://t.co/oyqvLN84xc— Seth Masket (@Seth Masket) 1562172790.0