Friday, September 29, 2017

Trump's Big CON: It's All About the Show, Military Parade Edition

UPDATE:  Here is a description of the event in July:

"For two hours [on a July 14] morning, President Trump looked happy.

He was the honored guest at Paris’s Bastille Day military parade and had a prime seat that gave him a view straight down Avenue des Champs-Elysees and a first glimpse at the tanks, armored vehicles, gun trucks, carriers and troops in historical uniforms headed his way.

He eagerly leaned forward as he took in the spectacle, frequently jostling his wife or French President Emmanuel Macron when he saw something that particularly delighted him. Whenever troops were before him, Trump jumped to his feet and applauded with an enthusiasm that exceeded the response of those around him. . .

The parade is an annual tradition that dates back to 1880, and this year it included a tribute to the centennial anniversary of the United States entering World War I. The parade featured U.S. and French flags, 200 American troops marching in uniforms from 1917 and eight U.S. Air Force planes. . .

Trump has long been delighted by grand displays of military strength, and he has filled his Cabinet with numerous military leaders, although he was disappointed that they could not wear their military uniforms to their new civilian jobs in the administration. Trump wanted to have heavy military equipment and troops at his inauguration parade in January, but that idea was blocked for logistical reasons.

When Macron invited Trump to the parade in a June 27 phone call, the president promised to be there — forcing his staff to quickly scramble to plan a last-minute trip.

The two-hour parade featured one spectacle after another, a demonstration of France’s military history and current capabilities. The parade began with dozens of soldiers on horseback riding along the cobblestone avenue that runs from the Arc de Triomphe to the viewing station where Trump sat. Macron arrived in a military jeep that he rode as if it were a chariot.

At least three military bands took turns playing a parade soundtrack, and massive screens showed an action-movie-style video that explained the significance of the equipment on display, from vintage tanks that slowly and noisily charged down the avenue to a sleek new armored vehicle from which a handful of troops emerged to act out a mission.

There was then a roar in the sky as nine fighter jets flew overhead, leaving a trail of red, white and blue smoke — representing the French tricolor flag. Dozens of other planes followed. The video screens played footage taken from on board as well as wide shots showing the jets flying over iconic Paris sites.

Trump watched the show in awe, as did [an] 8-year-old . . .

After the air show came the hundreds of troops in vintage uniforms, starting with 200 marchers wearing U.S. uniforms from World War I. Suddenly, the sky filled with helicopters. Afterward, police on motorcycles came speeding down the avenue, followed by a seemingly never-ending stream of heavy military equipment, small jeeps, armored vehicles of all sizes, tanks, flatbed trucks hauling bulldozers and even more tanks. It felt like the grand finale of a fireworks show, as military equipment continued to appear.

There were red emergency response vehicles and a brass band riding horses as they played."

Read the Washington Post, Trump revels in French military pomp far from White House turmoil.

"President Trump's trip to France for the country's Bastille Day parade in July left a big impression. So big, in fact, that he wants to replicate the experience back home.

As Trump met Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron, the commander in chief gushed about seeing France's military might on display in the streets of Paris during his visit. And he told reporters he is looking into the possibility of having a parade down the streets of Washington on Independence Day to show the United States' 'military strength.'

'I was your guest at Bastille Day, and it was one of the greatest parades I've ever seen,' Trump told Macron, who sat next to him. 'It was two hours on the button, and it was military might and, I think, a tremendous thing for France and the spirit of France.'

'To a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July Fourth in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue,' Trump said.

The comments prompted laughter from Macron and other officials sitting around them. The leaders were meeting in New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly. But it wasn't the first time Trump has talked about wanting a military parade in the streets of Washington.

Before the inauguration, Trump officials inquired with the Pentagon about having armored vehicles participate in his inauguration parade, according to documents obtained by HuffPost. And he told The Washington Post in January that he hoped that during his tenure, U.S. military might would be on display.

'Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country,' Trump said in the January interview. 'And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military.'

'That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military,' he added."

Read the Washington Post, Trump says he wants a massive military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on July 4.

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