The Pentagon released a memorandum Thursday announcing that Pr*sident Trump will get the military parade he directed the Pentagon to organize. But it’s going to be a watered-down affair because D.C. city leaders were all worried about tank treads and other heavy equipment tearing up the streets. That has got to be disappointing to the Commander-in-Tweet who ordered the parade into existence after being awed by what he saw on his visit to France last summer where he was the guest of honor at the annual Paris Bastille Day event:
The memo says the parade will integrate with the annual DC Veterans Day parade and focus on the contributions of US veterans from the Revolutionary War to today “with an emphasis on the price of freedom.” The parade will “include wheeled vehicles only, no tanks,” the memo said, adding that “consideration must be given to minimize damage to local infrastructure.”It will, however, involve “a heavy air component” with military aircraft flying overhead at the end of parade, including older aircraft “as available,” the memo said.
Nobody has reported whether Trump flew into one of his patented rages at this news. But surely he was grumpy for the rest of day.
There’s an alternative to the wimpy parade the generals have planned.
The North Koreans regularly put together just the kind of military parade that would delight Trump. They don’t skimp on the spectacle. Thousands of goose-stepping soldiers, marching and dancing civilians wearing coordinated colors, schoolchildren singing patriotic songs, and lots of rolling hardware, including tanks and mobile missile launchers, are part of these celebrations.
Since surprising Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the rest of the diplomatic corps, and all of his aides by announcing that he would accept North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s invitation to have face-to-face talks, Trump has back-pedaled, saying that Kim must first “denuclearize.” That retreat comes, in part, because the so-called leader of the free world doesn’t seem to have been aware (or remember) that what he impulsively agreed to is precisely the kind of no pre-conditions meeting that Kim has been seeking all along. Truly a diplomatic coup for the North Korean leader. So now comes this White House attempt to set some conditions before going ahead with the meeting.
If it is to happen, the most likely place would be at the House of Peace in the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. Other places—Europe, Beijing, Seoul, Pyongyang—have too many negatives, although Geneva would seem a reasonable choice since Switzerland is Kim’s old stomping grounds from his school days.
But the Supreme Leader could score another diplomatic victory if he let Trump know that if the meeting were held in Pyongyang, he would provide the pr*sident with the kind of welcome the Saudis did, decking him out with more flashy medals than veteran North Korean generals display, providing a personal performance by a regiment of North Korea’s high-kicking, mini-skirted women soldiers, and setting him up with a perch from which to watch all that military gear pass in review.
However, you just know the stodgy old spoilsports at the Secret Service would put the nix on any such visit no matter how much the idea makes the squatter in the White House drool.