After the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday that it was planning a military parade at the request of President Donald Trump, one retired general wasn’t having it.
In a statement for VoteVets, a progressive veterans group, retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton took the president to task for what he sees as a “worse example” of Trump’s “authoritarian tendencies.”
“For someone who just declared that it was ‘treasonous’ to not applaud him, and for someone who has, in the past, admired the tactics of everyone from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin, it is clear that a military parade isn’t about saluting the military — it is about making a display of the military saluting him,” Eaton said.
Eaton didn’t hold back in his harsh condemnation of the president’s request:
“The military is not Donald Trump’s to use and abuse in this way. Our military is the very best in the world — they are not to be reduced to stagecraft to prop up Donald Trump’s image. Any commander in chief who respects the traditions of the military would understand that.
Unfortunately, we do not have a commander in chief, right now, as much as we have a wannabe banana republic strongman.”
Before his retirement, Eaton served for 33 years, most recently working to re-establish and train the Iraqi security forces in 2004.
Talk of a military parade in Washington, D.C., was first reported on Tuesday by The Washington Post and later confirmed by the Pentagon.
“We are aware of the request and are in the process of determining specific details,” Defense Department spokesman Thomas Crosson said. “We will share more information throughout the planning process.”
“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” one military official told the Post. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”