Tag Archives: Militarism

Defense Sec. Memo Confirms Trump’s Military Parade

Washington, D.C.— A memorandum for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued on March 8, confirms that a Veterans Day military parade requested by President Trump last month will be held in honor of U.S. military veterans and provides “initial guidance” for the planning of the parade.

“This parade will focus on the contributions of our veterans throughout our history of the U.S. Military, starting from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, to today, with an emphasis on the price of freedom,” the memo stated.

The memo included a list of “considerations provided by the Secretary of Defense” including plans to “highlight the evolution of women Veterans” and assurances that tanks would not be included in the event in an effort to “minimize damage to local infrastructure.” The D.C. Council had previously tweeted their objection “Tanks but No Tanks.”

The document goes on to note that Veteran and Medal of Honor recipients will surround the President in the Capitol reviewing area, and there will be a “heavy air component at the end of the parade.”

While the document doesn’t provide a cost estimate, last month the White House budget director gave a preliminary estimate to the House Budget Committee and said the parade could cost between $10 to $30 million.

Despite having the largest and most powerful military force in the history of humanity, military parades in the U.S. are rare, with the last taking place after the first Gulf War in 1991 at a price tag of roughly $12 million (not adjusted for inflation).

In early February, President Donald Trump told his generals to begin preparing for a military parade in Washington, D.C., reportedly inspired by the French Bastille Day parade he watched in Paris over the summer. Opponents criticized the idea of holding a military parade, likening it to militaristic displays in states such as Russia or China. Politico reported there was broad bipartisan pushback— with politicians on both sides of the aisle calling it a waste of money that would break with democratic traditions. A poll conducted by Military Times claimed that 88 percent of 100,000 respondents opposed the parade and “said the military has more important needs to address.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders refuted those notions, stating that Trump’s intention was to have “a celebration” of the military and that “President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe.”

The Trump administration has appointed numerous high-ranking military leaders into roles in the White House and cabinet, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

Ron Paul Challenges Militarism, Drug War as He Live-Tweets Trump’s SOTU Address

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday evening, former Congressman Dr. Ron Paul announced on his Twitter page that he would be live-tweeting President Trump’s State of the Union speech. Paul then proceeded to critically assess the speech with his liberty-based perspective.

Trump’s address began as a ceremonious introduction expected of an imperial celebration; to begin his speech, Trump called for bipartisan unity, which Paul presciently noted was potentially a bad idea, if the “coming together” included “bad foreign policy, bad monetary policy, deficit financing, massive military spending and foreign entanglements.”

A liberty icon and champion of individual freedom, Paul has steadfastly worked to call out federal government expansion throughout his decades of government service.

Next, Trump briefly touched on healthcare, claiming that Americans with “terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.” Trump’s words stand in contrast to his actions, particularly his appointment of Jeff Sessions, who has revived the federal war on cannabis – a critical medicine for many ill patients across the U.S. – after campaigning on a promise to leave the decision to legalize marijuana up to states.

A short time later, Trump went on to claim:

“My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.”

Paul, known as a strong constitutionalist, was quick to call out Trump’s ideals, noting that the “prime function of Federal government is NOT protecting our safety! It is the preservation of our Liberty.”

Paul noted Liberty as “that forgotten word.” The reason for this tweet is simple, as it was only spoken by Trump once as he discussed protecting “religious liberty.” Additionally, as Matt Agorist of The Free Thought Project noted, “the word ‘freedom’ was only mentioned six times and it was purely symbolic, referring to foreign countries and statues in Washington.”

The one common theme that was mentioned quite frequently by Trump was the projection of strength and power, which Paul noted equated to “ more spending to enrich the military-industrial complex.”

“Unmatched power is the surest means of our defense,” declared Trump, who then went on to say, “As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.”

Trump went on to say the Federal government needs more power to detain terrorists, despite the PATRIOT Act and NDAA already allowing for virtually groundless indefinite detention.

“I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever we chase them down. Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement. Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans,” Trump stated.

Trump then pivoted to discussion of Iran and North Korea. “When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom,” Trump stated.

“North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland,” Trump continued. “We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening. Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this very dangerous position.”

Ron Paul didn’t mince his words in response:

Paul concluded that Trump’s address was a “glorification of militarism and an aggressive foreign policy.”

Wrapping up his twitterstorm, Paul noted that Congress “members’ over-enthusiastic response to militarism” was extremely discouraging.