Robert O’Neill, the former Navy SEAL famous for shooting Osama bin Laden in the face, happens to think President Donald Trump’s idea for a military parade through Washington, D.C. is equivalent to “third world bullshit.”
Cue the Morgan Freeman meme of “he’s right, you know.”
The good idea fairy-in-chief ordered his top generals back in January to start exploring the idea of a military parade through D.C., according The Washington Post, which he asked for after getting the parade treatment over in Paris. If there’s anything the U.S. military needs to do more, it’s to be more like France.
Just like an overwhelming majority of military members, it seems, the ex-SEAL Team 6 operator isn’t much of a fan. “A military parade is third world bullshit,” he tweeted on Feb. 8. “We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation.”
Of course, not everyone agrees. Take, for example, the case of Maj. Gen. Charlie Dunlap (Ret.), a former Air Force JAG-off who, I’m guessing, has never had to show up three hours early to formation due to “the general coming soon” or had to practice for weeks to march around in a dumb parade for a senior officer like himself.
Over at The Atlantic, Dunlap makes the case for a “big, beautiful parade,” which he says could potentially cure the ills of the civilian-military gap by giving “all Americans the chance to come together as a nation.” He also opines that a parade “could help sustain the morale of the force” that has sustained thousands killed and wounded since 9/11.
Yeah, there’s nothing better at building morale than making a bunch of soldiers and Marines march around like they are back at boot camp. Call me crazy, but perhaps we can help sustain the morale of the force that has sustained thousands killed and wounded by not continuing to send them to places such as the lost cause that is Afghanistan so they can get shot at in this generation’s Vietnam War.
The contrast between an enlisted sailor — O’Neill — and a senior officer — Dunlap — really couldn’t be any more apparent. On one side you have the common sense of “well this is a dumb idea” vs. the other world — the general officer who has for many years in uniform been sheltered from the realities of enlisted life, living in what amounts to a gated community, as my friend Alex Horton wrote on Twitter.
This dumb parade idea doesn’t come down to the civilian-military gap. It comes down to an enlisted-officer one.
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