00:08 GMT +323 June 2018
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    President Donald Trump smiles during State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 in Washington

    Activist: Trump's Military Parade an ‘Obscene Attempt' to ‘Normalize Militarism'

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    US President Donald Trump got the okay to have his war parade, but it's not going to include any military tanks since they'd likely damage Washington, DC, streets, according to a March 8 Pentagon memo released Friday.

    The memo states that the parade will "include wheeled vehicles only, no tanks — consideration must be given to minimize damage to local infrastructure."

    Aside from the "no tanks" order, the memo indicates that the parade will wrap up with a "heavy air component" that may include older aircraft as a nod to the contributions of veterans throughout US history.

    Ajamu Baraka, a longtime human rights activist and the 2016 Green Party nominee for vice president of the United States, told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear that the parade is "really an obscene attempt to continue the process of normalizing militarism in this culture."

    ​"This notion that the US is going to flex its muscle by displaying its long history of military aggression and… displaying various kinds of weapons right in the middle of a national conversation around the issue of guns and violence… it really becomes a slap in the face to all of those who are concerned about the normalization of militarism and violence in this culture," he told show hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou.

    "It's really something that needs to be opposed because the ideological objective, in my opinion, is to continue the process of normalizing and accepting violence."

    For Baraka, the planned parade is also an opportunity to show "that there is still a viable anti-war, anti-imperialist and pro-peace movement here in this country."

    "We want to demonstrate that substantial sectors of the American people are not going to allow themselves to be manipulated into this grotesque reflection of American dominance… and we don't need to continue to waste these enormous resources that are being transferred from the public straight into the pockets of the military industrial complex," the activist told Becker. "The cost of this parade itself could feed all of the homeless vets here in this country… this continues the squandering of the public's resources to advance militarism and to protect the interest of the one percent."

    "These are the kinds of opportunities we need to really engage in the national conversation to demonstrate that the interest of the Trump administration and the bipartisan neoliberal crowd in DC are completely opposed to the interests of most of us here in this country," he added.

    At the end of the day, the decision to use funds to pay for a parade instead of helping homeless veterans show that politicians, including Trump, "care nothing about the lives of these human beings."

    "If people really did care about the lives of the vets they would oppose all of these examples of militarism because we know that when these young men and women are being sent off to die for the 1 percent… it becomes more than one can bare and we see the consequence of that with these continued suicides," he continued.

    "If you care about the troops, if you care about basic morality, then you'll oppose all of these examples of militarism in this culture."

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    military parade, Donald Trump, United States
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