President Trump’s critics spent much of this week handwringing over his request to put two tanks on the National Mall as part of his Fourth of July extravaganza to celebrate the U.S. armed forces.
As part of the celebration, which will include military flyovers and performances from each military branch, Trump requested that tanks be stationed at the mall.
Throughout the week, two M1A2 Abrams tanks, as well as two M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, were spotted being transported on a flatbed truck to the Mall.
Lawrence Tribe, a Harvard University professor, compared the two tanks on the Mall to the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.
“The resemblance to days before Tiananmen Square is chilling,” he wrote, suggesting that a brutal military crackdown was on the verge of occurring.
The resemblance to days before Tiananmen Square is chilling. https://t.co/cFJJZzL4F7
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) July 2, 2019
Comedian Bill Maher called the tanks part of a “Dictator Checklist”:
Tanks in the streets now? Shall we review the Dictator Checklist? You're a narcissist who likes to put his name on buildings…you appoint family members to key govt positions..your rallies are scary…you threaten to lock up political opponents..your friends are other dictators
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) July 2, 2019