The Obama campaign is out with a new web video that features the St. Louis, Mo victory parade welcoming the troops home held in January 2012.
But President Obama’s own Defense Department advised against Iraq victory parades, warning that they were inappropriate as troops were still in Afghanistan.
“The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, and Army Secretary McHugh and Army Chief of Staff General Odierno made it clear – we talked about it – they do not think a parade is appropriate now,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in January 2012, in response to calls by veterans organizations to hold a parade for Iraq war veterans in New York City.
The Defense Department did not criticize the St. Louis parade, for obvious reasons, but continued to advise against a New York City parade to honor the troops returning home from Iraq.
Craig Schneider, one of the St. Louis parade organizers, disagreed with the Pentagon’s argument. “We come to a disagreement, and it is a polite one, it’s a civil one, it’s a great one that we do so well in America in the sense that as civilians, sometimes we disagree with our military leadership,” he said in an NPR interview, in which he promoted the idea.
The Obama campaign video features the president’s promise to end the war in Iraq, combined with video footage of a welcome home parade held in St. Louis, Missouri. The video also features St. Louis parade co-organizer Tom Appelbaum who praises the president bringing the troops home.
As Jake Tapper notes, the video is additionally insensitive as today is the deadliest day of the year in Iraq, resulting in more than 100 people killed and more than 200 wounded.