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Obama thought about joining the military? I doubt it ... (update)
Posted by: McQ on Monday, September 08, 2008

I've been mulling this Obama response for a day or so now:
Speaking to ABC's "This Week," Obama said, "You know, I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school. And I was growing up in Hawaii, and I have friends whose parents were in the military. There are a lot of Army, military bases there. And I actually always thought of the military as an enobling and, you know, honorable option.

"But keep in mind — I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren't engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it's not an option that I ever decided to pursue."
Of course I can't call the guy an outright dissembler here, but there are a few reasons this claim just doesn't resonate with me at all.

Let's see - go to an elite ivy league college or join the military. Hmmm ....

And, it certainly wan't a choice likely to be considered in college.

As Dean Barnett said on Pundit Review Radio last night, this was not an option, not even something that was discussed, among graduates of elite universities at that time. Barnett, a grad of an ivy league school in that era, said he does not recall the military ever being an option discussed then or later. For most there was no ROTC program with which to pursue such an option since they had been run off campus and to imagine a grad of an elite university joining the military as an enlisted man in time of peace is simply ludicrous.

Secondly, as soon as I heard it I was reminded of Bill Clinton's claim that Hillary had explored joining the military. Obviously it is unfalsifiable and meant to lead one to believe that she sees the military as a viable option as well as burnishing her image. It was also immediately unbelievable. It was not where Hillary was headed at any time in her lifetime. That's the same reaction Obama's claim had on me.

Last, as mentioned it was something he threw out there in an attempt to burnish his image. If Obama thought about it, then the minions can take satisfaction that their choice was a good one. Of course, as usual, he thought about it while others actually did it. Apparently his claim of thinking about it is to be taken as something to be admired even if his opponent actually did it for 22 years.

But for a guy who thinks service is such an important thing to commit too, to blow off the military because it wasn't fighting a war simply underscores how little he understands the military or, for that matter, service. Part of service in the military, in fact the largest part, is being ready to go to war. That involves training, sacrifice, dedication, professionalism, competence and leadership. I'm not sure what Mr. Obama thinks the military does between wars, but I can promise you the Republican Guard does.

So I have to say, and this is just my opinion, I seriously doubt that serving in any capacity in the military ever crossed his mind after graduating from college. But I do know right now that there's a little smell of fear emanating from the Obama campaign, and I certainly know Obama will say just about anything he thinks will get him elected. And I'll leave it at that.

UPDATE: Looker makes an very telling point as well:
Well....first off...no he DIDN’T have to sign up when he graduated from High School.

I was born in the gap years of 57-59, and we’re the only ones who didn’t HAVE to sign up for selective service. I can recall the clerk at city hall giving me an odd look when I went to register in late 75 and was told there was no more selective service.

Re instituted under Carter in 1980, the selective service system didn’t commence signing up young men again until late July 1981.

So, he did have to sign up, but he was (at least) a sophomore in college when he did it. Somehow I’m thinking by that time he’d given up on his military career plans (heh).

Now that’s not to say he never contemplated military service, but selective service wouldn’t have been any kind of issue for him when he first graduated from High School, because there WAS none at the time.
So any pretense that this contemplation took place after high school as forced by the SS signup isn't likely at all.

And it's not like Barry didn't know where he was headed at graduation and it is unlikely, as looker points out, that his sophomore year at Columbia was one in which he was thinking, "Army, yeah. That's the ticket. And as a private too!"

UPDATE II: The Gonzman corrects the dates:
... the selective service registration was suspended in 1975 - and not re-instated until July 2, 1980.
 
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Well....first off...no he DIDN’T have to sign up when he graduated from High School.

I was born in the gap years of 57-59, and we’re the only ones who didn’t HAVE to sign up for selective service. I can recall the clerk at city hall giving me an odd look when I went to register in late 75 and was told there was no more selective service.

Re instituted under Carter in 1980, the selective service system didn’t commence signing up young men again until late July 1981.
So, he did have to sign up, but he was (at least) a sophomore in college when he did it. Somehow I’m thinking by that time he’d given up on his military career plans (heh).

Now that’s not to say he never contemplated military service, but selective service wouldn’t have been any kind of issue for him when he first graduated from High School, because there WAS none at the time.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
And I suspect, unlike yours truly, he didn’t wander into Oahu city hall and try to register for the draft when it no longer existed.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
We weren’t engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.
This is actually more telling than you think...

The "and so" gives it away.

Read it slowly, and it will dawn on you that he’s saying he didn’t join BECAUSE there was no active conflict. It is the LACK of that caused him to decide not to join...

He only wanted to join if there was a war...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Is "enobling" even a word? I guess it is now that the messiah has uttered it.
 
Written By: Captain Obviousness
URL: http://
He might have considered it ... for all of 2 seconds before deciding not to.
 
Written By: Jonathan
URL: http://
Speaking to ABC’s "This Week," Obama said, "You know, I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school. And I was growing up in Hawaii, and I have friends whose parents were in the military. There are a lot of Army, military bases there. And I actually always thought of the military as an enobling and, you know, honorable option.

"But keep in mind - I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren’t engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue."
I graduated in 1981. And since the selective service registration was suspended in 1975 - and not re-instated until July 2, 1980, I have distinct recollections of being in the first class after that who actually did have to register for the draft "when I graduated from high school."

Now, information has it that Barry did register on September 14, 1980 - but hardly "When he graduated from high school." Not till well over a year after.

Again - it’s the details like this that can sink candidacies. As a president, command of details before you run your mouth is essential. Barry has so far demonstrated he has problems with this.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
And looker does make a good point.

I wanted to go into the service. I tried. I could not get in. I have a curvature in my spine, and I am seven feet tall. At the time, thanks to Jimmy Carter absolutely castrating the military, the Military - the army in particular - was offeing people early retirement due to budget cuts, et. al. I tried the regular army, the reserves, the Guard - no go on all. I remember my frustration at the irony of having to register for the DRAFT - but not being able to VOLUNTEER.

Had this been any serious consideration of the Obamamessiah, there would be no confusion of such details now. Which is why this sh*t rings real false and disingenuous with me.

This is an unfalsifiable me-tooism.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
Thanks Gonz...I have my dates wrong - bit by a quick look at Wiki AGAIN.
When will I learn?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I "thought" about marrying Lucy Liu, several times, didn’t happen though...does my "thinking" about it make me more studly in your eyes?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
They started signing up again in July of 1980, not 81 as I incorrectly posted.

If he’s signed up in September....it could be he was considered ’late’, it appears there was a very small time frame when you were supposed to register based on your birth year until they went into continuous registration mode.

archive.gao.gov/d42t14/119032.pdf

If September was his date...he was late unless he had an exemption -


1-103. Persons born in calendar year 1961 shall present themselves for registration on any of the six days beginning Monday, July 28, 1980.


1-109. Persons who would have been required to present themselves for registration pursuant to Sections 1-101 to 1-108 but for an exemption pursuant to Section 3 or 6(a) of the Military Selective Service Act, as amended, or but for some condition beyond their control such as hospitalization or incarceration, shall present themselves for registration within 30 days after the cause for their exempt status ceases to exist or within 30 days after the termination of the condition which was beyond their control.
(same document)

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
(and where, exactly....lol....is Oahu city hall.....)
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Correction to the link I provided of the GAO report about registration numbers
http://archive.gao.gov/d42t14/119032.pdf
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
A bit of nuance: The Annointed One isn’t claiming that he ever considered joining up. Rather, he’s explaining why, despite having friends from military families and growing up in Hawaii around several military bases, "it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue".

And, honestly, that’s OK. Lots of people who are not neccessarily liberal scumbags DON’T join the Armed Forces. I’d even say that many people are not cut out for it and their presence in the ranks would be an outright detriment to efficiency and good order and discipline. Whether Obama would have made a good soldier when he was a young man is something we’ll never know, but I don’t get the sense that he grew up in an overly liberal household and would have approached military service with disdain. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he probably would have served just as honorably as millions of other American vets past and present. Who knows? At any rate, there’s no reason to think that he would have been a Slovic or a Calley. Too bad his character was formed by people like Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers and not somebody like my old sergeant major.

However, The Annointed One really needs to be careful about referring to military service as "honorable" and "enobling". Talk about irritating his base! They think that only rednecks who like to kill people join the military out of preference; anybody else who signs up is either a poor kid who is suckered by a lying recruiter or "takes the king’s shilling" out of economic desperation. In the eyes of the left, there’s absolutely NOTHING honorable or enobling about serving in the Armed Forces.

Ask Dick Durbin.
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
bit of nuance: The Annointed One isn’t claiming that he ever considered joining up. Rather, he’s explaining why, despite having friends from military families and growing up in Hawaii around several military bases, "it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue".
Ya know....it doesn’t appear HE ever used the words "I once considered joining the military", at least, I haven’t been able to find them if he did.
It appears to be the headliner’s interpretation of what was said.

...can’t blame Obama for that.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The truth be told that I once considered being a cowboy and an astronaut and a double-naught spy and a fairy prince and an army officer.

So does this mean I can be President too ?

Vote for me and I’ll set you free.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
So...NOW I find it....
Mr Obama was asked by George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s "This Week" programme whether he’d ever thought about military service and replied: "You know, I actually did. I had to sign up for Selective Service [a means of conscription in case of war] when I graduated from high school.

"And I was growing up in Hawaii. And I have friends whose parents were in the military. There are a lot of Army, military bases there.

"And I actually always thought of the military as an ennobling and, you know, honourable option. But keep in mind that I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren’t engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/barackobama/2700555/Barack-Obama-wanted-to-join-the-US-military.html
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
For most there was no ROTC program with which to pursue such an option since they had been run off campus...

At least at my alma mater, we had Army ROTC but Navy ROTC was also an option because it was offered at a neighboring school. So it may have been an option, albeit one he probably would have had to do some digging to find out about.

He only wanted to join if there was a war...

Unless the military is your chosen career, you pretty much put your career on hold while you’re active. That sacrifice makes sense during war, but not at all during peace.
 
Written By: ben
URL: x
Actually, I was born in the same year as Obama (1961). There was no selective service until mid-1980. It was amusing to watch the campus mood go from "nuke them until they glow" (It was Iranian hostage time) to "Hell no, we won’t go!" literally overnight when Carter proposed reinstituted registration.

Given the crowd he hung out with, I’ll bet money he was one of those who went out and marched against selective service registration (roughly 2500 at UCSD did - over 10% of the student body at the time, and we were a math, science, and engineering school).

Lots of pictures were taken of these marches, for both the college and local news. It wouldn’t require a large stroke of luck to find Obama in one of those pictures. The placards would likely authoritatively pinpoint exactly which march this was.

I think that would pretty much finish off this claim by "The One", at least in any context other than, "I encountered a recruiter who suggested it. I considered it and laughed."
 
Written By: Dan Melson
URL: http://www.searchlightcrusade.net/
" We weren’t engaged in an active military conflict at that point."

Perhaps a couple of hundred thousand troops serving in Europe had something to do with that. Or almost forty thousand in Korea, not to mention all the other little places. Evidently he thinks a standing peactime (or cold war) military is a waste of time. Deterrence? Nah.

"Mr Obama was asked by George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s "This Week" programme whether he’d ever thought about military service and replied: "You know, I actually did."

Was this the same time frame as his drug experimentation? He probably also considered flying, too.
 
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