The eerily prescient Barack Obama remembers signing up for the draft when he graduated from high school in 1979; he also remembers giving serious thought to enlisting, telling George Stepanopoluos that
"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, honorable 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.”
Let's see - the Selective Service Act had lapsed and was reinstated in 1980; Obama actually registered in September 1980 at the post office in Hawaii, just around the start of his sophomore year at Occidental in California. In September of 1980 the US was not engaged in active military conflict but Iranians were holding Americans hostage at our embassy in Tehran and Jimmy Carter had boldly boycotted the Moscow Olympics in response to Soviet adventurism in Afghanistan. Peace in our time!
Obama's second memory, that he seriously considered enlisting, was not serious enough to merit a mention in "Dreams From My Father" (or "Audacity of Hope", apparently). Of course, that book was pitched to a different audience, so we shouldn't be surprised that he re-cuts his personal story to fit the current fashion.
As to whether it's true? Please - Obama recently gave a commencement address at Wesleyan with the theme of calling our nations youth to service and never mentioned the military as a way to serve our country. He skated towards thin ice a couple of times, as here:
Bringing an end to the slaughter in Darfur will involve navigating extremely difficult realities on the ground, even for those with the best of intentions.
At a time of war, we need you to work for peace.
But military service? No. Nowhere in this call to service does he acknowledge that joining the military is a valid way to serve our country. It simply was not on his radar in May of 2008 and I doubt it was on his radar at his graduation in 1979 or when he actually registered in 1980. It is a convenient memory and only he knows the truth of it.
Oh, well - I can't wait for October when Obama will put on a Republican-looking woodlands camo outfit and go duck hunting.
PILING ON: The Ace commiserates with Obama for his bad luck. Timing is everything.