Was Muhammad Ali a Draft Dodger or a Hero?
By: Ken Hissner
In April of 1967 Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay refused to take the oath to enter the military. He questioned why he should go to Viet-Nam and kill brown people who did him no harm
New York Jet quarterback Joe Namath avoided induction because “I have bad knees!” An NFL QB who puts his body on the line every time he goes onto the field?
In August of 1964 Bill Clinton registers for the draft. In September he enters Georgetown University. In November he is classified 2-S receiving a student deferment. February of 1968 the Johnson Administration did away with deferments for college students. The same LBJ who kept the war in Viet-Nam going as his wife Lady Byrd received monies for any damaged rubber trees in Viet-Nam as owner in part of Michelin Tires per “About Face” book by Col. Hackworth.
August of 1969 Clinton classification changed to 1-D as he nears entering the ROTC at University of Arkansas of which he never entered but to kill draft notice. He goes to UK as a Rhodes Scholar and while there organizes and led anti-war demonstrations in London. He went as far as going to Russia to avoid draft.
In 1990 Muhammad Ali flies to Iraq to meet with Iraq President Saddam Hussein.
The bottom line was Ali was granted the release of 15 hostages to bring back to the US. If Ali was in the military at the time he would have received the Medal of Honor.
President Obama refers to this as Ali bringing home 14 hostages. That’s still 14 or 15 more than he or any other President brought back. Paying $400,000 each for 4 hostages didn’t count with most of us Americans. No one ever paid for hostages by Islamic terrorists or Communist parties. “Was Ali a Draft Dodger or a Hero?”
This writer served in the US Army from 1965-1967. I didn’t like for those who were avoiding the draft by deferments or going to Canada at the time. My orders to Ft. Dix, NJ, would most likely have sent me to Viet-Nam. The night I was leaving for leave prior to reporting for duty at Ft. Dix I was told “Hissner, you must be a good typist, you lucky you staying here”. Here I thought? In this redneck south? I arrived in June of 1965 a New York Yankee fan and was referred to as a “damn Yankee”. I replied “what’s your problem, they got a good baseball team!”
His reply was “we ain’t talkin about a baseball team. We talking about you!” Me? I spent 2 miserable years at Ft. Jackson, SC, and fought with the rednecks the whole time until release. Then in October of 1967 went “from the frying pan into the fire and got married!