Cassius Clay: The Unapologetic Draft Dodger

Posted June 4th, 2016 by Iron Mike

Why should boxing champion Cassius Clay have been any better than the 7,115 Black troops who met their maker in Vietnam?
Cassius Clay and Bill Clinton draft dodgers
Forgive my bitterness,  but what did America’s most high-profile [after Bill Clinton] draft dodger ever do for any of those troops after the war?

Vietnam was a long,  ugly war led by three utterly incompetent US Presidents….abetted by some feckless generals and admirals who never understood the nature of the fight or the guile of our foe.

Vietnam combat

Those three presidents, – Kennedy, – Johnson, and finally Nixon never had any intention of WINNING.

They just wanted to ‘contain Communist aggression’…so they each in turn commanded [or tried to ‘manage’] a half-hearted attempt to halt an Asian war with Western technology.

Even with mounting casualty figures they couldn’t see that their strategy was flawed and their tactics weren’t working.

Only Nixon ever came close to understanding the difference between strategy and tactics….and he came within a few days of winning when he unleashed our B-52s on Hanoi….

But in 1967,  young men were being drafted in large numbers,  – and there was corruption in many southern draft boards,  – where white boys were allowed to join local Guard and Reserve units,  – and black boys were drafted as cannon fodder.

And Cassius Clay refused to be drafted.  He even flunked the mental exam.  He was convicted and got a 5-year sentence,  which in due time the Supreme Court overturned.

I guess the justices were boxing fans….

So in the years to follow,…what did Clay – now renamed Muhammad Ali, – ever do for Black Vietnam War veterans – for the young men who went in his place….because he claimed that his new religion forbade him to participate in a war...?

His net worth – from fights and endorsements is estimated between $50 – $80 Million,…

We know how much Bill Clinton used his money to help troubled and impoverished Vietnam veterans…..

Black troops in Vietnam

So forgive me if I don’t mourn the death of Clay,  – and if I’m looking forward to celebrating the eventual death from Aids of Bill Clinton….

11 Responses to “Cassius Clay: The Unapologetic Draft Dodger”

  1. Panther 6

    Mike; In Muhammed Ali’s case he made his own mess. Had he gone into the Army he would have been a travelling circus giving boxing demo’s and talking with the troops.

    I doubt he would have ever heard a shot in anger unless the Army put him on a tour in Nam.

  2. Iron Mike

    Yes Sir,…

    But in 1958 – in the middle of the Cold War, – Elvis quietly went and did his duty….
    Elvis in Fort Knox

  3. Hawk1776

    Clay was a great fighter. When he was suspended the only people left to fight were either not ready or over the hill. He would have remained undefeated for a long, long, time. Unfortunately the radical black Muslims got to him shortly after he won the championship. He turned and became Muhammed Ali. He spent the years of his suspension in Chicago, learning the islamic way. Sort of like Obama. Funny how this all circles back.

  4. John Pagel

    No tears from me for the COWARD Ali. I can’t help but wonder if the man that replaced him in the draft went to Vietnam and if he returned home alive?


    no man can deny his boxing ability or showmanship,that said he became a poor example as a black man with his star power used it so selflessly.The example he could have set for others would have led to his overall status.Now sorry to say for me he was a fie boxer /entertainer and a poor example of a american.

  6. Jimbp

    Cassius Clay converted to Islam in 1964. His problems with the the draft board didn’t happen until 1966. The Supreme Court merely upheld his contention that he was a conscientious objector.

    To quote the by then Mohammed Ali,

    “War is against the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. I’m not trying to dodge the draft. We are not supposed to take part in no wars unless declared by Allah or The Messenger. We don’t take part in Christian wars or wars of any unbelievers.”

    Panther 6 proved that Ali was a man of conviction. He would have never been sent to Nam. He knew that. Yet, he still defended his personal beliefs and was willing to go to jail as a conscientious objector.

    I would have loved to see Mr. Pagel call Ali a coward to his face. Like THAT would have ever happended! Calling a dead man a coward doesn’t have any consequences. Pathetic!

    And finally, there’s Bud. What’s a fine example of an American? Someone that just blindly does what they’re told? Kill people when you know it’s morally wrong?

    You know what bothered me about Cassius Clay? His unrelenting taunting of his opponents. However, his stance on the Vietnam War was spot-on.

    He had the courage to say so long before it became popular. And, he paid a high price for doing so. Not as high as those that died in Vietnam. But, it did cost him.

    Personally, I got lucky. I had a deferment from 1967 thru 1971. And, then got a ridiculously high draft lottery number.

    And, my priest would have sent my draft board a letter confirming my conscientious objector status. Two million civilian deaths doesn’t qualify as a “Just War”.

    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    Tried to send you a private answer Jim, – but you were a coward and left a phony email address. Do it again and you’ll be sent to the spam catcher…

    >> my priest would have sent my draft board
    >> a letter confirming my conscientious objector
    >> status. Two million civilian deaths doesn’t
    >> qualify as a “Just War”.

    So all these years later you’re still offering ‘justification’ for your own cowardice…?

    You didn’t offer to go over as a medic, or with the USO or the Red Cross…? Or with Catholic Charities? You were just ‘too intelligent’ to get caught up in ‘an unjust war’…?

    So the South Vietnamese have lived under the Communist boot for these 41 years – two generations, and 1.5 million Cambodians were butchered…and you’re still smug about sitting safely at home – hiding behind your priest….

    Clay was conscientious all right, conscientious about staying home, – living in comfort, and making money.

  7. John Pagel

    Alive or dead Ali was a coward, saying that to his face would be nothing compared to doing a tour in Vietnam in an Infantry platoon in 1965.

  8. Clinton ma tea party

    Not doing your duty is not doing your duty.

  9. Victor

    Iron Mike, what about Donald Trump, draft dodger?

    ? ? ? ? ? ?

    Trump had 4 years of student deferments [legal] then when he got his notice he reported for induction – only to have the govt doctor re-classify him 1-Y for bone spurs.

    At least he reported.

    Clay refused to be inducted, deliberately flunked the mental exam, and Clinton defrauded the govt when he signed up for ROTC – then went to England.

    Romney: Student deferment
    Cheney: Student deferment
    Gingrich: Married w/ 1 child
    Joe Biden: Student deferment
    Eric Holder: Student deferment
    Bernie Sanders: Conscientious Objector
    Jerry Brown: Draft dodger

  10. Kojack

    Excellent comments and perspectives here, however, I have to agree with you, Mike. Ali was a great boxer but that’s all.

    Converting to islam, as many CRIMINALS do in prison, is a way of rebelling against the system and the society they prey upon. More over, whether they realize it or not, they are choosing a violent, 6th century, male dominated “civilization” over a modern western one.

    One of the more ludicrous things that Ali did was proclaiming that “islam is a religion of peace” after 9/11.

    Finally, so the “religion” of isis prohibits it’s members from participating in war?!?!? That’s rich!

  11. james zurbriggen

    Why would any black person fight for America back in the 60s when they were not free in their own country. Couldn’t eat in most restaurants or drink out of drinking fountains, had to sit in back of busses and lots more discrimination. He was the only black person courageous enough to take a stand. RIP to the GREATEST OF ALL TIME in and out of the ring