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Forum Post: muhammed ali on vietnam

Posted 1 year ago on Oct. 6, 2012, 9:39 a.m. EST by flip (5436)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Here is a famous quote by Muhammad Ali from after he was arrested for refusing to be conscripted into the U.S. military and Vietnam War. He had been found guilty on draft evasion charges, was stripped of his boxing title, had his boxing license suspended, and faced jail time.

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”



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[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3280) 1 year ago

Muhammed Ali is a true hero of our country and anyone who says different can see me in the ring!

[-] 2 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

i will pay to watch!

[-] 3 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Excellent post. On topic and just as important today.

Ali got it right. A just war he would choose to fight and he did. His own corrupt government. We need to continue to fight the same war he did, just as bravely and just as openly.

[-] 3 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

Ali: "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong."

I ain't got no quarrel with them Pakistanis.

I ain't got no quarrel with them Taliban.

I ain't got no quarrel with them Iranians.

END THE WARS NOW!! No to new wars!

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

Great Post. Is Iran next on the endless list of countries we think we have a right to punish because they won't bow down to corporate interests?

[-] 2 points by WSmith (4187) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago


Ali was right, Vietnam was a total mistake which we swore we would never make again. Then Bush-Cheney exploited 9-11 and lied us into two more! America, quit being such dupes! And don't be dupes this November! No more keys to GOPs!

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

that's right we have a president that won the nobel peace prize - right?

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago


[-] -1 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

Vietnam was all Democrat. Kennedy, then Johnson. Nixon inherited it and ended it.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

America got involved in Vietnam in 1950
ground troops in 1965

are you stating Nixon was a Democrat?
that he did not invade Cambodia?

the blame for this disaster can be spread to many people
IMHO Johnaon & Nixon - who took 6 years to end it

In 1954, when the French pulled out of Vietnam, Nixon was Eisenhower’s Vice President and the first senior elected politician to speak in favor of sending American troops the Indochina. Nixon praised himself as the politician having visited Southeast Asia more often than any other. His approach, however, was determined by the Domino Theory, which he strongly believed in.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (4187) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

It was a terrible mistake for America and a boondoggle for a greedy MIC which, with the help of RW hysterics whipped-up over the Red Threat, led to our aid to the French and our eventual direct involvement. We all thought we had learned an important lessen in Vietnam to never repeat such horrible military blunders. But a cabal of RW (Cheney-Rumsfeld) zealots and capitalists proved us wrong, and made a KILLING doing it. Vietnam was a RW invention, the result of lies, paranoia and greed, so the culpability of both parties is shared but in NO WAY EQUALLY. Nixon erroneously gets credit for popular decisions, like the EPA and ending Vietnam. He was merely an opportunist who claimed progressive policies that were going forward with or without him. They provided cover for his pet project, the New World Order, which Shock Doctrine was an experimental part of, and poor Chile was the guinea pig. Now they are using it on us.

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

would you mind explaining how many nixon killed (not americans ) and how he ended it - could you do that. what caused him to end it - did he kill enough to win it or did he just kill enough to make himself and henry feel good about things?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

LOL! Oh, and then there was the Kennedy assasination thing. Seems Kennedy didn't want to do Nam. Dulles Bro's didn't like that. Neither did Hoover.

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

we disagree there - kennedy was not pulling out - check out chomsky on the subject

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

Interesting. My memory may be playing tricks on me there. I'll do that.

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

lots of people were pushing that idea a while ago - parenti for one but i don't think it flies - chomsky wrote a book on the subject -"rethinking camelot" if i remember correctly

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

Chomsky's facts are always reliable. I'm certain, personally, about the coup'de ta (sp) however.

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

i agree that he was most likey taken out by those inside the government and there was a cover up. the question (for me anyway)is did they do it becasue he was too left - i doubt it

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

I just think he wasn't sufficienctly under control, not that he was too far left. Kennedy was no leftist. His brother Ted more so. I think it was an issue of controlling democracy, and that's when control was finally, firmly established.

[-] -1 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

Would YOU mind explaining how Nixon/Vietnam is any different than Obama/Iraq and Afghanistan?

You Libtards are as dishonest as they come.

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

i am not an obama supporter - he is to the right of nixon - so we agree on iraq etc now can you answer my question

[-] 1 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago


I am not sure of what you want. Nixon ended it.

[-] 2 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

i would like an answer to my question. i will repeat it (not sure why) and hope you will try to answer it - would you mind explaining how many nixon killed (not americans ) and how he ended it - could you do that. what caused him to end it - did he kill enough to win it or did he just kill enough to make himself and henry feel good about things?

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

I would guess he killed thousands. My link described how he ended it, so maybe you are reading handicapped.

The last question is ridiculous. He clearly was trying to win the war, so thats why he was killing the Cong. You re trying to create some totally stupid nefarious sinister rreason where none exists. Kennedy started the war, Johnson escalated it. Nixon ended it. Thats fact.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

No mention of the clandestine bombing of Cambodia by Nixon?

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (1877) 1 year ago

And Laos. I thought killing was nore than a million.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34889) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

By Pol Pot and the Khmer rouge? Yes many millions - see the killing fields.

[-] -1 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

And thats pertinent to Nixon ending Kennedy's war how?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34889) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Goes to number of deaths resulting from the conflict.

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

It was a war, people die, the blood is on Kennedy and Johnson. DEMOCRATS.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34889) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Such a black and white condemnation of a conflict/war where as you say people die. But all of the dead were not killed by American action.

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago


[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

Big deal. A movie.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Having fun, TR? (OLL)

[-] -2 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

Trolling? You libturds ( i agree use of retard is wrong) want to blame Nixon for a war started by Kennedy? These are facts that arent in dispute. I love ypu turds arguing against FACTS!

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago


[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

You said that Nixon ended it, when what he was really doing was ordering the blanket-bombing of a neutral country, without congressional awareness. Treason, in other words.

[-] -1 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

Kennedy started it. Nixon ended it.

Kennedy Bay of Pigs.

Whats the problem?

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (13105) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

you're a lyin fuck and a partisan scumbag

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

And this sad story means what? Kennedy was a hawk who got us into Nam, Johnson escalated it and Nixon ended it. These are facts.

[-] 3 points by ZenDog (13105) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

we were already in Nam - pressure from the Pentagon got us there.

Wiki - Transition Period

Vietnam was temporarily partitioned at the 17th parallel, and under the terms of the Geneva Accords, civilians were to be given the opportunity to move freely between the two provisional states for a 300-day period. Elections throughout the country were to be held in 1956 to establish a unified government.[84] Around one million northerners, mainly minority Catholics, fled south, fearing persecution by the communists[85] following an American propaganda campaign using slogans such as "The Virgin Mary is heading south",[86] and aided by a U.S. funded $93 million relocation program, which included ferrying refugees with the Seventh Fleet.[87] It is estimated that as many as two million more would have left had they not been stopped by the Viet Minh.[88] The northern, mainly Catholic refugees were meant to give the later Ngô Đình Diệm regime a strong anti-communist constituency.[89] Diem later went on to staff his administration's key posts mostly with northern and central Catholics.

Wiki - The Kennedy Years

In the 1960 U.S. presidential election, Senator John F. Kennedy defeated Vice-President Richard Nixon. Although Eisenhower warned Kennedy about Laos and Vietnam, Europe and Latin America "loomed larger than Asia on his sights."[125] In his inaugural address, Kennedy made the ambitious pledge to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and success of liberty."[126] In June 1961, he bitterly disagreed with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev when they met in Vienna to discuss key U.S.-Soviet issues.

The Kennedy administration remained essentially committed to the Cold War foreign policy inherited from the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. In 1961, the U.S. had 50,000 troops based in Korea, and Kennedy faced a three-part crisis – the failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the construction of the Berlin Wall, and a negotiated settlement between the pro-Western government of Laos and the Pathet Lao communist movement.[127] These made Kennedy believe that another failure on the part of the United States to gain control and stop communist expansion would fatally damage U.S. credibility with its allies and his own reputation. Kennedy was thus determined to "draw a line in the sand" and prevent a communist victory in Vietnam. He told James Reston of The New York Times immediately after his Vienna meeting with Khrushchev, "Now we have a problem making our power credible and Vietnam looks like the place."[128][129]

. . . .

Kennedy's policy toward South Vietnam rested on the assumption that Diem and his forces must ultimately defeat the guerrillas on their own. He was against the deployment of American combat troops and observed that "to introduce U.S. forces in large numbers there today, while it might have an initially favorable military impact, would almost certainly lead to adverse political and, in the long run, adverse military consequences."131


you fukin right wing scumbags always lie

He didn't get us there - we were there at least five years before he was elected. The domino theory was the rage at the Pentagon, he accepted it - they pushed it.

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

you do know eisenhower started it don't you?

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

he killed thousands - wow - do you realize how far off you are. can't say i am surprised since here in the land of the free and home of the brave we only count our dead. took him 7 years to end it! i could have ended it in one day - so could mcgovern. google the plain of jars and see what you think - do you think?

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Amen, Cassius Clay.

[-] 2 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

i happen to like his muslim name rather than his slave name - what a guy he was to do that in that era - my era, the 60's!

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

Yeah, nobody dared calling him a coward because he had the guts to stand for his convictions! LOL!

They called the rest of us cowards though.

[-] 3 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

they did for a while - that was the "greatest generation" that said "go to russia" - yea the greatest generation that watched black people get lynched and never said a word

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

Jeez, you're right. They did, didn't they.

They also blamed war resisters for the trauma of returning veterans. Some things are downright painful to remember.

[-] 3 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

i still hear the bullshit about protestors spitting on vets - i will never believe it. i saw for myself how they were treated. so much propaganda in this country (europe is not so much different) and revisionist history - very hard to deal with but i lived through some of it so they cannot fool me!

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

Revisionist history is right.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

I don't think most of white America appreciated his stance back then. I loved it when he was chosen to light the flame at the summer Olympic games in Atlanta.

[-] 2 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

he was hated in 1964 but by 69 - after the youth rose up - he was the man! what a time that was - my days in the park reminded me of that time

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Good morning. The "park"....do you mean Zuccotti? I remember thinking, gee finally people have woken up. For me when Ali lit the Olympic torch in Atlanta, it was a vindication for a man whoo stood up for his principles...much more so than for him being a great fighter.

Were you in the "park" on a Saturday?


[-] 2 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

yes i mean zuccotti and no i have not been back since they took it out. well just once anyway. it was very lively and interesting - very different from this site. if you got into a discussion and ran some bullshit you would not last long - too many people who wanted to hear how the world really works

[-] 3 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

The closest to rekindling that feeling, when the 'park' had inhabitants was the night of S17 after a great week-end. It was a beautiful night with people from all over the country there. They had great lasagna, and birthday cakes too! As usual, but more so that night, I hated to leave, as it was truly a beautiful night. You would be 'exposed' then too, if you had tried to' pull it out of your ass.'

After leaving, I went to do 'jail watch' for a friend who had been arrested. At the same time, I found out that he had already been released, a young lady came out crying. She was very traumatized after having been released. I gave her my phone so that she could call her husband. Still crying, I decided to escort her to GC, so that she could catch her train home to New Haven, CT. I waited on the platform. As the train started to roll, she blew me a kiss, and held her hand to her heart. I did the same. We were both in tears.

As I walked across town on my way to the PA, passing by the bright lights of Times Square, i wondered how many of the people that I had passed... ever... in their lives stood up for something that they believe in....in the way that she, and my friend had.

[-] 3 points by Renneye (3319) 1 year ago

Bravery is beautiful....and real. A wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

You're welcome. It was a great way to end a a wonderful week-end in NY.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Hey, at least he fought in your time zone.

My father would wake me up at 2am to watch Cassius fight.

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

true i have that advantage over you but does that account for the slave name or are you a frazier fan

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Was it a slave name?

I really had no idea. I had just got my tongue around shouting Cassius Clay, and things changed.

Dad did like the Ali song though.

I was just a waif, with big plans of strapping on the gloves.

[-] 2 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

yes almost all of the names for blacks at that time were taken from their slave holders. did you think the africans were named washington and douglas etc? can't blame them, i don't think for not wanting to carry the name of those who "owned" them. lots of them were fathered by the onwers etc - what a mess it must have been

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Flip, I taught construction training in remote indigenous communities.

One of my trainees was called Freddy Scrubby. I taught all three of his sons.

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

so the aboriginal people were named for their ability to do things - like smith and mason in england?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Not to my knowledge.

Those that could find out their heritage did just that.

I've dealt with dozens of Campbells, and Rosses, so there's some Scots blood in there. Lots of German influence as well as Chinese and Malay.

In the west Kimberley, there's every kind of blood group from every corner of the globe. Broome was one of those "boom or bust" frontier towns that attracted all kinds. It's now a great tourist venue, with a chequered history.

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

our countries are similar in many ways. the names people have are sometimes interesting - cheif ten bears is an obviously indian name while russell means and gary farmer are not. where they got those names is an interesting question and i would not blame them if they wanted to reclaim their non white heritage. the white man did too much damage in the last 500 years to too many people. cassius clay is an obvious slave name as is malcolm little. i don't understand the idea of taking muslim names and moving form one religion of yahew to another but it is their business and getting rid of the masters name makes sense.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

As long as we let the American war machine own the government, we are screwed


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[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

The draft should have been replaced with a national service where people had options. Many people are willing to serve but they're not interested in fighting anyone. Dems are in complete denial about this and they are equally responsible for our out of control MIC.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

I can understand the need of a civil service element but I personally would not allow any to opt out of military service; there is room there for the conscientious objector.

[-] 0 points by Clicheisking (-210) 1 year ago

Okay. So it's accepted that whites are the enemies of blacks. What do you propose?

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

an apology - reparations and a truth and reconciliation commission for starters - what do you propose - business as usual

[-] 0 points by ronniepaul2012 (214) 1 year ago

And just how would you manage reparations? Our current prez has slave blood from his mother. Should she be compensated? Considering the left tells us voter id laws prevent blacks from voting, how in the world could these people w no way to prove their identity prove their slave ancestors?

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

i thought his mother was white? tell you what - get the country behind reparations and i will figure out a perfect system - yes perfect! you have the tougher job - by far, so let's not sweat the details


[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

He was scared, and this did not fit with his vision of the future... a two year draft, rather silly because the military generally takes very good care of its celebrities. And I think that's how the non-privileged, non-celebrity, crowd viewed it. But I would add to that that many of us do not see jail as a viable economic option because "felon" generally translates to "no future."

[-] 2 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

you must be very young - and stupid

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

That was the impression of the white working class, many of whom were destined for Vietnam. The liberal media, of course, painted it differently - and it still does - but for those who faced the very same obstacles, where the newly admitted had a life expectancy of but a few hours, that was our impression - the compelling force was a very realistic fear. But for us, the only viable option was an honorable discharge.

[-] 2 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

you use a lot of words to say nothing - i often wonder what you think you are doing here.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

I'm speaking to the powers that be, what are you doing? While I can relate to the Vietnam era anti-war sentiment, I think one should remind you, that a significant portion of our military is African-American - they are an equal opportunity employer.

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

do you know where you are - the powers that be?? this was your comment about ali - "He was scared, and this did not fit with his vision of the future" - which powers was that directed towards? this seems like a recurring theme - i point out your nonsense and you move on to another subject but never seem to stop the nonsense - that is einstein's definition of insanity you know.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

That's my opinion, yes. And I think it's one that was shared by any number of people; the fact that the media takes a more liberal view does not mean it is the opinion of all or even of a majority. But Ali was not the only one who chose this path or some similar option - we also had runners and even defectors.

Do you want to know what I've noticed? I've noticed that posts pop up in response to my words - the Germans have a name for this, they call it gedankensrpung - the question becomes, who's manipulating who?

[-] 1 points by flip (5436) 1 year ago

i really think you need help - do you take meds - if not maybe you should be. you seem to be almost completely out of touch - there are flashes of coherence but not many. ali was a coward - that is just plain stupid. as to gedankensrpung - so posts pop up in response to your words and you think that is a mental leap of some sort. you and i use words differently i think - i try to convey and idea and you have the carl scaglione approach - don't know carl - you are channeling him. good luck with that - you will need it