On November 19th, President Barack Obama wrote a stirring tribute in USA Today to the most famous draft resister in US history, Muhammad Ali. Obama wrote about why Ali's photo hangs over his desk, praising "The Greatest" for "his unique ability to summon extraordinary strength and courage in the face of adversity, to navigate the storm and never lose his way." On Tuesday, Obama showed neither courage nor strength but the worst kind of imperial arrogance. On Tuesday, Obama spoke at West Point, calling for an increase of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan, with a speech that recalled the worst shadings of George W. Bush's "war on terror."
Marxist sports writer, David Ziren, says that maybe Muhammad Ali has been robbed of speech, but I think we can safely guess what the Champ would say in the face of Obama's war. We can safely guess, because he said it perfectly four decades ago:
"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..... 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."