Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali was our hero, not only for his performance in the ring and his infectiously happy and charming wit, but for his clear, upright, honest, compassionate and unequivocal condemnation of his nation’s racist invasion, bombing and genocidal occupation war in Vietnam.
Just before his indictment for refusing the draft in March of 1967, Ali stated publicly, “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.”
Only weeks after Ali’s blistering statement, Rev. Martin Luther King from the pulpit of New York’s Riverside Church called his government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” and held all Americans (including himself) responsible for “atrocity wars and covert violence on three continents since 1945, for refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments these atrocity wars are meant to maintain.” King vilified in media owned by investors in wars and deserted by friends and fellow civil rights leaders, received his bullet to the head a year to the day after that sermon King had titled “Beyond Vietnam – a Time to Break Silence.”
For being indicted for refusal of the draft, Ali was unlicensed to box from 1967 until 1971, when the US Supreme Court found in Ali’s favor after years of appeals during which former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark assisted and became a life time admirer and friend of Ali.
We know from listening to his wife being interviewed on television, that Ali was a devout Muslim. One cannot avoid wondering if Ali ever spoke or wrote about his feelings and thoughts during all these years of patently illegal murderous use of US Armed Forces and CIA in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and Syria.
Afghanistan: Apropos Ali’s “murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over,”every single nation of Caucasian population, even tiny Andorra, Lichtenstein and Monaco, have taken part in an international coalition that is now in its sixteenth year of killing Afghanistan’s defenders against foreign invaders and the Quisling drug lord government the USA has imposed. [see No Afghani Ever Attacked the US, UK, EU, Australia or Anywhere Else Synopis: In 1979, President Carter criminally ordered an attack upon a friendly and popular women’s liberating socialist Kabul government by CIA covert funding, arming and training fundamentalist hill tribe war lords, who did not want their daughters in school. Brzezinski correctly advised it would scare the USSR into coming to the Kabul government’s defense and into a trap.]
Iraq: A non UN authorized 2003 American invasion and occupation of Iraq is awaiting eventual Nuremberg International Law prosecution not only for crimes against humanity, but genocide, by of way over a million and a half murdered Iraqis and the destruction of what was a prosperous nation. No official US source even attempts to justify the invasion now. Previous to this genocide by the US, was the period of severe sanctions that were credited with costing the lives of a half million young Iraqi children, which US Secretary of State Madeline Albright later, with Clockwork Orange horrific callousness, estimated as “worth the price” of keeping sanctions on Iraq.
Somalia: US attack and funding of war lords friendly to US interests in military attack on a overwhelmingly popular Islamic Courts government, including using Ethiopian and Kenyan and UN proxy armed forces, have brought death through US NATO UN war and resultant starvation situations to a million and a half to two million Somalis and brought terrorist involvement to justify more war. [see Jay Janson: Merciless US NATO UN Genocide In Somalia ]
Yemen: A neocolonial US empire took over from the British colonial Empire’s century of bringing death and maiming to Yemen, and of late has employed its ally the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to mercilessly bomb. [see A Complete Year of United States Coordinated War in Yemen, Global Research ]
Libya: US NATO destruction of a wealthy socialist democratic independent Libya, at the time, the 53rd highest UN Quality of Life indexed nation, higher than nine European countries including Russia, afterwards proven with watertight documentation to have been initiated by CNN, Aljazeera and CIA assets Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International falsifying Libyan government attacks on a non existent uprising of Libyans, in reality a CIA and its overseas branches organized well armed army of terrorists. [see Russians Calling Medvedev a “Traitor” for Not Vetoing UN NATO War on Libya in Larger Context Article’s larger theme is the willingness of humanity to accept white world profitable investments in genocide until world economic power shifts from Europeans and their descendant nations overseas to the six sevenths of humanity they plunder. Article chronicles in detail the immediate before, during and after of a preposterous destruction of Libya.]
And years before all the above mentioned taking of many millions of Muslin lives, Ali, who said in 1967 that “such evils must come to an end,” would have had to have known of General Westley Clark’s exposing in March of 2007 of the Pentagon being informed by the Secretary of Defense of a plan to take out seven nations, Iraq, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran, in five years. Ali would have watched the US support its client the Shah as some twenty or more thousand Iranians were mowed down in the street. Ali would have eventually heard all about Reagan giving Saddam Hussein’s Iraq ‘most favorite nation status’ in order to go all out to assist Saddam’s eight years long bloody invasion of Revolutionary Iran at a human cost of a million Muslim lives – US spy satellites giving Saddam coordinates of Iranian positions, saving Saddam from defeat.
So what was Ali thinking and feeling about all this decades long American slaughter of millions of innocent Muslim men, women and children in their very own beloved countries, as often as not in their own homes? Your author as an archival research peoples historian encouraged by Ramsey Clark to seed a world public outcry for justice for the surviving victims of US NATO wars, wrote to Ali a few times at his published correspondence address, but received no answer. I learned that Ali’s mail was understandably being handled by Ali’s wife, and out of respect for Ali’s illness made no further inquiries. Perhaps at some time in the future, when things within the US open up, we might learn of Ali’s feelings through private papers made public.
Of major interest would be whether Ali believed that the law would eventually come down on Americans, who would then be forced to compensate and indemnify financially at the super mega vast amount that would make all investments in enslaving “those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality” not only to have been unprofitable but punitive to an nth degree.
Being that the civil rights movement in America has been for such a long time now a war supporting movement in spite of the greatest civil rights leader Martin Luther King having warned in 1967 that “there will be no progress on issues of justice at home as long as we are killing the poor overseas at such an enormous expense in human and financial resources as to make such progress at home impossible,” perhaps Ali’s most telling quote for our time might be, “I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here – white slave masters of the darker people the world over.”
Jay Janson is an archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer; has lived and worked on all continents; articles on media published in China, Italy, UK, India and the US; now resides in NYC; First effort was a series of articles on deadly cultural pollution endangering seven areas of life emanating from Western corporate owned commercial media published in Hong Kong’s Window Magazine 1993; Howard Zinn lent his name to various projects of his; Global Research; Information Clearing House; Counter Currents, Kerala, India; Minority Perspective, UK; Dissident Voice, Uruknet; Voice of Detroit; Ethiopian Review; Palestine Chronicle; India Times; Mathaba; Ta Kung Bao; China Daily; South China Morning Post; Come Home America; OpEdNews; HistoryNews Network; Vermont Citizen News have published his articles; Weekly column, South China Morning Post, 1986-87; reviews for Ta Kung Bao; article China Daily, 1989. Is coordinator of the King Condemned US Wars International Awareness Campaign and website historian of Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now Campaign, featuring a country by country history of US crimes and laws pertaining.