Letters to the Editor

Ali no draft dodger

It was no surprise to see the letters calling Muhammad Ali a draft dodger. Actually, he was a conscientious objector whose appeal was turned down by his draft board. He was then tried, found guilty and sentenced. Years later, he was absolved by the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld his right to conscientious objector status.

Ali’s critics never complain about the real draft dodgers who used influential family connections to get deferments at the height of the Vietnam War. George W. Bush got admitted immediately to the Texas Air National Guard over thousands of others on the waiting list just as his student deferment was about to run out.

Dick Cheney got multiple student deferments when others only got one. Donald Trump got a mysterious medical deferment just as his student deferment ran out.

All three were eager to send young soldiers off to fight political wars like the one in Vietnam, where the enemy hides among the local population. The American soldiers have to conduct patrols for the purpose of being ambushed so the enemy can be found and engaged. Maybe if those three draft dodgers had been on patrol in Vietnam, they would have a different perspective.

Kevin Kline