Muhammad Ali is gone. He and I shared a basic philosophy concerning war. He refused to be drafted during the Vietnam war because he thought it was senseless. Before my oldest son graduated from Bullard High School, my wife and I sat him down and said we are not going to have you drafted and killed in some jungle whose name we can’t even pronounce.
We planned to take him to Canada. The draft ended the same year.
Then came rumblings of the Iraq war. I thought the idea of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction was insane. After the war started, I joined Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Texas, outside of President George W. Bush’s ranch. We were imploring him to stop the needless war. We built a stage on a Bush’s neighbor’s property.
Folk singer Joan Baez did a performance. Even with Ms. Baez’s support, we were not able to influence Bush to stop the war. Just maybe if Mr. Ali had taken part in our movement, thousands of young Americans would not have been sacrificed.
Oscar Williams, Fresno