August 4, 2006, - 8:56 am

Mel Gibson Family Dodged Vietnam Draft

By Debbie Schlussel
Mel Gibson is hardly the American patriot or conservative some want you to believe that he is.
He’s made frequent comments attacking President Bush and the War in Iraq. But there’s also something else about him and his anti-Semitic father, Hutton Gibson, that you may not know:
They moved to Australia to dodge the Vietnam draft.
As reported by many media outlets, when Mel Gibson turned 12, in 1968, Hutton Gibson moved the family from New York to Australia, so that neither Mel nor his brother would be drafted to go to Vietnam.

melgibson.jpg

(Before I start getting hate-mail about the Jews, for the record–unlike Mel Gibson–my father was drafted during the Vietnam War and served in the U.S. Army for several years (and the U.S. Army Reserves). (His writings are here and here.) My cousin, a U.S. Air Force Academy grad, recently finished serving a year in Iraq and remains stationed overseas serving in the Air Force. My great-uncle, a career Army man, served during World War II and in Pearl Harbor, rising to the rank of General.)

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15 Responses

Debbie:
By all means, let us be hard on Mel Gibson but I think you need to comment on the hypocracy of the Hollywood elite on this. They are in high dungeon about Mel’s remarks to a Malibu cop (who was Jewish by the way, while at the same time fauning over HAMAS and Hetzbollah who constitute a much more serious threat to Jews.
AGREED.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

jerry on August 4, 2006 at 9:17 am

Would a 12 year old be eligible for the draft? I think you probably meant his father. A lot of the paleo-cons have attacked Jews, notably Pat Buchanan. He never lets up. I get attacked for being a neo-con and I know what that really means. Mel Gibson came by his anti-Semitism honestly. Most of the more dangerous anti-Semites use circumlocutions to conceal their hate and they claim they are against this or that aspect of Jews. That’s what I don’t buy. A man could change. But an entire culture? Take a look at Islamic world gripped in the fever of a Jew-hating psychopathology. Perhaps Gibson can disavow the views of the frather he grew up with. There’s no chance Muslims are going to renounce the Jew-hating teachings drilled into them by their clerics. And that’s what Jews will have to put up with for a long time to come. The Islamofascist tide hasn’t even crested yet. It’ll get a lot worse before it’ll get better.
NO, A 12-YEAR-OLD WOULD NOT BE. BUT PERHAPS HIS BROTHER WAS OLDER AND CLOSER TO DRAFT AGE AT THE TIME. THAT IS WHEN THEY LEFT AND WHY THEY LEFT–APPARENTLY, HUTTON AND MEL GIBSON WERE VERY OPEN ABOUT WHY THEY LEFT AMERICA–AND THAT WAS THE REASON THEY CITED.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

NormanF on August 4, 2006 at 10:04 am

Anyone with any brains at that time did try to avoid the draft. I wasn’t so lucky-got drafted in 1970.
I don’t agree with his antisemetism, but let’s move beyond Vietnam.

gregdn on August 4, 2006 at 10:53 am

The irony of an antisemitic draft dodging Hollywood A-list member who directed/played William Wallace ( partly historical, partly mythological), the Scottish common man who fights for that country’s “FREEDOM” shouldn’t escape either. Such is the double standard his ilk would impose . . . What the hey, it’s hollyweird man. . . mythology central.

miira on August 4, 2006 at 11:31 am

That look Mel has going is very Saddam like. A new role perhaps?

Canadian Infidel on August 4, 2006 at 12:56 pm

Gibson apologised for what he said not for how he feels. He is and always will be an anti-semite.
Spin it any way you want it don’t change the facts.
Now he is blaming it on the fact that he was drunk, Nope that don’t get it either, most people lose their inhibitions when they are drunk and say what is really on their mind and that is exactly what he did.
Second, “I got no respect for any young man who won’t join the colors” NBF
Wrong, Norman, not everybody dodged the draft in the 60s some of us even volunteered, we had this crazy idea that if freedom was worht living it was worth dying for.

mark on August 4, 2006 at 3:43 pm

OLD NEWS!!! This story came out years ago–you left out the part about how his father financed the trip, by winning a lot of money on Jeopardy. Apparently, his weird views of history aside, he’s fairly bright.

Drake on August 4, 2006 at 4:04 pm

In 1968 Mel Gibson was 12, his Brothers were even younger and his father was well beyond draft age. Had you spent more than 10 minutes researching this smear-job you would have known that.
So Debbie, what’s your point with this non-story?
Bush and Dick Cheney didn’t go to ‘Nam either, are you going to denounce them and everyone else that received a student deferment too? I didn’t think so.
Debbie, you are tuning into a weirdo.
If you really are worried about secular hatred, maybe you should go after some of your own Christian hating friends within the Jewish community first.

James on August 4, 2006 at 4:53 pm

Actually, Mel would have turned 19 (mandatory registry for selective service at that age) about a year after the draft ended. Not knowing when the draft would end, his old man probably feared Mel would “come of age” while the war (and draft) were still in full swing. I don’t support Gibson, or his wack father, but most all of us at the time feared and/or avoided the draft at all cost. Yes, even most conservatives. I consider myself a patriot in spite of this, Debbie. You really had to be there. ‘Nam was the wrong war, at the wrong time. Bipartisan opposition to that quagmire was the order of the day.

Skippy on August 4, 2006 at 5:19 pm

Thanks, Debbie. So his father Hutton takes both sons to Australia so the older son wouldn’t be drafted. I wonder if Vietnam was held up by Dad as an example of all those wars the Jews were supposedly responsible for? We may never know for sure but it would explain a lot.

NormanF on August 6, 2006 at 10:53 am

Ok………has anyone considered the possibility that perhaps Mel Gibson was actually much older than 12 in 1968 and THAT was why his father moved his family to Australia? This is purely speculation on my part……..but birth records can be changed, especially in a small town and especially if you know someone in a position to do so and said person is of a mind to assist you, either for monetary or personal reasons. Didn’t someone just state that Hutton Gibson was very intelligent and had recently won a very large sum of money??
Here’s what I think, plus a couple of personal observations. I think that in 1968, Mel Gibson looked much younger than his actual years. I think that Mel’s father, Hutton, was taking no chances that his son would have to sign up for the Selective Service and face the inevitability of draft. Why would Hutton falsify his sonÔø?s age? Perhaps he wanted to spare his son from the taint of draft avoidance, even if it was not his idea. Perhaps Hutton wasnÔø?t willing to risk his sonÔø?s life on his ability to get into college and stay there. Perhaps Hutton wasnÔø?t sure that his son would not voluntarily enlist. Once again, this is all sheer speculation on my part. But whatever the motivation for the elder GibsonÔø?s decision to move his family to the Land Down Under, I cannot say with certainty that I blame him.
In 1968, I was 19. I watched my friends and former classmates sign up, get inducted, go off to war, and never come home….or come home so physically and/or mentally damaged that, in a sense, they never came home. My dad was a former Marine who fought in WWII. In fact, he survived Iwo Jima. So, I learned Semper Fi at an early age. In 1968, I believed that we….my friends who had gone off to war….we were fighting for truth, justice, and freedom. What did I know??? I was 19. I had seen all the John Wayne war movies. I thought war was glorious and honorable. But then, I didn’t have to go there and fight it. In retrospect, all these years later, I know that Vietnam was a war we could not win. Our top officials running the show knew that, too. But, Americans didn’t back away from a fight….no sirreee-bob! We had never lost a war and we weren’t about to start now. And besides, war was good for our economy. And so….we sent our young sons, brothers, and friends marching off to war. One which our leaders knew we werenÔø?t going to win. I have nothing but love, respect, and admiration for all our men who fought in that war. I have nothing but contempt for all our leaders who did not get us the hell outta there before we spent ten years and tens of thousands of that generation’s young men dead in the mud, blood, and jungles we called Vietnam.
I am by no means a pacifist. I believe we should go to war if we have been attacked, if our allies have been attacked, or to end genocide. I believe that the ensuing war should be swift and decisiveÔø?..not drag on for a decade. Knowing what I know now, I canÔø?t say that I disagree with Hutton Gibson for emigrating with his family to Australia.
Additionally, has anyone paid attention to the time line references in any of Mel GibsonÔø?s movies? In Ôø?Tequila SunriseÔø?, J.T. Walsh lists for Kurt Russell the results of his investigation, (paraphrased) Ôø?1963: Hermosa Beach, arrested for curfew violation.Ôø? According the published statistics, in 1963, Mel would have been seven years old. In Ôø?Lethal WeaponÔø?, Riggs references having met some Ôø?murksÔø? in Saigon in 1969. According to published statistics, in 1969, Mel would have been thirteen years old. In Ôø?RansomÔø?, during the airline promotional video, Tom Mullen references having been taught to fly by the Air Force in 1969 and flew 28 combat missions in Vietnam. According to published statistics, in 1969, Mel would have been thirteen years old. Besides, in order to become a pilot, I believe I recall that a candidate had to be at a lieutenant and I think that takes at least two years after high school graduation, if not the full four years at a military academy. The numbers just donÔø?t add up. Why would an actor willingly want to be thought of as older than he is? We Baby-Boomers are pretty age-conscious and do not readily admit to our actual ages, much less more than our actual ages. In Ôø?RansomÔø? (1996), I have trouble believing Gibson is merely forty years oldÔø?..forty six perhaps or forty seven a definite possibility. In Ôø?The BountyÔø? (1984), while looking quite young and handsome, I have trouble believing Gibson is twenty eight years oldÔø?Ôø?thirty four or thirty five I believe is much more accurate. And donÔø?t get me wrongÔø?Ôø?if Mel can pass for seven to ten years younger than his actual age, then I say Ôø?Go for it!Ôø? I donÔø?t tell my age, either, and IÔø?m regularly believed to be ten to twelve years younger than my real ageÔø?..thanks to good genes, good attitude, and Olay.
My point through all of this is I believe that Hutton Gibson had a much more pressing need to emigrate to Australia than he let on. And I believe the still gorgeous Mel Gibson is of years greater than universally reported.

Virago on September 1, 2008 at 4:50 pm

If he was 12 in ’68 the war was being Vietnamessed and a twelve year old would have no expectation of being drafted. Most of the draft age males were doing everything they could to get out. If as the conspiracy theory goes, he had an altered birth certificate he would have had a pass because he was “offically” under age. One can also join up at your local embassey.
The well know Vietnam “hero” John Kerry was doing his JFK impression and was amazed to find out that Charlie was using real bullets and with a stratigic self inflicted wound that he put himself in for a purple heart, which is not given out for self inflected wounds got a pass to back to the “world”. There aren’t masny heroic stories from the ’60s.
The Vietnam War was winable if we fought like we did in WW2. We will never win another war because we don’t haave the guts it takes to do what needs to be do to win. John Wayne was a draft dodger in WW2, “I’m just going to make one more movie before I go in.” Please.

Dau Tieng 59 on July 13, 2010 at 10:00 pm

If he was 12 years old, what the hell is wrong with his family moving out to another country?.
He was a freaking kid. And of course this is all speculation on your part, you have no idea what his father did that.

And dont get me this crap about your family serving. Have YOU served Debbie Schlussel?.
It seems to me you are in no position to judge what a man does with their family considering all the conservative dodgers like George W and the fact that you have never served the army.

JohnnyG on July 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm

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