Kerry built the
of his strategic position on his service in Vietnam. If he built that position on
inflated claims of heroism
, the current attack by the
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
will undermine that position. As Sun Tzu says, war is muddy and confused. Events have three or four different versions, depending on perspective of the people involved.
Rassman, who was in the water, felt he was under fire when Kerry rescued him.
Captains of other boats in the action said there was no fire at the time.
Neither are necessarily lying. My sense is that the standard for awards in
Vietnam was very low, at least compared to WWII. I think it is probably true
that many of his fellow officers (but not all) didn't like Kerry during the
war and many more turned against him when he turned anti-war activist after
the war. Since there is no question that Kerry has
exaggerated parts of his story
for political reasons, he has made himself vulnerable. Attacking other
veterans is not the ideal method for defending one veteran from attacks.