Strategy in the Campaign

Kerry built the character-pillar 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.