A Classic Maneuver At Work?

A great maneuver in politics and war is to surprise your opponent by appearing to attack on one front and, once the opponent has turned his attention to that front, surprise him by launching the major and planned assault on the newly weakened front.

See e.g. the opening scene in Gladiator and the maneuvering outside the Black Gate in “Return of the King.”

Consensus opinion, which I agree with, is that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are on weakest ground when they attack Kerry over his service record. Virtually the entire punditocracy has said they should go after Kerry’s anti-war activities. Nonetheless, the Swifties fired their first compelling shot against Kerry’s war hero status.

Once the first shot was lobbed, the Swifties, with supporters in the blogosphere started taking apart Kerry’s war record. A lot of people thought it mean spirited and some still do. But, right when the volume got to near ear piercing decibles, the Swifties began an assault on the anti-war activities John Kerry engaged in.

Attacking on two fronts, the Swifties had barely made headway on the anti-war front before returning, with ad number three, to Kerry’s war record. The last ad, at least to me, is not even all that compelling — though it is probably because Cambodia is old news in the blogosphere.

My prediction is that the Swifties, having mixed up Kerry’s forces, are about to launch their final offensive on Kerry’s anti-war activities. We’ve gotten hints of it in the past few days. People are starting to come forward, probing at Kerry’s defenses, mentioning that Kerry’s statements were used by the North Vietnamese.

The Swifties are marshalling their strength and forces to win the war. John Kerry had four months of battle experience. The Swifties have years and we are about to witness their battlefield experience.

This should be fun to watch.

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Erick Erickson

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3 Comments

  • It would be good if the impact could be hammered home. It wasn’t until I grew up and my cousins started to talk more that I realized what these guys faced.

    I was also wondering if there’s some additional information pertaining to the support received by groups such as the VVAW that’s to be revealed. There was some info. brought to light by former KGB types and in the files of the former Soviet Union. Info. has received some attention, but not that much.

  • Chris… I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but Erick seems to suggest that he thinks the next salvo might be related to the effects of Kerry’s testimony.

    Vist HumanEventsOnline for a new Chapter 6 of “Unfit for Command.” It deals with Kerry before the Fulbright Commission.

  • Have a few cousins who served in Vietnam (war ended as I was just finishing college) so have followed the vets’ stories with interest.

    If anyone has visited the Swift Boat Vets For Truth site and perused the forum, there have been hints that the ‘best is yet to come’. They’ve mentioned the attack on Kerry is multi-pronged and tell us just to ‘stay tuned’.

    I can’t imagine what they must have planned next. I mean they’ve questioned his service IN Vietnam as well as what he did when he returned to the US.

    What else is left? Can’t wait to see. Bet it’s good. They’ve had decades to decide what they want us all to know.