The Kerry campaign is finally moving to publicly counter allegations made by fellow Vietnam swift boat crew members that the candidate's war record is exaggerated and promising that this week was to be "the start of the mother of all backlashes." I had thought the phrase "the mother of all..." had been made permanently ridiculous after Saddam Hussein promised The Mother of All Battles in the days before Gulf War I, but I don't suppose that would stop the campaign from using it. In any case, the response so far seems to be a combination of outraged indignation and irrelevant counter-attacks. Take the supposedly dire charge that the men behind the book Unfit for Command (Amazon.com sales rank: 1) are coordinating with the Bush campaign. They've denied it repeatedly and vehemently, but even if they were, so what? What does that have to do with whether or not the accusations are valid? The authors were there, they saw what they saw, and they're either telling the truth or they aren't. Of course the opposing campaign is going to want this to gain wider attention. Whether they're working with authors directly or not has nothing to do with what really happened in Vietnam thirty-some years ago.