At the time of the collapse of Communism, I thought there was far too much talk in America about how we had won the Cold War, rather than about how the Soviet Union, whose economy never worked, simply had imploded. I was never that comfortable with the idea that we as a nation had won, or that it was a personal victory for Ronald Reagan. To the degree that there was credit to be handed out, I thought it should go to those people in the satellite nations who had never lost faith in the cause of freedom and had endured year after year in difficult times under the Soviet thumb. If any Americans deserved credit, I thought it should be Truman and his advisers—Marshall, Kennan, Dean Acheson, and Chip Bohlen—all of them harshly attacked at one time or another by the Republican right for being soft on Communism. (The right tried particularly hard to block Eisenhower's nomination of Bohlen as ambassador to Moscow, in 1953, because he had been at Yalta.)
After the Soviet Union fell, we were at once more powerful and, curiously, less so, because our military might was less applicable against the new, very different kind of threat that now existed in the world. Yet we stayed with the norms of the Cold War long after any genuine threat from it had receded, in no small part because our domestic politics were still keyed to it. At the same time, the checks and balances imposed on us by the Cold War were gone, the restraints fewer, and the temptations to misuse our power greater. What we neglected to consider was a warning from those who had gone before us—that there was, at moments like this, a historic temptation for nations to overreach.
"He turned into the oncoming traffic, and that's why the (other) car crushed the side of the car with Mr. Halberstam," Wagstaffe said.
Jones is expected to be charged next week.
Records from the California Department of Motor Vehicles show that Jones had two previous accidents on his record, from March 2005 and March 2006. Neither resulted in a citation.
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