Asia Times Online : DISPATCHES FROM AMERICA : Interview with Chalmers Johnson : PART 1: Cold warrior in a strange land: "The Soviet Union imploded. I thought: What an incredible vindication for the United States. Now it's over, and the time has come for a real victory dividend, a genuine peace dividend. The question was: Would the US behave as it had in the past when big wars came to an end? We disarmed so rapidly after World War II. Granted, in 1947 we started to rearm very rapidly, but by then our military was farcical. In 1989, what startled me almost more than the Wall coming down was this: As the entire justification for the military-industrial complex, for the Pentagon apparatus, for the fleets around the world, for all our bases came to an end, the United States instantly - pure knee-jerk reaction - began to seek an alternative enemy. Our leaders simply could not contemplate dismantling the apparatus of the Cold War.
That was, I thought, shocking. I was no less shocked that the American public seemed indifferent. And what things they did do were disastrous. George Bush, the father, was president. He instantaneously declared that he was no longer interested in Afghanistan. It's over. What a huge cost we've paid for that, for creating the largest clandestine operation we ever had and then just walking away, so that any Afghan we recruited in the 1980s in the fight against the Soviet Union instantaneously came to see us as the enemy - and started paying us back. The biggest blowback of the lot was, of course, September 11, but there were plenty of them before then."
Interesting interview which also reminds us that the real reason we are not "pulling out" of Iraq is because our bases aren't complete yet. Once they are, the troops will come home...except for those on the 3 permanent bases. This was the true reason for the war, Helen.