The US empire has murdered some 40 million people since World War II (according to John Stockwell), has suppressed popular social change in dozens of countries, has overthrown and assassinated their leaders and has organized and trained right-wing death squads that murdered and tortured their citizens. Both Al Qaeda and ISIS are largely US inventions. Meanwhile, the US enjoyed nearly the highest per capita income in the world, peace, harmony, and consumerism for decades—until recently—while sowing chaos abroad. But there have been no negative consequences for the US—until its recent economic decline.
Henry Kissinger, one of the greatest war criminals of the 20th century, lives on into his 9th decade and is consulted regularly as a respected geopolitical expert by governments and the media alike. He seems to be in the media a lot these days. He even makes quite a bit of sense; it is uncanny how people stop lying once they retire. But in case you don’t know, while he still had a day-job, Kissinger orchestrated the four-year secret bombing of Cambodia which killed two million people and set the scene for the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime of Pol Pot. He got the Nobel Peace prize for agreeing to the Vietnam peace accord in 1973—which had first been offered in 1968. Barack Obama collected his Nobel Peace prize too—and went on to destroy Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen, and perpetuate drone warfare in Pakistan and other places. Sometimes the Nobel Peace Prize seems like a license to kill.
Dick Cheney’s Halliburton company made billions while Cheney oversaw the torture program during the Bush administration. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and other Iraq fabulists walk free, while the truth-tellers Manning, Assange and Snowden remain imprisoned, trapped at an embassy, or live in exile. Many other whistleblowers, such as Binney, Drake, and Kiriakou, have also been punished. But John Woo, who wrote the torture memos in which he claimed that torture was legal, is now a highly paid faculty member at UC Berkeley. Clearly, there are cases where truth won't set you free, but lies are richly rewarded.
So, what about consequences? We like to explain to our children that if they keep doing bad things to good people, eventually they will pay. But so far there don't seem to be too many consequences for any of these perpetrators.
For example, there is the refugee problem, which seems to be affecting all the countries that bombed, invaded or otherwise disrupted the countries that are now causing the refugee crisis. It never seemed to dawn on the highly compensated eurocratic morons that helping the US empire to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen, and sow chaos all over the Middle East would result in a torrent of humans deluging their shores. And now they are reduced to explaining at the top of their lungs how the refugee crisis has nothing at all to do with their foreign policy.
On the other side of the Atlantic, it never occurred to the Americans that their support of right wing coups in Central America, such as the recent one in Honduras, or their support for the insane drug war in Mexico, or their sowing of massive violence, destruction, and poverty in the region, would lead to the horrendous illegal immigration problem that Donald Trump is currently making hay out of.
Need more examples? Australia helped bomb Vietnam and supported Indonesian dictator Suharto’s domestic massacre and genocide against the people of East Timor, among its other supporting imperial roles. Suharto ruled for three decades, stole billions and lived to a ripe old age of 86. Becoming a genocidal dictator seems to be a good plan if you want longevity. Australia, on the other hand, has a refugee problem too—and from that exact region.
More consequences are on their way. The people in the EU still haven't fully realized that helping the US start a new cold war by puppet-mastering an illegal coup in Ukraine, then imposing sanctions on Russia under false pretenses would be bad for business, disrupt trade and help collapse the Euro. But they are learning fast.
And then there is the biggest consequence of all: The US and Europe seem to be suffering a devastating series of climate problems such as heat waves, forest fires, droughts, floods, hurricanes and the like. California in particular has been in an extreme drought for the last four years. California epitomizes the American consumerist, car-centric culture that is largely responsible for the vast increase in CO2 emissions, and exports this toxic lifestyle worldwide through the entertainment industry of Hollywood. Climate disasters seem rampant in the US—the country that has emitted the majority of CO2 emissions that are now causing climate change. The US even had a Polar Vortex deep freeze each winter the last two years affecting the east coast. But that's only the beginning; in a few decades, the entire Eastern Seaboard of the US, where half the population lives, is going to be underwater.
Call it coincidence, call it karma, call it their luck running out, or whatever else you want. But what if it's cause and effect? What if it takes a while, but the consequences of your actions do eventually come to haunt you?