I think that the US government, instead of balancing that debt on those that created the war – the wealthy of this nation, you know, Congress and Wall Street, the lobbyists and the banks – they’re balancing it on the backs of the working people of this country.”The US makes the poor payoff the estimated USD 6 trillion debt accumulated in the almost decade-long US-led war in Iraq, an ex-US military service member tells Press TV. In the background to this, US taxpayers could pay more than USD 6 trillion for the US-led invasion of Iraq since it began 10 years ago, according to a new report published by 30 academics and experts on Thursday. The US war in Iraq has already cost US taxpayers about USD 1.7 trillion with an additional USD 490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, the report said. Counting interest, the benefits owed to war veterans could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next forty years. Press TV has conducted an interview with Kevin Baker, Iraq war veteran, Los Angeles to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview. Press TV: Kevin Baker this report is about the cost of the war [US-Iraq], my question, was it worth it? Baker: I think unilaterally the answer is absolutely not. Obviously the financial hardship of the war, where potentially over the next forty years it could reach that staggering height of six trillion dollars, it’s problematic. I think that the US government, instead of balancing that debt on those that created the war - the wealthy of this nation, you know, Congress and Wall Street, the lobbyists and the banks - they’re balancing it on the backs of the working people of this country. We notice that with the sequester cuts that the tuitions assistance to service members on active duty has been completely removed from the army and the Marine Corps and the [benefits], which the service members use when they get out has been taken away from them the housing crisis, the education crisis, California are falling into a 500 million debt right now.
So, instead of the wealthy that created this war taking responsibility for their actions, they’re once again using the poor and working people to balance their budget.Over 4,500 service members have had their lives taken in a war that we now know, the Bush administration, that every piece of evidence that was brought to the American people, we now know to be lied and falsified. Not one official from the [former US President George W.] Bush administration is facing any type of penalty for this or any type of jail time. These people have stolen from society in the United States, they’ve committed one of the greatest crimes in deceiving the world and killing what is arguably - the greatest tragedy of at least my life time - the death of 1.2 million Iraqis and none of them are being held accountable for it. GVN/JR