Gaffe as George W. Bush criticizes Russia’s “totally unwarranted and brutal invasion of Iraq”
Former US President George W. Bush made a blunder when he accidentally condemned “Russia’s unwarranted and brutal invasion of Iraq.”
Bush, who sent US forces to Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein during his presidency, made the mistake in a speech on democracy Wednesday.
“The Russian elections are rigged,” said the 75-year-old. “Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from participating in the electoral process.
“The result is the absence of checks and balances in Russia.
“One man’s decision to launch a totally unwarranted and brutal invasion of Iraq … I mean Ukraine.”
Bush tried to laugh at his slip and blamed age for the fake pax, while the onlookers in the audience burst out laughing.
He shrugged and said “Iraq too” under his breath. “Anyway. I’m 75,” added the former Republican leader.
During the Bush presidency, the United States, the United Kingdom and their allies invaded Iraq in 2003 to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s government, claiming it possessed nuclear and chemical weapons.
The war devastated Iraqi society and created more conflict and instability across the region, while no evidence has ever been found that Hussein possessed chemical weapons.
An Iraq Body Count study estimated that there were 122,438 civilian deaths from the invasion and subsequent violence between 2003 and 2013.
Bush’s Freudian slip, which came as he made his first public comment on the war in Ukraine, sparked criticism and mockery online.
US Senator Nina Turner called Bush a “war criminal” on Twitter in response to his comment. Another columnist Wajahat Ali said it “took 20 years for George W. Bush to finally confess.”
After the publication of the Chilcot inquiry in the UK, Bush defended his country’s invasion of Iraq by saying the world is a better place without Hussein.
Bush also praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He called him “a cool kid”, comparing him to British wartime leader Winston Churchill.
“The way countries conduct elections is indicative of how their leaders treat their people and how nations behave towards other nations,” Bush said.
“Nowhere is this on display more clearly than Ukraine.”