Former President Bush Slips Up In Speech: ‘The Decision Of One Man To Launch A Wholly Unjustified And Brutal Invasion Of Iraq. I mean Of Ukraine’

Former President Bush Slips Up In Speech: ‘The Decision Of One Man To Launch A Wholly Unjustified And Brutal Invasion Of Iraq. I mean Of Ukraine’

Iraq war

President George W. Bush speaks in Atlanta, In this July 30, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool) / The hangar of the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)/

Was it a Freudian slip? During a recent speech, former President George W. Bush blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine as the “decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.”

Bush, who ordered the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, quickly corrected himself, saying, “I mean of Ukraine.”

Trying to recover, Bush added under his breath, “Iraq, too, anyway,” to audience laughter during a May 18 speech at George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, The Washington Post reported.

Just before the slip-up, Bush — who, at 75, blamed the blunder on his age — had been comparing the leadership of Russia and Ukraine. He praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom he called a “cool little guy” and “the Churchill of the 21st century,” the latter statement echoing one he made after the two met virtually this month.

The slip and joke did not go unnoticed by critics of the Iraq war, who said they think Bush was unjustified in directing the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Some even accused the 43rd president of war crimes — the same label some have given Putin after he invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

“I’m not laughing, and I am guessing nor are the families of the thousands of American troops and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died in that war,” said Mehdi Hasan, a liberal commentator and cable news host on “MSNBC Prime.” 

Bush’s remarks quickly went viral on social media, gathering more than3 million views on Twitter alone after a Dallas News reporter tweeted the clipReuters reported.

“How many Americans were sent to die by him for a lie? Disgusting,” tweeted conservative media personality Tim Young.

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During the war in Iraq, at least 200,000 civilians died as a result of “direct war-related violence,” according to the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. The toll was probably much higher due to difficulties accurately measuring deaths, researchers said.

Bush declared war against Iraq following the 9-11 terrorist attacks claiming the intent was to “disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people”. The Iraq war lasted from March 2003 to December 2011.

Many disagreed with Bush’s call to invade.

In a 2015 presidential debate, Bush’s brother Jeb said the invasion was wrong and based on “faulty intelligence.”

“George W. Bush just admitted to being a war criminal of the likes of Vladimir Putin, then laughed. Sickening” tweeted former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner.

Photo: In this June 21, 2017 photo, engineers look at a colleague working inside the hangar of the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier during nighttime in the Mediterranean Sea on June 22, 2017. F18 fighter jets launch multiple times a day from the carrier bombing the Islamic State militant positions in Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)/Photo: In this July 30, 2020 file photo, former President George W. Bush speaks during the funeral service for the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)