‘I mean Ukraine’: Former US President George Bush calls Iraq invasion ‘unwarranted’
WASHINGTON, May 19 (Reuters) – Former U.S. President George W. Bush wrongly described the invasion of Iraq as “brutal” and “unwarranted” before correcting himself by saying he meant to refer to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Bush made the comments in a speech at an event in Dallas on Wednesday, as he criticized Russia’s political system.
“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and one man’s decision to launch a totally unwarranted and brutal invasion of Iraq,” Bush said, before pulling himself together and shaking his head. “I mean, from Ukraine.”
He jokingly blamed the mistake on his age as the audience burst into laughter.
In 2003, when Bush was president, the United States led an invasion of Iraq for weapons of mass destruction that were never found. The protracted conflict has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced many more.
Bush’s remarks quickly went viral on social media, garnering more than three million views on Twitter alone after the clip was tweeted by a Dallas News reporter.
The former US president also compared Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy to British wartime leader Winston Churchill, while condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching the invasion of Ukraine in February.