The former president made a mistake trying to criticize Russia’s military action
Former United States President George W. Bush inadvertently condemned the “invasion of Iraq” while criticizing Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a slip he blamed on his old age.
Speaking in Dallas on Wednesday for an event hosted by the George W. Bush Institute of the same name, the former commander-in-chief criticized President Vladimir Putin’s Russian government and its decision to send troops to Ukraine in late February.
“The result is the absence of checks and balances in Russia, and one man’s decision to launch a totally unwarranted and brutal invasion of Iraq, I mean Ukraine.” he said, eliciting laughter from the audience as he murmured again “Iraq” Under his breath. He attributed the mistake to his age, saying “I’m 75” before continuing the address.
This is one of the best mistakes you will ever see. pic.twitter.com/fKvrb3tuLZ
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) May 19, 2022
Bush went on to praise Ukraine’s leadership as fighting in the country continues into its third month, at one point naming President Volodymyr Zelensky as a “cool little boy” Y “the [Winston] Churchill of the 21st century comparing him to the famous British wartime leader.
As president, Bush launched the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which quickly toppled the government in Baghdad and turned into a protracted military occupation. As many as 209,000 civilians were killed in the resulting fighting, according to the Iraq Body Count project, along with nearly 4,500 US soldiers and thousands of additional casualties indirectly linked to the war.
Before toppling Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration repeatedly claimed to have intelligence showing that Baghdad had not abandoned efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction after the 1991 Gulf War. However, it was later shown that those claims were inaccurate, as US forces were unable to uncover any ongoing WMD projects despite intensive inspections.
More than 19 years later, about 2,500 US soldiers remain in the country, although they now serve in non-combat roles with the permission of local authorities. In March, Gen. Frank McKenzie, then head of US Central Command (CENTCOM), suggested that the US military presence would not end soon, citing the perceived threat posed by Iranian-backed militia groups.
READ MORE: America’s selective outrage over Ukraine is made up of a well-oiled propaganda machine… just ask the people of Yemen.