Former President George W. Bush quickly went viral for accidentally referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as Iraq, which was invaded by the United States in 2003.
“In contrast, Russian elections are rigged, political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from participating in the electoral process,” he said in a speech for the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas.
“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq… I mean of the Ukraine,” he added.
He then appears to say under his breath “Iraq too, anyway,” which was met with chuckles from the audience.
The audience continued to laugh at the error as he said “75,” in a reference to his age.
Speaking in Dallas this afternoon, former President George. W Bush made a significant verbal slip-up while discussing the war in Ukraine.
He tried referencing what he described as the “wholly unjustified and brutal invasion” — but said Iraq, instead of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/tw0VNJzKmE
— Michael Williams (@michaeldamianw) May 19, 2022
Obviously, those who strongly disagree with the war took to Twitter to show how verklempt they were at Bush’s error. It’s important to keep in mind that the United States is a constitutional republic based on democratic values, and the congressional vote to approve the war in Iraq was 293 to 133.
“For the first time ever, George Bush is right: George Bush did in fact launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq,” the Gravel Institute said, which could be interpreted as trying to equate Bush with Putin.
For the first time ever, George Bush is right: George Bush did in fact launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.
— Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) May 19, 2022
“Took 20 years for George W. Bush to finally confess,” The Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali tweeted.
Took 20 years for George W. Bush to finally confess.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) May 19, 2022
While people can flip out all day over his slip-up, imagine if there was this much energy directed to the comments that actually matter in 2022. Few people seemed to take up the issue with President Joe Biden’s “minor incursion” gaffe before Putin launched his military operation in Ukraine. Or when Biden said, “abort a child” following the Roe v. Wade draft opinion leak.
But for those who want to keep the conversation military-centric, Congressional Democrats also seem disinterested in holding the Biden administration accountable for the botched withdrawal of Afghanistan, which was only in August 2021.
The U.S. does need to reflect on the consequences of the Iraq War, that’s true, but thinking Bush’s gaffe is worth overanalyzing is a waste of time given the current state of affairs.