Former United States President George W. Bush has erroneously described the invasion of Iraq as “cruel” and “unjust,” and said before correcting himself that he wanted to refer to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Bush made the remarks while criticizing Russia’s political system at an event in Dallas on Wednesday.
“The result is a lack of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a completely unjust and brutal invasion of Iraq,” Bush said, shaking his head before correcting himself. “I mean, Ukraine.” As the audience burst into laughter, he jokingly blamed the mistake for his age.
In 2003, when Bush was president, the United States led the invasion of Iraq with weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Prolonged conflict has killed millions and displaced many more. Bush’s comments quickly went viral on social media, with the Dallas News reporter garnering more than three million views on Twitter alone after tweeting the clip.
The former US president also compared Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to Britain’s wartime leader Winston Churchill, while condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching an attack on Ukraine in February.